September 9th, 2008
08:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Is Palin influencing white women?

More white women support McCain-Palin than Obama-Biden.

More white women support McCain-Palin than Obama-Biden.

(CNN) - Did John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate cause a major shift of white women toward the Republican presidential ticket?

Not according to the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls.

The pick of Palin, the first female Republican VP candidate, was designed in part to lure women voters to the GOP ticket, with McCain aides hoping a significant proportion of that voting bloc would identify with Palin's working-mom credentials.

But in a CNN/ORC survey released Monday, McCain drew 56 percent of support from registered white women - a statistically insignificant 3 points more than his support among that demographic in the week before he picked Palin as his VP.

Read full poll results [PDF]

"In CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls, Barack Obama was losing white women before the conventions, and he's losing them now," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "His problems with this important voting bloc didn't start when Sarah Palin joined the GOP ticket."

These numbers appear to contradict findings from a recently released Washington Post/ABC News poll that suggested the Arizona senator gained 20 points among white women after Palin joined the ticket and prompted several stories of the Illinois senator's new problem with this key demographic.

But the CNN/ORC poll indicates McCain is even more popular among white women than Palin is (69 vs. 65 percent approval) - evidence his support among that demographic may be attributed to his own appeal, not Palin's. Obama and Joe Biden are also popular with white women, though not to quite the same degree: 58 percent said they held a favorable view of Obama while 55 percent said the same of Biden in the latest poll.

"White women have a favorable view of Sarah Palin, but they have a favorable view of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as well," Holland said.

White women have been a key voting bloc in several recent elections, though their support has not always proved decisive. Al Gore won the popular vote while losing among white women in 2000, and Bill Clinton captured the White House in 1992 while managing only a tie with former President George H.W. Bush.

But in 2004 President Bush carried 55 percent of the white women vote, and 52 percent of women overall - a key reason he won his bid for a second term.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. mark from england

    if john mccain is president it is going to be the begining of world war 3. America be ready for a blood bath. maccain is iddicted to war. Russia wiil not hesitate strike america

    September 9, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. John Smith

    If the America people are as wise or intelligent as the British or French people, they should know that Obama should NOT be the one working so hard to win their votes.

    Just imagine, as an American, waking up after election day to KNOW that McCain-Palin are your new leaders for the next 4-8 years:

    1. How can you ever forgive yourself for such a fatal mistake?

    2. What will happen to your beloved Constitution?

    3. Bush had a father who was a President, yet look at where America is after 8 years. Did the Repubicans deliver what they promised? Will they deliver for the next 4-8 years or clean up their own mess?

    4. What would you live to tell your children about this wonderful opportunity for change? Was it "racially or simply party motivated? And is it really worth the RISk you took? Think, think, and think again– God is an intelligent, not an EMOTIONAL ....!

    September 9, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Yes, evangelicals, women who put womanhood above country and women with low IQ's

    September 9, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. Texas

    Not this white woman! I will never vote for anyone just because they are a woman. I am going Democratic, but I didn't vote for Hillary, but I would give anything for Hillary over a McCain/Palin administration!

    Palin is a fake who uses her family for political gaming.

    September 9, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Darc, NY

    America...Wake up!

    September 9, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Johanna not voting GOP

    Um, yeah.

    This week's mainstream coverage of the presidential horse-race has been dominated by a series of polls showing the McCain-Palin ticket with its first stable lead over Obama and Biden. Gallup's tracking poll, USA Today and CBS News all show the Republicans with some kind of lead over the Democratic ticket. But, interestingly, all three polls were also conducted using a higher sampling of Republican voters than in July, thus raising a question of methodology.

    September 9, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. JN

    Count me out as one white voter for McCain/Palin ticket...Those two liars aren't getting my important vote!!!

    Barack Obama all the way!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. Go Obama!

    If anyone selects McCain/Palin over Obama/Biden, their decision is based solely on RACE. White people have a problem with a African American possibly running this country. Quit beating around the bush. Call it what it is and move own. BIGOTRY, plain and simple.

    September 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. TxCatholic

    I was originally swayed by her pro-life credentials and her "hutzpa", but now that we know she is being investigated for financial and ethical abuses it looks like another Republican bad apple. Are they all corrupt? USA today is reporting online tonight that Gov. Palin paid herself $17,000 in per diem payments for being at home instead of the actual purpose of the reimbursement, which is supposed to be used for meals and lodging for travel. Embezzelment and fraud? So I'm giving up on this lady. Too bad, because I liked her pro-life credentials.

    September 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  10. redneck for obama

    mcbush and cheylin

    September 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  11. McCain 08.12

    Guess what Hillary supporters, we don't need you anymore. So go back to your witch. Palin is the new Hillary

    September 9, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  12. White Woman

    We are not dumb enough to vote for the dumb team.
    We are going to vote for strong, capable and 21st century, inspiring leaders-Obama and biden

    September 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  13. Frank Canada

    It's so hard to believe a 72 year old man living in the past with obvious traces of the adverse effect age has on us as humans and a right wing extremist of no real interest to anyone other than the religious wackos who want the whole world to conform to their jaded ideals even if it means holy wars galore.

    If John McCain ever did get elected and barbie as his VP he better watch his back as he is more important to the agents of intolerance (McCain's own view of this nuts) dead than alive.

    September 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  14. Layvonne Scott

    Palins religous beliefs helps her campaign. Look what happened when they took prayer out of schools, shootings everywhere.

    September 9, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  15. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    I suspect that white women who want abortion rights turned around and are more interested in the Christian Right agenda will, of course, prefer McCain/Palin. While white women who truly want a change, want to support a woman's right to chose, and watch issues as well as check out what is said instead of just taken the campaign talks at face value; will want Obama/Biden.

    The economy is still the issue, women who have sons and daughters in harm's way, want the war to end, teachers want better school funding, insurance and health care are a major issue with most women as well as equal pay for equal work. I think women are just as savvy about these issues as men. The women who voted for Hillary are not going to fooled by Palin's mostly fabricated claims.

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  16. Debby

    You mean typical white women don't you CNN and yes she is.

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. BABALU


    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |

    G O V E R N O R,,,,,,,,,W I L L,,,,,,,,,B E C O M E,,,,,,,,,A M E R I C A ' S,,,,,,,,,

    S W E E T H E A R T

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  19. Keith

    If white women think Clinton is going to get the Presidency in 2012, they're going to be sadly mistaken. If white women don't support Obama, the Blacks won't support Clinton come 2012 and we'll have another 8 years of Republican rule.

    September 9, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon


    i'm so sick of this insulting talk about women voting for palin (or hillary) because they are female. the neoCON right wingers are so out of touch, they actually think they are being open-minded b/c they support a woman. she is HORRIBLE for womens' and children's rights!!!

    we white women are voting for our FAMILIES and CHILDREN, and that is precisely why these whacko right-wing neoCON must go!!!!!

    this country will be truly destroyed if we have 4 more years of republicans; it's not even an option. if you think i'm exaggerating google Article 52 (51?); what you will see makes the Saw movies look like disney!!!!

    some americans are so flippin stupid! they'd rather live in their blind little bubble where they can PRETEND a big strong white man is protecting them from terrorists!! it's INSANE!!!

    thank god/allah/buddha, i share very little with sarah palin except that we both have brown hair.

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Jessica Ferry

    What scares me about Palin is her reigniting the culture wars just when America was starting to at least appear to move beyond that ugly era. There is no place in Washington for someone who is so overtly religious about her politics, particularly when she has such extremist positions. If a politician actually believes that a war is God's will...specifically she said that the war effort in Iraq is "from God"...he/she should not say that out loud. It sounds, for lack of a better way of putting it, what someone in the middle east would say about the war against America. While my personal faith is deep, I DO NOT believe God involves him/herself in wars nor favors one group over another. We are fighting that type of extremism, not trying to emulate it!!!!

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. KC

    I can't belive there are that many women out there that are so clueless. McCain has always been agianst womens rights and Palin is against womens choices. Make no doubt about it if this Republican ticket gets into office the average American person is toast.

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  23. Tell it like it is, CA

    If the vice president were ever called on to lead the country, there is no question in my mind that the experience and demonstrated judgment of Joe Biden is superior to that of Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is a plucky, exciting candidate, but when her record is examined, she fails miserably with respect to her views on the domestic issues that are so important to the people of the U.S., and to me. Frankly, it would scare me if she were to succeed John McCain in the presidency. -Ed Koch

    September 9, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. Breck

    I think women are smarter than this, who could really fall for this obvious ploy?

    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. White, Female, and appalled by Palin...

    I wouldn't vote for Sarah Palin if she were even moderate in her politics! A woman who portrays herself as a "pitbull with lipstick", outs her pregnant teen daughter in prime time to avoid political scandal, carries her baby on stage for the "Awww" factor, doesn't support abortion for rape and incest victims, and even thinks she's in the same league as Hillary has some sort of complex – not sure what the shrinks would name it, but there's something wrong there.... A model for young women? How can Cindy McCain sleep at night?

    I hope someone made McCain choose Palin instead of Lieberman because if she really was his pick – my opinion of him is now below ground level too.


    September 9, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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