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. La Raza

    The movement is on.

    February 12, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. JohnS

    If Hillary CANNOT keep her campaign team together, how can we expect her to keep up with a cabinet that can solve real problems for this nation?

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. Whuzi

    I love when I hear clintonites scream "the only reason he's winning is because he has blacks, independents, activists and republicans voting for him."

    wouldn't it be fair to also say "the only reason clinton is losing is because she only has white women and latinos voting for her..."


    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  4. louisfatty

    I'd be fine with either Obama or McCain. Billary and the other guy are just too polarizing. The country desparately needs someone who can breach the gulf of the aisles. Let's face it, (but I'm sure I'll get a lot of disagreement), the reality is (and yes I understand how checks and balances work) the Chief Exec doesn't really have much power other than nominating Article III justices and establishing foreign policy (the latter, of course, includes ComminChief powers). The veto power is overrated and seldom used. Congress has the real power, and that bunch is difficult to have coalesce due to the diversity of the population. We are in a tight pendulum of ideology but really need a "feel good" Chief Exec right now, ala Peanut Jimmy. He wasn't a great CE but he sure did what he was elected to do. John or Barack will fit the bill (pardon the intended pun) nicely.

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. Mary in SC

    Ok, so how can Hillary just "poo poo" the results of the Potomac Primaries? What, the rest of us don't count? Only the "big states" of Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania count? Sounds to me like she is negating all the rest of us! Go Obama! I'm glad I voted for you!

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. Odds get Even

    oh oh....another Campaign staff rom Hillary's campaign just resigned. Yep, the SS Hiilary is listing! To the lifeboats!

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. Claude

    I didn't like Bush at all.......don't generalize!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. hal

    Wow, Saturday, Sunday, and now this. It's one thing to anticipate that Obama will probably win, and it's another to see the board live on CNN and Fox and look at the size of these victories. The man is on a Tiger Woods type roll.

    It's amazing how poorly run the Clinton campaign has been since New Hampshire, but I think the main thing it comes down to is that Obama is a better candidate in the sense that he connects more easily with the voters and doesn't have many awkward moments. He's almost like a Democratic Ronald Reagan. Sure, I expect the Clintons will start hitting him with TV ads about the Rezco dude, the "present" votes, etc. but I expect he'll handle them well. People want sincerity, but they don't expect perfection.

    Hillary is reacting to the "playoff pressure" the way most of us would react – surprisingly well much of the time, poorly at other times. Such as when she suggested that the Potomac primaries weren't so representative of America, the day before the primaries! That was a major blunder. At least when she skipped out of South Carolina to avoid giving her concession speech, she waited until it wouldn't have any affect on that day's vote.

    My theory is that Hillary is a "positive thinker" (always look for the silver lining in any situation), and that is a usually a very good trait to have, but it does have its limitations. Obama has a much deeper level of self confidence than positive thinking.

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. Tim

    I FINALLY heard tonight on the broadcast someone say the words "Buyers Remorse." Change is happening – What would happen if if New York and California voted again today? I am looking forward to voting in the Texas primary. A vote for change – hope is being replaced by faith.

    February 12, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Frederick

    If Obama gets elected President, there is absolutely no way he will ever live up to the hype that is carrying him now. It will be the biggest post election hangover in American political history. The disillusionment among his constituency will be strong as one nebulous campaign idea after another never comes to fruition.

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  11. Pam

    White men, Black men, Hispanic men won't vote for a woman. That's what they are saying.

    Obamarama bashing. One more democrat goes for McCain.

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Mike K

    Liz,You are quite right. One bird in your hand worth more then two birds in the bush

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. John

    Women are often times women's worst enemy. I think that if Hillary loses the election, you will not see another woman run for president for at least 50+ years.

    Plus, I agree w/ the above poster (David, CA); Obama is overrated. In fact, Obama is like Guiliani when it comes to speeches; the only thing I ever hear is "Change" and "Hope" but barely anything in-between.

    I think that the women voting for Obama speaks volumes of how women perceive themselves. Here in California, Hillary defeated Obama overwhelmingly amongst women because they "know" that women are the only true minority. This election really has shown me, a man, that sexism does transcend racism.

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Maureen - MN

    The next President of the United States of America...Barack Obama!!!

    February 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Karolyn

    I didn't like Bush...

    I think it is a slap in the face to ignore the 22 states that spoke loud and clear for Obama to the 11 that went to Clinton. Clinton is being the decisive candidate...

    for those that say Obama has no substance... get your head out of the sand... he's been EXTREMELY clear on the issues, you just choose to ignore it.

    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. Lee




    I hope one day soon you are eat your words.

    white women are standing strong and in texas – the latinos are not stupid – I have many friends who are latino and they are a strong strong people that deserve our respect. They will not be fooled like the young white boys seem to be on here.

    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  17. Bill

    Can you smell what Barack's got cookin!!!!

    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Stephen Carr Thompson, Jr.


    I wanted to point out something about the state. You keep looking at Richmond City for Republican results. You should be looking at Chesterfield County which is much larger, suburban, and more conservative. Also Chesapeake has not shown up yet. That is another very large conservative city.

    As for the Dems...all I can say is we are kicking butt tonight in our number of votes cast.


    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. bifemmefatale

    Auuuugh! It's Latinos, NOT Latino's! Shame on you, CNN. Apostrophes are for possessives and contractions, never plurals!

    February 12, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. barry

    LOL at people comparing obama to Bush because people "like" him. He's likeable, but he's not obviously a dimwit like Bush.

    Hillary knows best? Why?

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  21. Alecki

    Forgive me but this feels like a civil war.

    Hillary didn't think she would win the blacks vote. Why would she

    This isn't a rock concert.

    We need to have experience.

    Go girl!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |

    Expect Hillary to cry any minute. Why didn't she cry when 9/11 happen or Katrina? Hillary campaign is in trouble big time. We don't need Hillary or super delegates. Go Obama and yes we can.

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Papa Roach

    Wow Wow Wow.....

    This is really bad news for Hillary and gang...

    I bet ya $2.00 Hillary will cry tonight on stage in Texas... I bet ya!

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Rob

    All you who say Obama can't beat McCain but Clinton can...are you serious? What planet are you on? Yes, perhaps some Republicans are voting for Obama in some of these primaries, but maybe that's because they are soft Republicans who actually like Obama's message and don't want McCain as their nominee. McCain is uninspiring and has a 1 track mind and has no clue on how to fix the economy, health care, the mortgage crisis, and every other domestic issue that is crushing the American people right now.

    Without Obama in the race, voter turnout would be anemic like usual for primaries. He is engaging Americans from all races, gender, creed, economic and social status.

    Republicans WANT Clinton to be the nominee because independents will go for McCain in that situation. Independents don't want Hillary.

    I'm really glad to see that Obama beat Clinton in ALL demographics. Race....Gender...Education....Wealth...Age He beat her in all those categories. In this wasn't NY or CA. This was a southern state. The home state of Pat Robertson. He is a once in a generation candidate.....more and more very similar to JFK.

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Doug

    Hmm, Let's see. Obama is winning elections much like Bill Clinton did in the 90's. He wins most of the Black vote, and a fair majority of White voters. I think somebody forgot to tell the rest of us in America that we're supposed to coronate Hillary Clinton.

    February 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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