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. The winner is 'NOT US'

    Not for long. The REAL Sarah Palin is hiding behind McCain right now...why can't she speak freely to the press?

    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Ron

    This Novembers vote will show one thing. Woman should go back to being barefoot and pregnant. Sad that woman are only jumping on the McCain ticket because he has a woman as his VP.

    Honestly ask yourselves, are you choosing McCain due to their issues or because Palin has a vagina?

    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  3. McCain 08.12

    I was so sick of kissing up to Hillary supporters these past few months now that is over. We don't need you or your witch candidate to win this election. You lost. We have God on our side we don't need the pumas anymore.

    Palin 2012

    September 9, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Rob

    Hey CNN why all the bias against the Democrats? You're suppose to be best polictical analyst are so pro Mcaine / palin!

    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. MinFL

    Big surprise. Here's one white woman who is voting for Obama! There's more of us out here than the media and McCain/Palin think!

    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  6. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    This white woman is neither impressed nor influenced.

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

    I guess CNN really don't care about freedom of speech that is why they only post what they feel are in their best interest. Or in the intrest of their candiate! This in not a repeat comment!

    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Yankee Dog

    Hello America:

    Lets make this perfectly clear. These so called Republicans are bad people. They are not true conservative republicans of the party that I have come to respect and admire. Presidents Ike, TR, Nixon, Regan would be ashamed of these people. The party is being taken over by extremist and now creationist! My God what has happened to the good old GOP!

    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Tom in Delaware

    I don't know what any Obama supporters look like on the outside, but after what I've heard from them today, I know what they are on the inside.


    September 9, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Irwin,Thousand Oaks, CA

    It's oh so sad if this is based strictly on gender. McCain may be a sorrier candidate than even Bush, at least Bush had some 'charisma'. McCain is stupid, a lousy speaker, and wrong on most issues – and definitely a maverick. An Ms. Palin is nothing more than a would-be theocrat, who believes that her and her 'mission' derives from the Almighty. Sounds like a rerun. If America falls for this again, they deserve the horror of the next 4 (or more) years....

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. The winner is 'NOT US'

    For some reason Cnn doesn't print my responses anymore. WHY?

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. Jeffer65

    Both tickets stink!!! America is in deep trouble no matter who gets elected. Neither party will fix our problems. Can I vote for "none of the above" or the FBI be pounding on my door?

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Mike Kiger

    I was a big McCain fan in 2000. Not any more!!

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Atlian

    Sarah Palin does not have my family values. I would never parade a pregnant 17 year old unmarried daughter and her boyfriend on stage like a proud parent. Hypocritical evangelical.

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. GO SARAH!

    I just saw Obama say...

    Did Obama just call Sarah Palin a PIG???????????

    Where the heck is the media outrage for this?

    September 9, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. Not one of the Girls

    John McCain opposed a bill earlier this year that would have advanced ...


    ... to women.

    I can't cite the bill but there was a news story about it because McCain said he didn't want to give women the right to take employers to court over this type of discrimination. Hopefully someone out there in the blogsphere has those minute details to tie this all together.

    Ms. Palin, as McCain's VP, will be toeing this public line .... she will have to back John up on this. Unfortunately, he probably doesn't have to twist her arm to do so.

    What woman, in her right mind, would sell out her sisters like this?

    What woman voter, knowing these facts, would yell, cheer, support, back McCain through Palin?

    You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. The Lady

    I guess woman are not as stupid as the media and republicans would like to think we are

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. Adrian

    "You can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig" Comments made today by Obama. What a jerk.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. sonnyboy


    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. Grossly exaggerated

    Your coverage, I mean

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

    I am so sick of all this Palen nonsense. ENOUGH is ENOUGH! She is not qualified to lead this country by any stretch of the imagination and McCain apparently isn't either having showed us that good judgement isn't one of his strong points.
    So, can we talk about the REAL ISSUES facing this country?

    September 9, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  22. fred

    I'm a McCain supporter, and this is great and all, but this is really not the most important news. Are you going to post one about spanish women or black women, or evangelicals, or mormons, or catholics. I mean, this really isn't news CNN. Earlier this year, I was anti- Fox News because of how much they loved Romney. Now that Romney is gone, Fox News has actually reported good news on their website. Check it out. It actually has important stuff. I mean when you go to, the main headline is about lance armstrong coming out of retirement. That is great, but to put it as the top story is not cool.

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. McCain 08.12

    Thank you Rove for picking a real woman to be the first female president in our country. Now please tell the pumas to go home because they are no longer needed. Check out the polls. No more kissing up to Hillary supporters. Thank God

    White male from Ohio.

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. phillip, monterey ca

    I just have 1 question . when will gov palin give an unscripted interview so we can hear her where she stands on different issues ?

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

    PS just because someone does not vote for obama or because the news reports what is going on for both sides, dont call them racist. I care nothing for race but I will NEVER vote for obama because I have studied what he stands for and frankly, that scares me.

    September 9, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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