(CNN) - Hillary Clinton has made her vast experience a central theme of her campaign – and among those voters who said that was the top quality they were looking for in a presidential candidate, she was the undisputed choice in tonight’s exit polls: they chose her over Barack Obama by 93 to 7 percent in South Dakota, and 94 to 4 percent in Montana.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, has built his run around the need for change – and won large majorities of voters who said that was the most important quality in a potential commander-in-chief, beating Clinton by 67 to 33 percent among those voters in South Dakota, and 79 to 17 percent in Montana.
But even though they split tonight’s contests, it’s clear the advantage in this area was Obama’s: one in five voters in both states said experience was of paramount importance, but half of South Dakota’s voters, and 55 percent of Montana’s, said the ability to bring about change was essential in a candidate.
In Montana, voters who said having a president who cares about people was their priority split their votes almost evenly between the two candidates: Clinton had a 47 to 43 percent edge. But in South Dakota, which Clinton won, a significant majority of those voters – 60 percent – gave her the edge.
Former President Bill Clinton spent a lot of time in the state in the days leading up to Tuesday’s vote telling voters that his wife “cares about people like you.” It looks like that message sunk in.