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

Is Palin influencing white women?

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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. Independent Voter in Missouri

    I am a white woman.

    I voted for Hillary Clinton.

    I am going to vote for Obama.

    I am pro choice. I support stem cell research and science. I am looking forward to having a smart team in the white house. The dumb team we have now has not worked out.

    September 9, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Mc

    Yeah, OLD and OUT OF TOUCH WOMEN

    September 9, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan

    NO WAY NO PAIN, I MEAN PALIN.
    OMG SHE IS NOT A WOMAN SHE IS A PIT BULL THAT WILL GO AFTER ANYTHING SHE WANTS AND WON'T RELEASE THE JAW UNTIL SHE KILLS IT .
    SORRY, I AM A MOTHER OF 2, SINGLE, WORKED HARD TO PUT THEM THROUGH PRIVATE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGE. I WORKED 2 JOBS, ONE AS A RN AND AT NIGHT AS A WAITRESS. THIS WOMAN NEEDS TO GO BACK TO AK AND TAKE CARE OF WHAT SHE HAS CREATED AND NOT TRY AND BE THE NEW WOMAN SHE THINKS AMERICA SHOULD HAVE.
    NO WAY NO MCCAIN NO PAIN

    September 9, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Tina

    Palin's candidacy confirms that gender is a big issue that the political parties need to address. This issue goes beyond race or religion. .We witnessed it with Hillary & now with Palin. Of course, she is going to influence in my vote.

    God is more than intelligent. God is the beginning & the end.

    We should never mix religion with politics. But many of us, want to use it as a weapon to defeat their opponent. Who are we trying to fool? Only ourselves.

    Tina

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Lovely in VA

    Count me out of that group! HA!

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Women Need to Think!

    I am a white woman and I just can't believe my fellow women are so out there. How can anyone vote for Sarah just because she is a woman? Give me a break! Hillary is so much more prepared to lead our country. I wasn't a Hillary supporter but I do admire her. Sarah is no where at the same level. I do not believe Sarah has the experience to lead us if John McCain would die. This is a very scary thought. I hope American women wake up from the Republican spell and elect the correct team, Obama/Biden!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Texico From Mexico

    If she is then White Women need to wake up and at least see who they are dealing with! First of all what has she discussed? Anything of substance except utter remakrs about others? She has a terrible record as Govenor of Alaska...but I think these women want a woman in the White House at any cost....and thats the truth of the matter. At least women who were voting for Hillary because of her policies and positons on issues had some intelligence. But sadly the so called Wal-Mart mom has no intelligence...why? Becuause Obama has been the only one talking about education....about Health Care, about the real issues that matter. These women are willing to accept another four years of hell for us all, just so they can say they have a female in the White House...sad.

    If nothing else, learn about your choice! You want to lose your rights? you want extremist views that include TRYING to get books banned, want to loose your right to choose?

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Pascal

    PALIN IS SUCH A BIG SHAME! SHE LIES AND LIES AND LIES AND LIES INTO THE FACE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WAKE UP PEOPLE, WAKE UP. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY SO MANY WOMEN ARE SUPPORTING HER, A LIAR. I AM SO TURNED OFF BY HER JUST WHEN SHE STARTS TO SPEAK AND SPREAD ALL THOSE LIES AGAIN AND AGAIN I FEEL LIKE I HAVE TO VOMIT!

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Thadius

    She's not running for the Queen of Graceland. This is America, and we require a whole lot more from a Vice Presidential candidate, like knowledge.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. sonya

    Close your eyes, forget race and gender. What information do you gain when you hear the facts of the economy, the future of Your children, not the candidates. Can you honestly say that Mccain and Palin are honest about their goals for the future. Or is it McCain continuing his interest in power as it was so elegantly highlighted in "Mccain Reveal." McCain used Cindy, he used peers around him, and now he is using Sarah. At the end of the day, it is your home, your job and your bank account. Be wise and in your decision. It could cost you or your love ones their life or livelihood.

    Go Barack!

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. Comment to Breck

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

    Breck I used to think the same thing until Palin got on the ticket. Voting for gender seems to be the theme.

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Lesley

    Why is this Ticker reporting frivilous polls? How about reporting on Palin's record on the environment, for instance? Or any of her positions on any number of important issues, like the "holy" war in Iraq? She is making speeches on the campaign trail that are misleading, that contain half truths, and CNN is not reporting the whole story behind her voting record or on her views on issues. Another ticker headline in this series boasts that McCain was moved to a larger venue. The story tells that they were asked to move because they were holding a partisan event on school grounds. Why not make that the headline? CNN has become McCNN.

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. RyanD.

    White people spent all year complaining they didn't "know Obama".

    Now the GOP has their own "Obama", except she is an attractive white woman...and what do white voters do? Swing to her in 10 days flat while knowing absolutely NOTHING about her record, background, etc.

    BIGOTRY IS AN UGLY TRAIT.

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. mike in central va

    not all white voters and people are scared of what you are saying there (go obama) its racial profiling on your part to catagorize all whites are the same. but some are deffinately stupid enuff to vote the way you are talking about. and its pathetic. and im not to scared to sign my name as anonomous either

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  15. valarie

    Not all the white women are voting for McCain. We are thinking women that have real concerns for the issues and we are not persuaded by the Republican tricks and lies. We don't care about Sarah...we see John McCain as more of the same.

    September 9, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. katiec

    Any intelligent woman would be very frightened of Palin and
    what she stands for. We will not vote for her because
    she is a female as some of you seem to believe.
    She does not represent us or our beliefs and desires.
    She will be a continuation of Mccain/Bush policies which
    have voted against equality, equal pay, sex education in
    school, freedom of choice and is even more radical
    than Bush.
    We could not, would not continue with policies that
    have made our children, grandchildren etc victims
    for decades to come.
    We would not, could not support policies that have
    almost destroyed our country.
    We will not support a man who is war hungry and wants
    to bring back the draft.
    A man who has no idea or cares about the survival of
    America, except how he sees it in is thwarted mind.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. Matt: honestly

    hahahaha. It is so funny pumas are so obviously Repubs in disguise. Just look at any of the comments on the stem cell issue and they blow their cover!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  18. ali

    When McCain become the trophy wife in this election. Every time I see him his standing in the background, slightly off to side side, grinning and nodding his head. Say something, man, anything. Explain to me how you plan to change in ingrained culture from the top down. Okay, so you're a maverick and bucked the party. Looks to me like the party has been saying, "screw you" McCain and will continue to do so. If in 26 years the man's one claim to fame is going against his party, it begs the question, "Why hasn't the party moved toward him." Unless you can improve "reform" a man's principles, values and what esteems him, you cannot change the man. Folks, it's not about the mover, it's about the movement. McCain cannot and will not reform the USA because his supporters are about what will be done for them, not what they will do for others. Government is tasked to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Morality cannot be legislated...ask Moses. There are to many important questions that McCain/Palin just don't have an intent on answering.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. Black man (Iraq veteran) in florida

    Like Mrs Clinton says, "No way, No How, No McCain- Palin"

    OBAMA BIDEN 08'

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. desertique

    the mccain people just don't get it.
    palin is no hillary.

    hillary is hillary.

    we vote our conscience, our logic and our rights.

    democratic women don't need a womanizing female candidate.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Jules, NH

    If Sarah would get off the Grandma circuit long enough to talk to the press, the rest of the country can decide if she's ready. Until then, she'll never get my vote.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. CFL

    And by the way, what is the purpose of the adjective WHITE being added here. Why do you feel the need to put that card out there ?
    We ( her fans ) aren'nt bringing race into it why are you.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  23. JImmy in California

    The McCain Train broke down months ago and now he has found a new ride to get him to the White House. It is so sad that this woman does not see that she is being used by a Politician for one reason only. I guess she is so excited by the thought that she would be one weak heartbeat away from the most powerful office in the free world makes all ok to her even if she knows she is not ready to step in and take that lead.

    September 9, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. texas democrat

    It seems to me that these polls are not giving women a lot of credit. The women during my mother's time would love this but modern women of today will not fall for this madness. This woman does not stand for anything a modern working mother stand for. We want our daughters to have the same choices that we have and the same for our grand daughters. We have made so much progress and i can not believe that any woman today will want to take any steps back. We are on our way to the future.

    September 9, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. independent

    no i dont think so she is ernegising repub women why is the media so scared to interview sarah palini thats my question why are they so scared of the rups media go to work now

    September 9, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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