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. A CANUCK

    Yeah....but only the ones that live in trailers and are afraid of anyone with a brain !!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. Jinny Lee

    Only stupid ones.

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Sandra

    We have a President that thinks God speaks to him and now we have a canidate that thinks that God wants the war in Iraq.Look where Bush has taken us and just think of the increased mess we will be in if she is anywhere in the White House.We would have more of the same and I really don't see how we could survive as a nation.
    Any one that supported Clinton would not support this woman..her views are not even close to trhe platform that Hillary brought to the table.No one mentions the Keating 5...Mc Cain was my Senator and walked away from that mess...he had ample time in the Congress to help enact all the tings he advocates now..he is a good old boy and you certainly don't change your votes and views at 72.No way no how...No Mc cain and the gun and oil advocating hot mama..Never

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. LP

    My, it is SOOO interesting to read all the liberal bloggers babble. You are the ones who are out of touch and, pardon me, but your insecurities are showing. Go Sarah!

    September 9, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. VN

    I agree with you that it is getting too much talking about palin by the news people. I'm getting to the point of not wanting to turn on my tv anymore although I want to hear other things. America is in need badly and desperately a person who can lift America up again and that means America should look squarely at the support of the candidate from the international level not just American vote because that's how the president is going to get involve with other nations. Regarding Sarah Palin, to my opinion she is absolutely qualified and respected as a governor but she is not ready yet for vice president. I think one of the problem is also she has already carrying a lot of problem with her and behind her from her family issues to her job ethics and to her faith and so forth. Trust me this job is nothing like you go to one building to work everyday with same people. It has a huge task to carry here at home and abroad. So I hope America will not make mistake. I guess its just her persona that attracted many American who doesn't really care about issues.

    September 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. egeefay

    Hey. I'm 62 and I made my first ever campaign contribution to a political candidate online today. Only $200 but it will be worth it to kick out the Republicans who have made a mess out of the economy.

    Republicans like to talk about fiscal conservatism...they just don't practice it.

    Clinton left office with a huge budget surplus. The Republicans wasted every dime of it and wound up putting this country billions of dollars in the hole

    OBAMA for president!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. Tiffany

    WOMEN,
    STAND UP FOR YOUR INDEPENDENT. LET AMERICA KNOW WE ARE CAPABLE OF MAKING GOOD DECISIONS AFTER LISTENING TO THE CANDIDATE. AND TELL MCCAIN, ANY WOMAN WILL NOT DO.
    NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCCAIN , NO PALIN!

    September 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. Inexperience and lies!!!

    It's one thing to call someone inexperience and a liar but Palin seems to have both qualities. Say what you want about how you think the democratic party treated Hillary but Palin is no Hillary. Check Hillary's resume and then check Palins. Try a book (Hillary) to a sentence (Palin)

    September 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  9. Jean

    I feel sick to think that the culture wars are taking presidence over the deeper issue of today. Our country is greater than that, it has been a long struggle to understan each other and work for the better good for us all at home and abroad.

    The focus should be on education, economy, energy independence,
    takeing care of our men and women injured on the battle fields, taking care of the planet the infrastructure in our towns and cities and jobs jobs jobs.

    Let's change the conversation and consider this country which we love an in whick we live. Our children and grand children well being is at stake.

    September 9, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. Gabrielle, Missouri

    Of course it does! I've never been more proud to be a woman than I am now! I could now look at my daughter and tell her that she can be anything she wants in this country.

    Palin 2008!

    September 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. TW

    There is a reprive from the nightmarish economy, thanks to the checks this summer. Those checks are now again, and for the next eight weeks Americans will increasingly experience the worst economy they have ever been through, save those of us who were around during the great deprssion. This will ussure in a concern for issues that will replace the superficial vote.

    Mothers who vote for Sarah Palin will be voting against their own children's best interests. Most will come to understand that, those who don't were going to vote GOP anyway, the same way they did in '04 – gee thanks.

    September 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Tony

    I got less per diem for going to Iraq for over a year than she got. This is a shame.

    September 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Nate

    The recent "polls" of this election seem to show that there are large group of people living in the south and midwest that want religion and politics to mingle, care nothing about our image in the rest of the world, and are simply not listening to Barack Obama. That, or they're too attached to their party to see the wood through the trees. The intelligent voters out there knew long ago who the better candidaite in this election is...

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. IndependantMom

    Palin is extreme and brings nothing to the ticket. A few months ago she had no desire to be VP, unless there was something in it for Alaska(??!), and now McCain wants to put her in the position of being a heartbeat away from the Presidency. McCain is reckless to choose her.

    No, I disagree with the whole premise that she's attracting white women. Once people become well informed about Palin, they'll steer clear of the McCain-Palin ticket.

    September 9, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. BJGT

    How long before we learn she never shot a moose?

    September 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. PJ

    A news station interviewed women who are simply over the moon about Palin. When asked where Palin stood on issues all responses were "I don't know. I just like her." These are the same idiots who paid no attention to Bush and look where we're at. This is disgusting! To the cell phone nation...PLEASE VOTE! Many of your elders lost freaking minds!

    September 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    These white women, who are voting for McCain, their first excuse was they didn't know much about Obama, now they know nothing about about Palin, except she is a white women, how sad, and pathetic, which tells me they were not going to vote for Obama anyway, so being the pathetic racist cowards that they are, instead of being truthful about their feelings, they find any excuse(Palin) knowing full well she doesn't have a clue.

    September 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  18. J

    THIS Democratic woman will vote for McCain/Palin. Country first, party second. The Dems foolishly nominated the wrong candidate(s). Obama is unqualified to be President and is unelectable. The DNC must be held accountable for the 2008 campaign very undemocratic debacle. This was supposed to our year. Way to blow it Dems. Hillary should be the nominee, Hillary's qualified and could have won this election in a walk. It's McCain 08 and Hillary 2012.

    September 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  19. Bacusla

    What an insult ... American women deserve better.

    September 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  20. Greg, Indiana

    Mark from Englad – who cares what you think?

    McCain/Palin 2008!

    September 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Natalee in Canada

    Please my American neighbours to the South...please do not get caught up in the wolf in sheep's clothing...the McCain/Palin ticket would be a nightmare...and a step backwards...and from our perspective...more of the same negativity!

    September 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Agnes

    Community outreach is a great start and should not be littled, but it is by no means qualification for the office of President of USA. I appreciate the idealism of Barack's speeches but where is the foundation of action that I can reliably say he will champion America and not special groups? This political race is about America and how best to serve her. Sen Obama touts the democratic line but what America needs is compromise and a willingness to cross party lines; he is a liberal democrat. Likewise, the current republican base is too conservative and has not worked for the past eight years. Too much space separates the two. How best to span that gap...?
    We need someone who will fight for America, not more divisiveness. I see little to commend either candidate so bring on the debates!!!!

    September 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. Samantha Osbourne

    My, how many angry comments. The only democrat defense is that McCain/Pail is the clone of Bush/Cheney. I'm bored with that strategy, surprise us with something new. Just please be mature.

    September 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  24. Go Obama

    I am a retired white woman , and I support Obama . I like McCain more before he picked Palin than now , because it seemed to me pandering to women as if we are not smart enough to see the difference in a qualified women and an unexperienced one, More is coming out about her that is certainly troubling to me. To think she is a heart beat away from being President ,McCain did not put 'Country First! with his choice. Just looking at his own ambitons and betting that many women would jump on his bandwagon. Looks like many have , Maybe they will start sorting through the untrue statements this "Christian " women is continuing to make,

    September 9, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. james

    When do we get a chance to hear her talk? On her own. Why so secretive? Oh, wait, she's a Republican.

    September 9, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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