March 4th, 2008
04:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Schneider: What I'm looking for tonight

NEW YORK (CNN) - It's certain to be long night, but here are some early indicators I'll be keeping my eye on as the first wave of exit polls roll into the CNN Election Center.

The gender gap:
The bigger it is, the more it helps Hillary Clinton. She needs to do well with women voters tonight in order to carry Ohio and Texas. In nine Super Tuesday primary states Clinton won, men were split, but nearly 60 percent of women voters supported the New York senator. In seven states Obama won that night, the Illinois senator beat Clinton among both men and women.

Young voters
Much attention has been focused on Obama's ability to rally young voters. The number of these voters that showed up to vote and the proportion that break for Obama will be key to his chances of winning tonight. Senior voters have always been a backbone of support for Clinton, and will likely continue to be so today. In many of the states Obama has won, the youth vote has been heavy and has broken for him better than 2 to 1.

Minority turnout
Minority turnout will be crucial, but which minority? African-American voters have solidly aligned themselves behind Obama, and Latinos have usually supported Clinton. This means Obama has had the edge in states where African-American voters make up a significant proportion of the electorate while Clinton has had the advantage in states where Latinos do so. But Texas has both a heavy African-American population and a heavy Latino population. Whichever group has a higher turnout could be key to who wins the state.

Union workers
Whichever candidate wins among union voters in Ohio could very well carry the state. Even though several major unions in Ohio - like the Teamsters and the Service Workers and the Food and Commercial Workers - have endorsed Obama, the Nevada caucuses proved that union voters don't necessarily vote the way their leaders tell them to. Clinton is banking on strong support from this demographic to help her win tonight.

Independents
How much of a role will they play? Independent voters are allowed to vote in all four states today. In the past, these voters have strongly favored Obama. Will their turnout be high enough to tip the scales toward the Illinois senator tonight?

Republicans
Republicans are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary in Texas. Some conservative commentators, like Rush Limbaugh, are urging them to vote for Hillary Clinton just to keep the Democratic race going. The idea that large numbers of Republicans will vote for Clinton just to make trouble for the Democrats seems unlikely. But lots of unlikely things have happened this year.

Watch Bill Schneider break down the demographics of the March 4 primaries

Related: CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on early Texas voting

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider • Ohio • Rhode Island • Texas • Vermont
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. mike

    Let' not forget about his not voting for 120 senate bills, and her actually voting. Is that the kind of leader we need? Lets not forget about how he took a stand against the war. Not wanting to chase those who just attacked us. Please make the sensible choice, Hillary for President!

    March 4, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Katie

    It may be just me but im so sick of the term "billary" not many people can give me 1 or 2 reasons why they don't like Hillary just (well her cheating husband) so for instance if your husband (or wife) cheated on you its your fault especially if you somehow find a way to forgive them. Im 23 and voting for Hillary one of the main reasons is experience because the last president we elected had hardly any so why would I want to vote for someone who has any again?

    March 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. kathy

    Hi, I just got a phone call from a friend in Texas. I wonder what is going on with the Texas caucus. Seems like obama supporters are handing out caucus forms and collecting caucus signatures now (in the day time) before 7pm. This is against party rule!! No caucus vote could be casted before 7pm , and not when the voter does not physically show up at the voting location!!! This is the kind of "new politics" are can believe in?? This is the kind of hope we can believe in?? This is the "Florida 2000″ Shame on you, obama

    March 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. La Raza

    I will just wait for the results thank you.

    March 4, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Nita

    This is driving me nuts. I promise this is the last posting. I can't take it anymore. I just wanted to say that She will stop at nothing. She doesn't have America's best interest at heart. She feels this is an entitlement and I'm sick of her bottom line. It's time for OBAMA to stop being a gentleman and throw her under the bus!

    March 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. a foreign student in US

    Why the media is not discussing about how all blacks vote for Obama. The percentage is way higher than any other category. Therefore, this is a real problem in this country. How can you say that he is not divisive? Almost entire black population reject other candidates, and onbly choose the perople of their own color, this is not divisive???

    March 4, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Lee

    voters: When you vote, p;ease open your eyes and mind. Obama is losing more and more supporters now. American people are waking up: Only Hilary can bring the food onto our talbe.

    March 4, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. GGK

    Bill, as commentators go, you are always so incisive. Thank you. As a lifelong 49 year old Democrat, who worked on Gore and Dean's campaigns, I gotta say, so many people are so very sick of the environment Hillary Clinton has fostered. We really can't wait for the reasoned positivity of Obama to prevail, so we can get back to VISION.
    To better days, cheers!

    March 4, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Antoinette

    The prob with the Latino's in Texas is that they didnt vote so they dont get alot of delegates

    And the African Americans last time did vote, so they are delegate rich

    So Obama could manage to pulll the most delegates in Texas. He has a higher percentage of Latino's than she does African Americans

    And he does better in Caucases also

    So it could be a win in Texas, but i think Ohio will be Hillary. Not by a susbtantial margin for her to get ahead though

    March 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. Keri-Texas

    If Obama wins I will vote for McCain, the 1st time in my 42 years to vote republican. But to me experience is just too important and I don't want another Pres that lets his advisors and politcal friends (Kerry, Kennedy, Farakahn) treat him like a puppet.

    March 4, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. E. Stafford

    Mrs. Clinton, should be the next President of the United States of America. She is a strong woman, and we need her to be the leader of this country. The other candidate will not be able to lead the country.

    March 4, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Peg from Ohio

    Apparently you do not want to hear from a white 52 year old nurse with 4 grandchildren from Ohio who has always voted Republican but now has voted for Obama.

    March 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  13. Hermas

    For those who say they're sick just for seeing Hillary today, i think they wre very very healthy the last days, when the media was giving a lot of coverage for Obama. Probable, they're more happy when they see 30 minutes of Obama and 5 minutes of Hillary every hour, like in the past day, especially before super tuesday.

    Not only taht. also, most of the comments and news were against her.

    Probably they believe (I don't know why) this is more fare.

    March 4, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Jason --- Ohio

    How makes up exit-polling? I've always wondered this. Is it really just someone standing outside the polling station asking how they just voted? This doesn't seem to me to be a very efficient way to accomplish the end result. How do you determine which polling stations to stand at? Each polling area is so different among voters. How many people does it take? How many people are usually polled? Is that enought to produce an effective sampling? In such large states like Texas and Ohio the task just seems to big to get real information and then advertise if Obama won amongst White Male Lutherans over 40.

    March 4, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    I just hope Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island put an end to this part of the campaign...so we can focus our time and energy on getting our future President (Obama) into the White House.

    March 4, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Joyce

    I think that the negative publicity that Obama is has gotten will only prove to everyone after tonight how strong his reach is..that despite everything he will continue to overcome...and if and when he does..what will the media have to say then???

    I can't believe how the dig things from the bottom of monkeys barrels and try to feed it to us like we're too ignorant to know what are lies...

    And for all of you out there that ask what does he stand for , what other than charisma does he have that is causing this movement... The answer is he gives us "New Hope"..that there may be a chance that there is a decent , caring , and genuine individual out there that went into politics... and we have the chance to elect him as president.

    March 4, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Obama supporter

    I am black and has been supporting Obama until now. I am going to vote for Clinton. He is full of excuses.

    March 4, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Interested In Life

    It is unfortunate that the new media hasn't (particularly MSNBC & NBC affiliates) investigated and reported on Obama's record. If he does receive the democratic nomination, the republicans and the media will then destroy him. All of you that THINK you are doing your country justice by voting for Obama, are really just thowing your vote in the toilet.

    The cold hard truth here is, Obama DOESN'T have the record to beat McCain. Hillary does, so a vote for Obama is a vote for McCain. Think about it!

    March 4, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Victor

    I am amazed that I actually read this entire Blog. The Republican Party wants us Democrats divided – so that their man McCain has an easier road to the White House. Looks like it is happening. The math shows that Senator Clinton will not have the majority of the delegates by the convention – no amount of shouting at the moon over what has transpired in this campaign is going to change that. We should all get behind Senator Obama now and expend our energy on insuring that there is not a Republican in the White House next January.

    March 4, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Texan

    I was just listening to sean hannity radio and a few Texas voters called in to say that they have voted for Hillary following rush limbaugh's suggestions. I think this pathetic that the Texas Dem party allows non-Democrats to vote in this primary.

    March 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. Pat in Idaho

    Isn't it interesting that Hillary never quite made it a priority in releasing her tax return, as she promised, ..prior to today's primaries.
    Do you think she will release the information before the next round? Obama already released his tax return information. I wonder what it is that she and "Uncle Bill" are so afraid of the public finding out about? Might it change the minds of some of her supporters, if they knew the truth regarding her sources of the financial "war chest"?

    March 4, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. gail

    MacD, spare us your regrets on your gender. How dare you decry voting along gender lines as if it betrays poor thinking. I vote for Hillary not only b/c of her stellar professional record and her sterling credentials but because of her astonishing ability to battle out an overwhelming media bias to take this race back. This woman knows more about challenges, unfairness and inequality than any man ever could.

    March 4, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Bev

    The youth WILL rally around Obama not because they are technically savy and can research issues? Technology as we know produces lots of false information that is packaged as truth. They will vote for Obama because they are the feel-good, over-indulged, me generation. They scream "Yes we can" at the rallies but mostly don't have a clue when asked, "Who can do what?" These are the students I taught in school a few years back. The students who were bathed in outcome-based, we're-all-winners education, leaving excellence and hardwork in the dust. Get real America! Don't mistake their enthusiasm for discernment, their screams for knowledge. It just isn't so.

    March 4, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. bond

    Obama will solidy his lead. This will be the only thing to look for tonite.

    Texans for Obama

    March 4, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. mike

    Obama did not win in my neck of the woods. Not because of his any factors either. Just plain and simple...No experience, no voting record in the senate, no original plan of his own, and oh by the way,
    choose not to engage with terrorists in Iraq...Sounds pretty spineless if you ask me. Americans for Hillary Clinton who does stand up to all the sillyness.
    Another over 40 Business man for Hillary Clinton!

    March 4, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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