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

Exit polls: Obama stealing Clinton's base

According to Virginia exit polls, Obama won almost 60 percent of the female Democratic vote.

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. M Johnson

    "People are voting for Obama because they know that McCain can beat him but not Hilary. "
    HuH? I think I could beat John McCain, if you give me a couple weeks.

    February 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. Todd in WA

    Hillary's base of support is crumbling, and she has ZERO appeal to the independents that will ultimately determine the outcome of this election. The only party she is capable of uniting at this point is the GOP, whose far-right hates her even more than they do John McCain. If she is capable of putting the good of her party above her own ego, she should step out of the race now.

    February 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. Mike

    Too many black men and women to support Obama in Virginia. In TX, OH, Hillary will win big. Please watch the rally in EL Paso TX.

    February 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  4. SH


    February 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  5. mike

    Julie from Binghamton

    Let's see what MD does where only registered Democrats can vote – then you can eat your hat, and I hope you're willing to come on-line and do so.

    February 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. maria from new yrok

    this is my first time voting and believe me it felt great!!! although Obama didn't win in ny...it felt very very good to be voting for me....OBAMA 08*****

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Pamela Wilmoth

    It seems to me that not only is Barak Obama way ahead of Seator Clinton in the Virginia race, but look at the total number of voters who turned out to vote for him compared to the total number of voters on the Republican side.! Barak Obama has more votes by himself than all those voting in the Republican race. That says something to me about his electibility!

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  8. Keith and Karissa Molinsky

    We're ready for you in Texas! Come on OBAMA '08!

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Bill

    You can tell a dragon is dying by how hard it's thrashing. Listening to the Hillary camp, all I can say is RUN, the dragon (Hillary's candidacy) is dying.

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. Heath, Bronx, NY

    All Aboarrrd!!!!!
    The Obama Express is leaving the Potomac and heading for Wisconsin.

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Ed

    WE DO EVERYTHING BIGGER AND BETTER IN TEJAS . We are going to HOOK the Nation. Sanjay will not win in TEXAS, OHIO, PEN STATE!!!!!!!!! CLINTON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. rob

    I agreed with Julie....I am an independent and voted Republicans in the last presidential election...But this time , as a registered independent I chose democratic primary and voted for Obama...We hate Hillary and I don't want her to be our president.

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Stacy- Nebraska

    Barack Obama will lead and unite this country!

    February 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  14. Mark


    They're reporting this because McCain can beat Obama but not Hillary? Are you joking? Every poll puts Obama ahead of McCain out of the margin of error. This is why Clinton supporters support Clinton- if they had any brains they'd be for Obama.

    Yes we can.

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. Eli, Milwaukee

    Hey Stacy, why would Democrats vote for Obama so that he can lose? Wow, some people are just going to find any excuse to spin every win he gets..lol.

    Face it, Hillary can no longer use the gender,blue collar worker, lower income, race card tatics anymore. You know why?

    He has united all races, genders, financial barriers, political parties etc... to all vote for for him. Name another person running for president that can do that?
    Or that has ever did that?

    OBAMA 08!!

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Deb

    Obama is the only candidate running who offers a change, not just of the last 8 years but the previous 8 years that allowed Bush to take the White House. Without Bill Clinton there wouldn't have been a second Bush and without the second Bush there probably wouldn't be an Obama. he is the right candidate at the right time and offers optimism(and specifics to back it up on his web site)instead of THIS

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Matt

    The country needs someone who can motivate and inspire people from various demographic groups. The less polarization factor the better. This applies to either party. So far, the best uniter/motivator I see across the widest spectrum is Obama. He motivates Dems, Indeps, some Repubs. Hillary is way, way too polarizing to be an effective leader regardless of my personal feelings toward her. With her, you get 50% of the people loathing her, and 50% liking her. Just what we need in American after Bush the polarizer. The fact that will not change about Hillary, and the thing that makes her a weak is her inability to inspire and gain support from a diverse range of constituents nationally. This makes Obama the best candidate out there. If nothing else, he creates enthusiasm and involvement among the widest range of people.

    I'm tired of polarization and division. Bush has excelled at this, and Hillary will be more of the same. Willing to take a shot at Obama this time. Heck, we've been voting on experience long enough and you can see where that has gotten us.

    The fact that Hillary's support comes from the least educated demographic doesn't engender too much confidence in me, either. I certainly don't have a PhD, but I do think more education is desirable, and that more educated people make better decisions in general, so the fact that Hillary appeals to the least educated voter base of any of the candidates is mildly disconcerting to me...is that the demographic I want determining the President? Umm...nope.

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. JohnS

    Julie, is this NOT a strong argument infavor of Obama's position? He can BRING in BOTH Independents and Republicans? You already the Dems in your corner!!!!

    All these results are the same as before except there are independents voting. They're throwing off the percentages. If you look at the numbers, she still gets the white Democratic southern vote, he doesn't. The only reason he did better was because of independents and Republicans who voted for him.

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  19. Sean

    I agree with one of the posts down: "We're electing a president, not a professor." Yes, Hilary has more experience but she doesn't have the skills to unify, inspire, and lead the people. These skills are innate. A lot of my professors are just as smart as her if not more, but I don't think they would make great presidents. Hilary should be more of an adviser to Obama.

    February 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  20. bobby


    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. Jason in Tampa

    Let's not forget the simple fact that McCain vs. Clinton in a debate gives the republicans way to much ammunition, true or not, to throw around and play dirty politics like always. McCain vs. Obama is a no contest debate – anyone who has seen crowd response after these candidates give a speech would say that Obama would win hands down without even taking off the kid gloves.

    Obama 08!

    Derail the legacy train!

    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. drew

    One last thought–

    We need Hillary to be a lioness in the Senate, someone like Ted Kennedy who can keep the legislation moving. She probably can do more for the country there than facing filibuster after filibuster from a unified Republican Party even if she manages to eke out a November win.

    Sorry to double-post, I just want Hillary supporters to know we can appreciate her and hope for a future role for her in the new Democratic majority we are working for.

    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  23. Judy Cutler

    As a white 62 year old woman who voted for Barack, I want to say that listening to his mind, logic and sensing his strength of commitment reminds me of JFK. All of us who remember how inspiring he was and who have not been inspired since are grateful to him. For the first time in my life I sent some money to a candidate. Any money I send is a hardship but I cannot think of a better way to spend it.

    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. Andrea Texas

    I don't think any of you jokers really did your homework except fall prey to an inexperienced, motivational speaker and "not show up for work dude" that has a pretty face. Those of you that are not on your own yet, you don't realize the damage you have caused. To those of you independent and out in the workforce, good luck, you have experience and you know your business.

    The Republicans are going to have a barbeque with Mr Obama.

    Senator Clinton can kick some and then more, of course the Republicans don't want her.

    There are a lot of grateful hispanics that love her.

    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  25. Jo

    I am an American that believes in the first amendment. Obama threatens my rights to bear arms. I have a right to defend myself from an intruder in my own home. Mr. Obama opposes this right. Are all men in this country going to stand back and allow Obama to take away that right?

    February 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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