January 26th, 2008
07:24 PM ET
14 years ago

Exit polls: The role of race and gender

(CNN) - At first glance, South Carolina’s Democratic electorate seems to be polarized in exit polls Saturday. The candidate with the greatest white male support was the white man on the ballot. The candidate with the greatest support from white women was the white woman in the race. And black voters overwhelmingly voted for the African-American presidential contender.

But that doesn’t mean a person’s gender or race was a reliable predictor of how they would cast their vote. John Edwards didn’t capture a majority of the white male vote, winning the support of 43 percent of that demographic. And Hillary Clinton didn’t capture a majority of the support from white women, winning 44 percent of their votes.

Barack Obama, however, captured an absolute majority of the black male vote, 82 percent. And despite speculation that black women might be torn between Obama and Hillary Clinton, 79 percent of them voted for the Illinois senator.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Exit Polls
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Deb

    I think it is sad that the DNC and the talking heads have only race on their brains. What were they thinking. I respect Mr. Obama but I want a serious candidate to immediately address our very serious issues.

    January 27, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  2. Alecki

    CNN coverage is making this a black and white race. Obama won the black vote. White women voted for Hillary. White men voted for Edwards.

    The coverage was biased and unfair to all candidates.

    January 27, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. ericas stephens,bay village,Ohio

    Blacks will always play the race card,it's all they got.It is their excuse for bad decisions,bad behavior and bad choices.Thank God,they have lost minority status to the Hispanics.

    January 27, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. Chuck

    It's not about race or gender, it's about who can best lead the nation while providing for the common good.

    January 27, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  5. Andrea

    It is a real shame that one still refers to race in the United States, particularly since
    Obama is NOT playing on it Can't we at long last iognore or burry that question?

    January 27, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. Andrea

    It is a real shame that one still refers to race in the United States, particularly since
    Obama is NOT playing on it Can't we at long last ignore or burry that question?

    January 27, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  7. Jeff

    Judging the three candidates on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, John Edwards should be the candidate of choice.

    January 27, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  8. onlinesavant

    So Dar,and any other of you who thinks that black people are only smart enough to vote "For one of their own". Are white people only smart enough to vote for one of their "own", because one could look at some of these demographic breakdowns and come to that conclusion. It seems to me that race is only brought up in discussions about Obama and his viability as a candidate, but it never seems to be bought up by the very same people who instigate the conversation in the context of the viability of Edwards or Clinton. Could it be nothing but, good ol American style racism at work circa 2008?

    January 27, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. jim

    Yea the blacks voted for Obama but so did most of the well educated white folk.
    The Clintons win the votes of only the dummies and the senile.

    January 27, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Joe Sinchi

    I am sadden to see the media trying to be politically correct and now questioning themselves if they should be talking about the obvious in South Carolina; which is race. Now, since you guys are making such a big deal about the black vote in SC, what happened to the Hispanic vote in NV and now in many different states on February 5th; why don’t you guy talk about it… don’t we count?

    January 27, 2008 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Mike

    In in a state like South Carolina is was not about "change", but race- read the results and listen to the people.

    January 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. Karen

    Please don't idolize Obama as a black candiate. It's obvious that Obama wants to avoid a black candiate . Please vote for Hillary because she has a lot of experience in White House!! I did not believe what Obama's speeches are like B.S. like trying to brainwash the people's mind. Please STOP, STOP VOTE FOR HIM!!!!

    January 27, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Val in Pittsburgh, PA

    Deep, deep down, those who proclaim that this election is not about gender and not about race are fooling themselves. However, that's just my opinion. Tell me one thing: Headlines tell us that Obama won in SC with 63%,. I ask, 63 per cent of what? if you add together Clinton's 48% and Edwards' 26%, the total is, hmmmm. let's see - 74%. In other words, among those who cast a ballot, 74% did NOT vote for Obama. Doesn't that tell us something? What it tells me is that it's the media who do the polling and the media who sway the average voter. The media get to choose the slant of the story. What if the headlines were to have been "Obama comes in first but fails to carrry 74% of the people who voted"? Slant is everything, it would appear. .I wish the media would simply butt out of the campaign and leave the outcome to the American voter. Likely to happen? NOT!

    January 27, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. pam Eugene OR

    I believe SC voted on the issues. It is the media that has made such a big deal about race. Didn't Bill call himself the "First Black President"?
    It is obvious SC voted for change and they believe Obama equals change. He won across every age group except over 65. He won women, men and all other age groups. He won 55% of the total vote and that must have included a few of us "White Folks". Ya think?
    I am a 58 year old white female voting for trust, honor and truth and I find all3three in Barack Obama.

    January 27, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. chabuka

    Wait and see what happens out west...it sure looks like people are identifying with their favorite candidates, based only on color or gender...the voters are the ones who insist on bringing race and gender into the vote..not the candidates...I doubt if any of the voters even know or care about the issues ..they see only race or gender and hear only what they want to hear ..how sad

    January 27, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. bigsage

    Ironically, whites have been voting for "one of their own" for President for the last 275 years...so you have a problem if blacks in America would vote for a black man for President?

    January 28, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Steve Gibbs

    America IS Ready.

    January 28, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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