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. Lone Wolf MD


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

    When women learn more about Sarah Palin her support among that group will shrink. Is it any wonder that her support is growing, especially considering that the public knows next to nothing about her and she still has yet to give a substantive interview or talk without a script and teleprompter?

    The media needs to be doing its job – we only have 57 days to get to know enough about her to decide if she is ready to be VP, or President, and the only interview she has done so far is with People Magazine! Can you imagine if this was the Democratic VP nominee? The conservatives would be going crazy.

    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Ken, LA California

    Im very happy Obama will be president and that Biden will be vice president, Obama/Biden were owesome today on campaign trail.

    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Nancy in FL


    Sarah Palin Runs A State. Barack Obama Runs His Mouth.

    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Tara in CA

    If women are stupid enough to for for Palin based only on her gender, and ignore the fact they are voting against their own self interest, then they deserve what they get.

    For those women considering McCain/ Palin, consider the following, your personal right choice, educational opportunities and health care for your children, equal pay for equal work, a stable economy and housing market, and a safer world. I promise you, if you take the time to educate yourself on these issues, instead of letting the Republican's spoon feed you lies and propaganda, you'll have to admit to yourself Obama/Biden is the a feminist's choice.

    And as for you Hillary supporters considering Palin, you only need listen to what the woman is saying, NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCCAIN/PALIN!

    September 9, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  6. Obama 08 would be great

    @ tell it like it is

    blacks usually always vote dem

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  7. Moe, NY

    Yes, Palin definitely influenced me....NEVER in a million years would I vote for McCain/Palin....they are the bridge to nowhere! This woman is an insult to all American women.

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Dee

    I don"t care about these polls my vote is with Obama. The American voters get what they deserve if they don't elect Obama. Why would a Nation such as our care so little about the struggles of its citizens.

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Earl

    I thought you were above personal attacks. Why the personal slam on Palin? "A pig with lipstick is still a pig?" Is this the higher road you keep talking about? I saddened by the personal attacks you promised to steer clear of. It is easy to take the high road when you are ahead in the polls. It is a lot tougher when you are behind. Show us why we should believe in you. Stop the personal attacks.

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  10. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon


    Obama 08!

    September 9, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Olivia

    I heard that Obama said that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Seems to be a slanted reference to Palin's remark about the hockey mom compared to a pit bull she made during the convention.

    Palin was saying that hockey moms are not pushovers, they can be tough. I think Obama was calling her and hockey moms pigs, even if they wear lipstick to disguise it. That's how i see it.
    Sarah Palin is no pig. She's much much cuter than Michelle. She seems warmer and nicer and happy.

    There are a lot of people right now that is in Alaska trying to find dirt on her. No success so far. She has to learn to go on with the business ahead and ignore the hostility. she has to realize that nothing can be worse than Wright.

    September 9, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  12. Jose Guardiola

    Mr. Obama,

    I believe you to be a decent and honorable man, who would make an exceptional president. Unfortunately I sense that your inate sense of fair play badly under-estimates to what depths the Republicans will sink to win. They govern very badly, but they're very good at winning elections. Please, please, please!!! For the sake of our country and the world that our children will be born into, fight these people with every tool at your disposal. Otherwise, they wil steal, lie, cheat and do anything they can to retain power. It's they only thing they're really good at.

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Nowhere Man

    To: John Smith September 9th, 2008 6:50 pm ET

    "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:"

    Image Obama/Biden winning! A lot people will sleep a whole lot better knowing that McPailn has defeated a man with the thinnest resume of any presidential candidate ever (EVER!), and he will have no chance to implement his socialist policies on this great country, and tax the hell out of the people to pay for his plans! Why doesn't he just move to Europe? They love him, because he is like them!

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  14. Melly

    I hope CNN post this one:

    I have one suggestion for all Obama voters. If you really think that JOHN MCCAIN and SARA PALIN are Liers, then please roll up your sleeves and go to the rural areas of your States and Cities and communities, and explain door to door HOW REPUBLICANS specially JUINOR CHEYNEY, PALIN, is fooling RURAL AMERICA, and tell them THE REAL TRUTH AND NEWS.

    The problem with America is that not everyone specially in the Rural Areas watch CNN or news channels, they just see the ads on their local channel or go to local events. AND if someone like Palin lies to them in those local events, they think it's truth.

    THAT's HOW REPUBLICAN WON the past two elections:


    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Barbara

    65 – white – single – 47 year career.

    She won't ever get my vote. My ex married a woman like her and he and his entire family imploded from all the crap.

    I believe in rights for everyone – not dictatorship by a narcisistic female.

    No Way Now How No McCain No Palin.

    ha ha ha ha ha

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. workingMom

    Why would anyone with a brain vote for more government regulation, higher taxes, and income redistribution? I guess you all believe there really is a free lunch. Pitiful.

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  17. McCain 08.12

    And you know what the past part of Palin is? She does not wear pant suits everyday. Not like liar liar pant suit on fire Hillary.

    Palin 2012

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  18. bunny

    Does John McCain suffer from post traumatic syndrome? Why did S. Palin attend so many colleges? Scares me to death that an angry old soldier and an ex-beauty queen,hockey, pit bull, fighter wants to lead the country. America needs THINKERS, to think America out the mess all that experience has led us. Like many people, I do not like hockey and I am an American-not a Georgian. I do wish the Georgians good luck.

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Rogers

    Biggest problem of America is Economy, unemployment, wrong war, high cost of healthcare, i lost my job almost 7 months ago. me & my family living without medical insurance suffering from stress anxiety / hypertension with 2 kids.

    will palin / mc cains values do they bring me a job.............

    I am so very depressed.

    my family is hungry, how sad it is.

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. katiec

    You so called Hillary supporters that say you will support
    Mccain are so transparent.
    You are a republican, doing what the republicans do: LIE!!

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Megan

    How about some coverage on McCains dirty ads and Obama's gloves off response!? Stem cells and child molestation protection, pretty important topics!!

    September 9, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Lone Wolf MD

    What if this woman becomes President? Quite possible, given McCain's age. Can you imagine her Supreme Court nominees? Women's gains will be set back 100 years. This is not change; this is not progression, it is regression. Wake up, America!

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Tony

    It's so funny to see all you liberals on here crying and begging Americans to "stop being so stupid" by voting republican. When are you going to realize that you are WRONG!!! Americans love freedom and liberty which is why they continue to refuse your liberal agendas. Sooner or later you will whiners will catch on.

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  24. Watchful Enthusiast

    I was happy to see most of the comments on this issue. It pains me that fellow Americans do not see how the Republican machinery is using gimmicks to get attention and from how things stands now, it seems as though they will succeed.

    How is not clear that John Mc Cain chose this woman just to win the election and not in the best interest of the nation as he often claims? We have lost so much respect from people around the world where people who used to look at us in admiration, now look at us with contempt and disgust as the Republican government continue to show how arrogant they are....... What happened in Berlin is just a window into how people will begin to see us once again when ( and I mean when and not if) Barack Obama becomes president.

    I'm still watching.............

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. kima

    So this begs the question......what are white women afraid of???
    One look into the future with McCain/Palin at the helm frightens the heck out of me. Hands down, the intelligent vote is on Obama/ that what scares white women??? Smarts?

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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