February 12th, 2008
10:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Exit polls: Obama stealing Clinton's base

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/12/obama.jpg caption="According to Virginia exit polls, Obama won almost 60 percent of the female Democratic vote."]

(CNN) - Barack Obama did well with Democrats across both race and gender lines Tuesday night, and seems to be eating away at Hillary Clinton's backbone of support: women.

According to exit polls out of both Virginia and Maryland, in both states Obama won roughly 60 percent of the female vote - a demographic that has carried Clinton to success in past primaries.

Clinton fared even worse among men – more than two-thirds in both states chose Obama.

Meanwhile, the Illinois senator scored his highest percentage of African-American support to date - winning close to 90 percent of that voting bloc in each state. And the two evenly split the white vote in Virginia, while Clinton slightly beat Obama among the white vote in Maryland. In most past primaries, Clinton has held an edge among white voters.

Obama even beat Clinton among Latino voters, a group that has heavily favored Clinton in most past primaries. In Virginia and Maryland, Latinos went for Obama over Clinton by 6 points, though their support was not decisive in either contest – only 5 percent of Democratic primary voters in Virginia, and 4 percent in Maryland, were Latino.

The only demographic Clinton won was white women, who broke for her over Obama by 10 points in Virginia and 13 points in Maryland. But that margin is significantly smaller than the national average on Super Tuesday. She beat Obama among white women by 25 points then, according to national exit polls.

(Updated at 10:15 with Maryland exit poll results)

For more on the Virginia exit polls, click here

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. Brian, North Carolina

    Steve's right. Independents and Republicans voting for Obama is a good thing. It's how you win elections: cross party lines.

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  2. carlee

    Hillary step out of the race. Now what do you have to say.

    Obama 08 yeahhhh!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  3. Linda, Anchorage AK

    With her negative swipe at Obama last night during an ABC interview, I'm afraid that Hillary will pull every trick in the book to try and win, even if it divides the Party.

    Be prepared for a negative onslaught from her through March 4th.

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. Ashley

    Obama is more likeable then Hillary. Let me make it plain about Hillary either you like her or you don't. I believe that the reason that Obama can dip into her pool is because he possess's something that she doesn't and that is charisma. I heard the other night on CNN that followers of either Democratic candidate wouldn't have a problem following the other candidate if elected for the nomination because they are running a similiar platforms but for me I have to say that it would be easier for followers of Hillary to jump on board with Barack then the other way around. I am a black female and I don't like Hillary nor did I like Bill during his time as president. I am backing Barack not because I am black but because at the end of the day I believe he has a better chance of getting things done versus Hillary.

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  5. Melissa

    Steve- Republicans want someone they think they can beat, not someone they know is smarter than their guy!

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. Ken

    Obama's not stealing these supporters, he has earned them, Michelle is right. Obama appears/ has appeared and will be the most consistant in his approach to the White House, and while in the White House.
    O8AMA O8/ 12

    February 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  7. NeilP

    Obama/Hillary fans-tell me specific achievements of both the candidates?

    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  8. In the Loop, Chicago

    I just hope that this continues with D.C. and MD tonight. Looks as if people can finally see Hill-dawg for who she is- the wife of a former, great president.

    Not taking anything away from her, but please Hilary, let's unite the nation...its not your time....you can run again in 8 years. :o)

    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  9. Grace

    Im glad that we are now coming together as a party and support Borack Obama. We are just sick and tired of the drama that Hillary has dispaly in the path two weeks. I supported Hillary, yes Im a white women but I now support Borack. Im sorry Im not going to let a republican back to the White House. I hoe Hillary get the message and know that she just can ignore all the states that Borack Obama won. All across the board. Hillary we love you, but is not your time. Lets all stand and embrace Borack Obama.

    Kind regards,


    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  10. Trev

    The question is... Will those independents leaning GOP vote for Obama or McCain in November. It is easy for them to cross lines when John McCain is going to win for sure. Hillary is going to pull this out. Everything is happening the way the polls predicted. Those same polls, by the way, have Hillary way up in Ohio.

    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Ben E.

    Obama is what the people want..Hilary is still only in this race because of what superdelegates want...and Bill Clinton is a superdelegate


    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Bruno

    Why won't Obama DEBATE Clinton? because he will get OWNED!!!

    There has only been one debate with the 2 of them. Maybe Obama fans are afraid to find out his real knowledge on foreign affairs:

    Obama, "....I will contact the president of Canada." (Chicago debate)

    ( for the supporters who don't know, Canada doesn't have a president. Thye have a Prime MInister)

    February 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Katherine

    Julie – Independents and Republicans can vote for whoever they want in the general. The more important thing to note is that when Hillary won in NY, for example, independents and Republicans coudln't vote in the primary. So, in a general, Obama would get Democrats AND some Ind. and Rep. Hillary would only get Democrats.. .minus me!

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Sean, Detroit MI

    "Obama stealing Clinton's base" . Isnt that headline a bit negative? It implies that he has to be doing something underhanded and illegal if Clintons base is jumping ship. A better headline would be "Clinton base switches team" or "rethinks postiion" or even "Obama wins over Clinton's core demographic" . I guess accusing him of "stealing" is better than the headline "Obama seduces white women" so I should count my blessings.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Dave

    I'm glad it's not another Clinton dynasty. We have another Bush dynasty, and look how bad it turn out.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. harritte beasley

    Hillary is a person without gratitude, she leaves the states that vote for her and acts as though they don't manner, it has been six states that she has ran out and went to the bigger states, which are democaratic states anyway, where Barack wins all areas of the map. Now she runs to texas, and ohio and play on the Hispanic people thinking they are all gonna vote for her. The clinton 's are over and I hope she gets her feelings hurt.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. Brad

    Agree....I've had enough with politics as usual...an I could care even less about texas and ohio when a majority of the countr/states have already made up their mind...its time for Obama, and its time for change!

    Obama 08!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. John Van Lare

    Barack Obama has what it takes to bring us all together, if you do what you've always done, you get what you always gotten. He is the rare combination of substance and presentation, he is for all people.

    February 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. John Pope

    Although I support Obama, I will vote for Clinton if she is nominated. Despite my respect for John McCain, we need a Democratic president to undo the damage George W Bush has inflicted on his country. The economic, diplomatic, and military messes he has left for his successor are monumental and heartbreaking. I don't know if anyone can redeem our country. But I hope!

    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  20. ben, dallas

    What is interesting is the fact that Clinton's campaign was, just a month ago, saying that it comes down to delegates. It seems to me that even with the super-delegates that are in place, Obama will be ahead after tonight. If he continues to win going into March 4th, how could currently undecided voters possibly be swayed to vote for Clinton in Texas and Ohio? I think her lead in those states will diminish between now and then, just like it has nationally over the past month. I think Obama is trapping the steam that she is losing.

    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. John

    Virginia's population holds one of the highest levels of education in the nation.
    It showed today.

    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. Hillary for President

    No need for Hillary to "step aside, bow out, ect"

    You people "Obamaniacs" seem to forget, she has supporters.

    He can talk, and talk....talk....talk.....talk.

    Hillary is in it to win..and she WILL!

    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. Allie

    I can think of 100 people that would be a better president than hillary. Obama is the first on that list. Time for hil to go

    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. JOHN


    February 12, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Daniel P.

    The Republicans don't have "Superdelegates". The Democrats do. So if Senator Obama wins the popular vote, the greater number of states, and the most delegates, but is just short of a majority, the party hacks (Superdelegates) can simply overturn the results by picking their establishment candidate, Billary. No wonder they call it the "Democratic Party". 🙂

    February 12, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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