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. Gretchen Oglesby

    I say no and to all the white women that I have spoken with say the same. Palin is not for womens rights.

    September 9, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. kathy From Kentucky

    Sorry Obama!!!! & DNC
    That is what you get for not putting Hillary on the VP ticket
    The voters spoke and you did nothing, so who do you have
    to blame? yourself and the DNC

    September 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |

    OHIO votes for whites? Over security (or any chance of hope) for you and your children!

    Obama Biden 2008

    September 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  4. TONY

    Any woman with brains has already figured this one out!
    PALIN IS AN IDIOT with too much lipstick.

    September 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |

    Anyone who can still listen to obama after 16 months and still believe the crap that comes out of that man's mouth is a fool.

    September 9, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. go away mongers Ventura ca

    I can NOT believe people are willing to go through another republican term in the White House. These polls must not be accurate.
    I can tell you this, if the gop ticket is successful- I for one will officially give up on the people of this country.
    You were fooled twice- GET A CLUE!!!!!!!

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


    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. ran

    CNN how about for the rest of this election you concentrate only on the issues and get all the candidates to state their positions on those issues and stop the hype-reporting.

    Be the free press we need now more then ever.

    Just think how you could help this country by reporting on the issues and let the other news outlets do the hype-reporting. Believe me we would appreciate this.

    This election is too important to be decided on personalities.

    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Obama 08 would be great

    I thought that us women were suppose to be smart

    Why would any woman in her right mind vote for a man that only threw a woman on his ticket to attract woman?

    Do you think he chose her becaue of her views, personality, intellect?

    He spoke with the woman one time before picking her she wants to take away our rights she hasnt even spoken to the media and you will vote for just because she's a woman?

    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. katrina

    Here is what it is: white guys ashamed of not wanting to vote for a black guy who carried their interests at heart used to tell pollsters they'd vote Obama (even though they wouldn't have). Now they vote for McCain, for whom they would have voted anyway, but they feel more comfortable saying so because they're also voting for a woman, thus proving to themselves that they're not neanderthals.

    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  11. Why McCain Thinks He Will Win:

    1. He had a father and grandfather get him to his rank in the military. (He was too dumb to do it himself);
    2. He lured/lied and married a rich woman; (He is an adulterer)
    3. He was a POW. (Did you know that?);
    4. He hangs out with lobbyists who protect him. (More like the mofia);
    5. He has the endorsement of G. Bush; (most of us would not want it); and
    6. He has many rich friends supporting him. (He thinks only of the rich-which will be his downfall).

    Guess what McCain – THESE ARE THE REASONS YOU WON'T WIN. Americans are too smart for you and your female.

    This father/daughter team makes G. W. look good.

    Go Obama/Biden!

    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. mw

    Palin's credentials are so fraudulent. Why else are the Republicans not trusting her to be out on her own in this campaign, and restricting her spoken words to be just repeats of her convention script? What are they afraid of? Whatever it is, the American people should be afraid of it too.

    There is no way I'd support the McCain/Palin ticket - especially given the probabilty that the VP in a McCain administration would likely eventually become president.

    September 9, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. cindy

    what do you expect ,this election is not about issues but personality .American wake up!!!.BEWARE OF THE RAORING LION SEEKING WHO TO DEVOUR.Bush played hide and seek games with us now Mcsame when will this country learn. I am a white woman,the economy and everything that is happening is hurting thecountry.4more years ?NO MCSAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  14. Tell It Like It Is

    ACTUALLY, if i was a woman, Iwould vote for Palin.

    Why not? Blacks are predominantly voting DEM because of Obama.
    What's the difference?

    BUT, since I am a man; I'll vote for a man, McCain

    September 9, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. DJ in Colorado

    CNN: Your caption under the photo:

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

    How do you know this? You didn't ask me and I'm a white woman. Don't exaggerate the truth here. Maybe you did a poll or asked 100 white women and 51 said they'd support McCain-Palin. The truth is exaggerated here and it's disgusting! Be responsible journalists or don't you know what that means anymore???????????????

    September 9, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Ron

    The Palin craze with women shows the mentality of today's women. The "any woman will do, just get a woman in the white house" mentality will destroy this country. Maybe women should go back to not voting like the good old days.

    September 9, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    She's sure as heck not influencing THIS white woman! Her positions are against practically every freedom we have in this country. She wants government to control everything we can and cannot do!

    September 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Amy, Kazoo

    Not THIS white woman. Palin is like Cheney incarnate. Who is the devil's spawn, by the way....

    September 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Beth2008

    Those women supporting the McCain/Palin ticket must really be listening to ads rather than doing their own research. I cannot believe any woman would vote for Palin just to see a woman as president....I am a woman and it is scary to think that someone like Palin could be commander in chief should something happen to McCain. I am hoping for the best this november, but I am realistic and understand that Americans vote in a not-so-intelligent way, after all: Bush was elected twice, so what does that say about people's ability to cast an intelligent vote? Please use your brain and send a loud message to republicans, let's make sure the democrats get elected in November, so that this country can get back on track.

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

    I cannot believe that John Mccain thinks that American females are so easy to manipulate. He may have done a little personal manipulating in his time, but what makes him think that woman will sell their souls to the Republican party and suffer another four years under McBush and Gerorgette Palin? I really don't think that his bag of tricks will work .

    September 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Mike

    I may be in denial but I just cannot believe that women, particularly WHITE women are that vacuous to the McCain/Palin smokescreen. Bush Lite is using you!!!! Why else did he pick "Moose Raider" over Joe Liberman who he truly wanted.

    Are you that bitter that Hillary didn't get the nod that you'd put your own country at risk with these two just for spite? She's not Hillary!

    It just reluctantly makes me think that this all stems down to RACE. Quite sad.

    September 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  22. McCain=the draft


    McCain has voted AGAINST ALL woment's rights and issues.
    McCain/Paling want to take away a woman's right to choose.
    They don't believe in equal pay for equal work .
    THEY WILL SET WOMEN BACK! Palin is not Hillary!
    Look at the issues and don't fall for this gimmick!

    Obama has supported and voted FOR ALL women's rights and issues!

    September 9, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. White women for Boama

    It;s scary if McCain and Palin wins! not only we are going to go on War but our economy is going to be the same BS and Palin is going to be wasting the money away on trips for his kids!


    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  24. wow

    I'm a white woman for sane, educated people. Not for wrong-wing extremists.

    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    What's saddest and most disappointing is that he picked this woman, with full knowledge that she is by and large UNQUALIFIED to lead this country, and in utter disregard for the well-being of the American people, just so that he could garner more of the female vote. So very sad, if he wanted home health care or someone to take care of him like a mommy would, there are services that could have helped the old man out. Sarah has enough kids to take care of.

    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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