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. Loretta

    Don't insult this woman. I know next to nothing about whats her name. In fact, all that I know for certain, is she's white, she's a woman and she is the Gov. of Alaska. This may be acceptable to some weak minded women, but not me.

    I don't know what her qualifications to be VP or President are. Would she be able to step into John McCains shoes if something should happen to him? That question has not been answered to my satisfactions.

    September 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Mary Ann from New Jersey

    I am a white woman who will NOT vote for McCain/Palin. McCain was a desperate man having chosen Palin as his running mate. He knew his ship was sinking and had no other choice. She is a fraud. Women beware! Don't let this Annie Oakley sway you. If these two are elected, it will be the end of the world as we know it.

    September 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  3. Texans for Obama

    I know many white women who are not for McCain/Palin. Palin is the talk around the office and I work for a large financial company with about 800 employees in the building. We as women, are horrified that John McCain that cries Country First , and a heartbeat away from leaving here, would jeopardize our lives and pick a unqualified woman as VP.

    We have no respect for a woman who has 5 children and a daughter who is having a child to put her career before raising her kids. Good mothers raise their children, and not nannies. This is probably the reason why her oldest daughter got pregnant. Palin was never home.

    Some women want it all, but with that choice comes downfalls. I have raised 5 grown children myself , and I don't care what women rights groups say, your children need you as a parent to be there for them. Not in the white house. Many women I know feel, "You will know them by the fruit they bare. This is my opinion and some other women I know.

    September 9, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. KATHLEEN

    I am white, 63, woman, retired who would like to keep my Social
    Security Check and I do care about our Country. Do these women
    have their scruples.? And, are we stupid?????

    Obama Biden 2008 from Day 1.

    September 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  5. Susan in Canton

    Not this one....Her family life reads like a good soap opera. More and more is coming out about Miss Alaska.....wonder what new drama we'll hear tomarrow?

    September 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. cba

    Certainly not any that a brain in their head.

    September 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Annie Canada

    Oh jeez! It's rather ignorant of an individual to elect another person based on preference of the same-sex. What ever happened to electing someone whose going to take the initiative in solving the problems that the American people are facing? Electing McCain/Palin will not solve the housing problems, economy, war on Iraq,and healthcare just to name a few. Wake up people! There are bigger issues at hand than wanting to elect a woman in office.

    September 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  8. milo

    I have been skeptical that Palin has done much beyond excite those already planning on voting for McCain. If women were stupid enough to decide purely on gender, wouldn't Ferrarro and Mondale won back in 1984?

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

    I believe that Obama is truthful and has picked an honest man to campaign with him. I trust them both to work for us. McPain and McPain are racists. Are only for the power and themselves. Wake up women and make good choices, Palin is not a good choice. I am a woman and I am not voting for McCain & McPalin.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    September 9, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. Deborah

    I am a close to 60 white woman in rural Maryland. I was just called for the first time in my life for a poll - the Rasmussen Poll. The next poll of polls that comes out darn sure better show that at least one person said they "strongly disagree" with the statement about Palin leading this country!

    September 9, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Maggie

    I am a white woman who is disappointed in the judgement of American women- if we are going to vote for Palin because she is a woman we are throwing away everything that Hilary and all other women have worked for. Feminism is about choice- shoot guns and head back to the office the day after you give birth? Fine. Can afford to be a stay at home mom? Fine. The McCain Palin ticket is about restricting rights, and as we have seen changing the game and the moral high ground to suit them. If all of these women are so easily swayed, maybe we don't want a woman in the white house after all?
    The election of THIS woman will ruin any chances Hilary has in the next election or two. Once the McCain Palin ticket royally screws us- and they will- people will say – we gave a woman a chance and look. . .

    September 9, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Not Ready on Day2

    We do not "owe" John McCain entree into the White House because he was tortured as a POW.

    We do not "owe" Sarah Palin a free ride to "Number One Observatory Circle" .... the Vice Presidential residence because she is a woman that decided not to have an abortion.

    Ms Palin's election would place a heavy weight on future women qualifed for the Presidency. Sarah will not be viewed as credible in the 2nd in command role and this will impact a generation of voters for the forseeable future. It may not be fair, but she will take women backwards I'd say about 16 years.

    I can't follow McCain nor his "political pick" for VP

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

    Hillary Supporters:

    Are you really angry enough to give the country to a man who would pick Sarah Palin? If you are vote for him, but don't come crying to us when the country implodes.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    I'm a white female, voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary and I can say with the utmost certainty that she is influencing me to vote for Obama and Biden!

    September 9, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. Oleg

    Please, no more. Can't we have more than 50% normal people? Is our education so bad that we are doomed now to elect only morons?

    McCain = Bush + Bad Temper
    Palin = Bush + Lipstick + Even more extremism

    Obama/Biden 2008

    September 9, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. COUNTRY FIRST McCAIN/PALIN

    AMERICA RESPECTS JOHN McCAIN

    AMERICA LOVES SARAH PALIN

    Truth, integrity and experience will win. America to is too smart to settle for less than McCain and Palin.

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Looks like McCain is going to prove that 88 years ago with white men didn't want their women to vote because they didn't think they could logically and intelligently use their vote....they were right

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Logic

    I believe all women (and probably men too) have some sort of basic instinct of being "precious". They will respect someone who can be "precious" because to be such a thing is not easy. Too many temptations to become "precious".

    Palin somewhat has proved herself to be a "precious" woman if not perfect. Deep in every people's heart, they respect more true evangelical Christian women than the liberal ones. Because they know in these modern days it's hard to find a true purely heart woman. And they find them mostly in Christian evangelicals.

    On the other it's very easy to find the liberal women.

    Gov. Palin is not only smart, good-looking but also due to her deep Christian faith, she is somewhat much more "precious" especially if compared with liberal women.

    Because of this, I think not only white women, but also white men, black women, black men and everyone who see that "precious thing" is invaluable. Much more precious than gold, much more precious than silver.

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Lisa in NC

    That women does not represent this white, middle aged women.
    NO WAY, NO HOW will I be pandered too!!!!!! I'm not gullible.
    OBAMA/BIDEN08

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Jean, CANADA

    Why are you Americans so OBSESSED with race??? CNN this has got to be a new low for YOU!!!!!!!

    Why can't you guy's post someting like, Is PALIN helping you stay in your homes????!!! Is Palin going to provide you with health care???? Does Palin know ANYTHING about foreign policy???? DOES PALIN KNOW ANYTHING???!!!!

    Seems like the media is trying to create some type of race war......how extremley discouraging...i suggest you stick to what matters....you are all Americans...perhaps you should try and act like CIVIL HUMAN BEINGS and try and move your country FORWARD TOGETHER.

    CNN PLEASE don't push your's or the repubs agenda in this election cycle...it just means WAY to much to America and to the WORLD!!!

    DON'T be COWARDS CNN POST THIS!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. I'm voting for BO!

    Guess what? I'm voting for Obama.

    September 9, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. cba

    Oops, left out a word in my previous comment. It should have read: Certainly not any that HAVE a brain in their head. She sure doesn't.

    September 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. DG

    Sarah Palin claims to be a born again Christian, but sems to have no qualms about lying in her repetitive speeches. Wonder how she justifies that? The Bible considers lying a sin. Proves to me that she is not who she says she is and is willing to say or do anything to get her and McCain elected. Well, this Christian white woman is voting for Obama.

    September 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  24. anyonmous

    if mccain can bearly hold his lead how is he going to hold the country americas you have to start thinking about whos really in charge here

    September 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  25. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Who cares???? Go ahead and vote Republican.........

    "fool me once.......shame on.........you............you fool me you can't get fooled again!" -George "the mental midget" Bush

    I wonder what fool me three times is??

    Let's make history America! Let's show the other nations how pathetic and stupid we are! Vote for the SAME PARTY that got you into this mess.

    Then, when you go on vacation (discount style because of our economy) to Europe, you can introduce yourself as an American and park in all of the Handicapped spots and wear a frickin helmet! Because you're SPECIAL!!

    September 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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