March 12th, 2008
05:45 AM ET
14 years ago

Exit polls: Mississippi Democrats divide on racial lines

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Obama and Clinton supporters in Mississippi appear divided among racial lines."](CNN) - Mississippi Democratic voters were sharply divided among racial lines in Tuesday's primary, exit polls indicate.

As has been the case in many primary states, Obama won overwhelming support from African-American voters. They went for him over Clinton 91-9 percent.

But Mississippi white voters overwhelmingly backed the New York senator, supporting her over Obama 72 percent to 21 percent.

According to the Associated Press, only two other primary states were as racially polarized - neighboring Alabama, and Clinton's former home state of Arkansas.

The exit polls also indicated roughly 30 percent of Mississippi Democratic voters said race was an important factor in their vote, and 60 percent of those voters supported Obama.

In Ohio, roughly 1 in 5 voters said race factored into their decision. Roughly 60 percent of those voters picked Clinton over Obama.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Exit Polls • Mississippi
soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. California Voter

    And isn't that a big surprise. Blacks voted for a black. Let's not try and pretend that race is not an issue in this election. Don't think Obama and his campaign is not using race as an issue. Look at all the indignation before the South Carolina vote - Look at the statements of Obama's wife. Look at Oprah supporting Obama. It's an issue but it does not mean that Obama is more qualified or less qualified. The only concern I have about Obama regarding race is the separatist church that he has attended for the last 20 years. Makes one think twice about where he stands on race issues.

    March 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. dannE

    Jay: people can vote for whomever they believe is best for the country...YES there are some African Americans who are racist, but they are not the one's who have been angered about whites voting for whites (being that AA have been voting for the same whites since obtaining the right to vote). Whites (not all, you know who I am referring to) are the one's suggesting that Blacks are racist because they are voting for Obama.

    March 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Adam, Los Angeles

    I believe this to be indicative of past and presents wounds still being nursed. It's heartbreaking to see that the prevalence of racism and bigotry in the South is more than just a apparition or a whisper. It's very real.

    I hope Obama can bring healing.

    March 11, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. dsw

    race is only an issue in states that are already polarized, Obama has won many mid-western white-american states.

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Chuck in Oregon

    It is sad that race was even an issue. I had believed and hoped that America had moved beyond that. It is becoming obvious that is not the case. I can not believe my ears this evening when it was reported on CNN that there is a debate with in the Clinton camp as to should they give up on the African American Vote. Clintons should if anything be making concerted efforts to convince the America as well as the African Americans that they matter. This is something that should not be even considered or discussed by any candidate. The message that is sending is beyond comprehension or understanding.

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. jlunz

    I am not bashful.......I will not vote for an "African American" for President and will vote for MCain if I have to and I am a life long Democrat

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. DJS

    VOTE JOHN MCCAIN!!!!!!!!

    President of the United States 2009

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. sam

    If Obama is going to be the Democratic candidate,he is going to loose the November election without much fight...A vast majority of the white voters are not going to cast their vote to Obama . States like Missisippi ,Georgia or South Carolina doesn't really matter as all these seats are going to support GOP big time. Democrats you already lost ...Mccain will win easily.....

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. nht

    Try doing a story on how Obama's white support has plummetted. Would Obama get this vote if he was not half-white? Hmmm......

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. Ron

    from a die hard conservative. voted for reagan when 18 years old and always voted republican ever since. this barack won because he is black is discusting. i guess tiger woods wins because he is black. and michael jordan, and emmitt smith and all the greats. last i heard barack is 1/2 white also. what is this the1800's when one drop black all black. this is b.s. all of you should be ashamed. he is an american prue and simple. white black pink yellow or red. last time i looked i think he is actually brown in color not black.

    you people in media should stop all this talk of color and say he won because he won. we are tired of all the old style politics and yes i voted for obama and i am from texas and again a true conservative, like ron paul. for me to vote for a dem. ever, goes against everthing i am but i will tell you, i didn't leave the republican party they left me. but that is for another topic. stop the racial b.s. and get back to what matters to all of us.

    longview texas

    March 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Party Pooper

    Judy, Judy,Judy!!! Why dis the people of Mississippi? Hey! Don't underestimate the strength of Obama!!! Do you realize that many of the so called "black leaders" don't support Obama? They don't think he is "black enough"!!!

    Its amazing that so many people are focusing this campaign on race and Obama is not!!!

    March 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Independent

    We got no business "Nation building" with so much hate in our own country!!!

    March 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. Rachel, Portland OR

    Exit polls are lame. Why not just have one section of exit polls: American voters.

    Yeah, I know.. Wouldn't be very helpful for the campaigns, but still...

    March 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Santiago

    I am listening to CNN analysts talking about race. How do you explain that 80/90 percent of African American are voting for Obama. Isn't that a race issue? I think it is. Nevertheless, "race" is been treated as a bad word in this primaries, same as sex, but the reality is that both words are an issue. For some of us it matters; for some of us it doesn't. Please do not try to change the reality of the society where we live in. I do not blame African Americans for voting for Obama in the same way I do not blame women voting for Clinton.

    By the way, I am Latino. Does that matter?

    March 11, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. cheryl

    Of course it's about race, blacks are voting for him and the rest of the country is divided in who they are voting for. He's where he's at because of the black vote. That's not to say he can't do the job but don't kid yourselve in why he's got the votes he's got.

    March 11, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  16. Jay Dee, Victoria,B.C. Canada.

    Wow! Voting divided along racial lines? Who would ever have thought?
    Perhaps Geraldine was right after all.

    March 11, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  17. Yolie

    This is absolutely ridiculous. The media is what divides AMERICA! The media's perpetuation of the racial divide in this country is out of control. What is implied is that the United States is Divided and not United, therefore, how can we be the country that is looked at as a Powerhouse by other countries when we can’t get past this racial issue in this country. Obama has a white mother and an African father, but yet, all that is talked about is Black and African American and their support for him. Well, last time I checked The Dakota’s, Iowa, Washington State and a few other states are not predominately black, so explain that and he won those states.

    How do you think his mother feels when these comments are made? I support Barack, he is the Change in America that we need beginning with his ethicnicity. Obama bi-racial and whether you like it or not (all of you divisive Americans) this world will be Brown before it's over. Not, Black nor White, but Brown. God Bless the Divided States of America.

    March 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  18. missdot

    Race should not be the deciding factor in any campaign; however, some individuals are intent on focusing on race. I believe this factor is dividing the party; thereby, opening the door for McCain becoming the next president. Let me comment on the experience factor. What decisions have been made by Senator Clinton qualifies her for the Presidency? Her husband was President and Obama is qualified for the position. All of this fussing may cause the independents to voe for Mccain.

    March 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    Jay March 11th, 2008 8:34 pm ET

    SUPRISE. Obama winning in a state that's Democrats are 65% black. OMG! SHOCK!>/i>

    Hey MORON.....72% of whites voted for Hillary......OMG!! SHOCK!! racism in the deep south!!!!

    March 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  20. andrew

    Thaks Ferraro, if i understand no black person or white person should ever run for president based on their merits, looking at your statements. The world has just jumped two centuries back. Lord have mercy

    March 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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