February 19th, 2008
09:42 PM ET
14 years ago

Exit polls: McCain and the conservative vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/john.wisc.jpg caption="McCain speaks to supporters at a rally in Brookfield, Wisconsin."]
(CNN) - Half of Wisconsin’s Republican primary voters who said they were very conservative cast their ballots for Mike Huckabee, according to early exit polls. But John McCain, who has been wooing that key GOP voting bloc, managed to pull in 40 percent of that group. Forty-nine percent of somewhat conservative Republicans went for McCain, as did 66 percent moderate voters followed suit.

Evangelical voters still flocked to Huckabee, a one-time Baptist minister.

Overall, McCain and Huckabee split the nearly two-thirds of Wisconsin Republicans who identified themselves as conservatives, with both candidates

taking 45 percent. Ron Paul, the only other Republican still in the race, drew 5 percent of the conservative vote and Mitt Romney – no longer an active candidate - drew 3 percent.

In Wisconsin, 76 percent of the GOP voters said they'd be satisfied if McCain is the GOP nominee. Forty-eight percent said McCain's positions were "about right," but 44 percent said he was "not conservative enough."

Filed under: Exit Polls • Wisconsin
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. cajun joe

    Go pollute articles about obama and clinton with your stupid comments. This is about McCain, the next President of the United States.

    February 19, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. joanna

    I am voting for McCain if Obama is chosen as the Democrat's candidate, I want an experienced politician to run this country not a no substance-inexperieced-empty-words-half-baked-politician. McCain wil trounce the pants off Obama. But Hillary is still my favorite candidate.

    Hurrah for Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  3. Rich

    I don't think your GOP poll is too accurate.
    No one ever asked me if I would be happy to see McCain be the nominee, which I wouldn't, and I don't know anyone who would be.
    I wonder... another fixed election?

    I am happily dropping out of the GOP and I am sure their numbers will go down dramatically. McCain will lose in the end unless some more fixing is in the works.
    In essence, the country will lose because it fails to wake up and smell freedom. rEVOLution is upon you.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  4. james

    Here's an interesting fact Obama won more than twice as much votes as McCain, and Hillary won about twice as much votes as McCain. So who's the real loser here, McCain.

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  5. Jeanne

    It's very disappointing for the Nebraska voters that don't even get to have a say on the republican nomination. I did everything i could from a distance by making phone calls to Maryland, Virginia, Kansas, etc... since I don't get to vote this is the only way I can influence the people that get to. What a great country we live in. I'm glad that Michelle Obama is finally proud of this country for the first time in her life. I'm NOT!!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. Chris

    Huckabee is fast becoming a big joke. In not sure why CNN pundits make such a big deal of Huckabee who is a dead man walking. Most Republicans see him as driven by self interest at this point. I live in North Carolina, so my primary vote is meaningless, but even if I was considering Huckabee, I would vote for McCain even though he is not my first choice, because its time for Republicans to circle the wagons. Since Mike Huckabee insists on standing in the way, its time to give him a smack down. Its time for all Republicans to get behind McCain and focus in winning in November. Democrats are whiners and Republicans are winners. Huckabee is acting (yet again) like a Democrat. We can and must unite as soon as possible and march in lock step. Mr. Huckabee, be a part of the winning strategy, rather than being an anchor on the Party by deviding it.

    February 19, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  7. Phil N

    Has anybody checked Obama's record? Oh, that's right, he votes "present," therefore really does not have one to speak of. In terms of who can get things done, and create CHANGE, man I'm starting to hate that word, it would be McCain. He has a history of reaching across the aisle, whether it be with Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, or Joe Lieberman. I'm not crazy about his war position or some other positions; but here is a proven man, who has attempted to clean some things up, won't stand for corruption, will try to work with Dems, Republicans and Independents.

    The cooling off period of 8 months between now and the general election will be beneficial to the American public. Perhaps some of you bloggers will spend a minute and stop drinking the Obama Kool-Aid and see if there is any sizzle to the steak.

    I too, love to hear the man speak, but I'm not ready to make a leap of faith. See me again in 2016, when Obama has served two senate terms and perhaps has backed his words with some tangible accomplishments.

    Neo-Cons – why do you insist that if you can't have your man, Mitt, or Mike, or Fred, you'll vote for Obama and just blow it all up? I just don't get it. Then again, I don't understand how anyone can be masochistic enough to spend their afternoons listening to Rush.

    A Centrist in VA....

    February 19, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  8. joanna

    I used to think of CNN as moderate, fair and balanced in its political comments, but no more. CNN you have lost my respect , you are no better than Fox News. You have really sunk low in my estimation because you have given so much more free air time to Obama than you have to Clinton. I suppose, in your estimation, any candidate as long as he is a male is a better choice than the very best female

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Mark from NC

    The so-called conservative voters threatening to support Obama in the general election are beneath contempt. Seriously, you people sicken me. Obama is the ANTITHESIS of everything conservatism is supposed to be about:

    Obama will institute a nanny state and expand government to a degree that we haven't seen the Great Society. He's promised to raise taxes thus exacerbating our economic problems. He'll declare failure in Iraq thus creating even greater havoc in the middle east. Finally, he'll appoint as many liberal judges as humanly possible – ensuring that several million more unborn babies die. Oh yeah, and he's promised to play kissy poo with the leader of every terrorist state out there. So WHY would any conservative vote for a dangerous socialist like Obama? Oh yeah. To teach the Republican party a lesson, right?
    Is McCain the perfect conservative candidate? Hell no! (Can you say McCain Feingold?) But he sure as hell wouldn't drive our economy into a deeper recession from excess spending combined with tax increases. He wouldn't put our country at risk with a naive, pacifist foreign policy. And he wouldn't put the Right to Life movement back another 30 years. Those are ALL things that Obama has promised. So you conservatives disgust me. Obviously you care more about your movement than the country as a whole.

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. joanna

    Canadian neighborg,

    Who in hell cares what canadians think! We haven't annexed you yet.

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  11. Mike in NYC

    Spatton says:

    "This is the most dangerous man living today. Why you ask? Because he thinks hes God. When will people wake up. Very very scary!!!!!"

    Apparently a lot of people without two brain cells to rub together think he's God, too.

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. Glenn

    What most fail to realize is that none of these candidates can do anything they promise without the senate and congress!
    So if you are only voting on what they promise ...you will end up sorely disappointed.
    Campaign promises only give you an idea of their vision.
    They should be part of your selection process but you should also consider integrity, qualifications, truthfulness, their ability to work with others of difering beliefs and their judgement in picking quality people to surround themselves with.

    For me that person is John McCain!

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  13. Frank

    McCain the next POTUS?!? Only if Hilary is the nominee. And if that happens then we are really screwed either way. Lets hear it for 100 more years in Iraq!

    February 19, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  14. We Can Do Better

    Wow! What a lop-sided turnout between Dems and Repubs. I think Wisconsin is an auto win for Dems in General Election.

    February 19, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. jan

    Obama is attracting supporters who believe that he will deliver what he promises and by voting for him are entitled to whatever they ask for. And although he may be sincere, he will not be able to deliver on his promises because he has never accomplished anything in Washington and doesn't know how to do it. George Bush took over a Lose/Lose situation after 9/11. He was "dammed if he did and dammed if he didn't" go after terrorists, try to fix a failing educational system, equalize economic opportunity, etc., but he kept his promises despite being maligned by the press, and abandoned by the very people he was trying to protect. We have not been attacked again by terrorists and have a feeling of relative safety, the school system is improving despite all the belly-aching by do nothing educators, and we have lots of new tax breaks and incentives. Give the guy credit for delivering on these things and many more. But Obama will fail, even though he is sincere, because he is sincerely wrong.
    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    February 19, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. deborah

    jan-Wake up!! Wake up!! George W. Bush is the Terrorist and he has waged war on the American people. I don't know who will win this election, but any change will be an improvement.

    February 19, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  17. Peter from Canad 4 Obama

    Hillary doesn't have enough time as Obama, because all she said was I contibuted $5.miilion to support my campaign and I want you to visit my webside and dodnate.

    She obviously asking for money not campaign speech.

    For those fo you who want her to remain why don't donate to her campain?
    She will waste them as she always does.
    In Fact it is time you wirte a letter to beg her to step down.
    Why will she waste all those money when lots of people are hungery , lots of children are starving, lots of fello Americans are homeless and she can afford to waste people's money.

    She is losing her respect she can't win the nominee, so she should step aside folks.
    Accept defeat with respect and stop wining about CNN airtime.

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  18. jim

    Huckabee is working for Clinton!!! Ask youself why is Huckabee still in this race? He has no chance of winning. That was established a long time ago, even before Super Tuesday. So why does he remain. Does anyone see a connection here between the agenda of Huckabee and the Clintons. Consider they both are from Arkansas, so it no stretch of the imagination to see they know the same people. At first Huckabee's presence kept the conservative vote split, thus costing Romney the front runner position and thus the winner take all primaries went to McCain. And now his continued presence in the race keeps the Repulican race un-decided, which right now would be exactly what Hillary needs, buying Hillary time to sort out the race with Obama.

    So don't be fooled by all the spin talk.. Huck is there for Hillary.

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. val davydov, ma

    robert kilby,

    you are NO CONSERVATIVE if you are even considering voting for Obama. Obama has got NOTHING in common with your conservative views you are claiming to hold. He is as liberal as he can be and he is not even hiding it.

    February 20, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
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