May 20th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Obama gaining support with key Clinton demographics

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Clinton was introduced by her husband at a campaign event in Louisville, Kentucky Monday."]
(CNN) – A day after Sen. Hillary Clinton declared that the Democratic nomination fight was “nowhere near over,” polling data released Tuesday suggest Clinton is losing ground with key demographic groups that have powered her campaign so far.

Sen. Barack Obama’s 16-point lead over Clinton in the latest Gallup daily tracking poll of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters comes from even higher support among groups that have been supporting him throughout the primary race, and from newfound support among several groups that have backed Clinton.

Obama leads or ties Clinton among women, Easterners, whites, adults with no college education, and Hispanics, with the New York senator’s support now below 50 percent in each group, according to Gallup. Both are backed by 47 percent of white voters surveyed, and Obama is essentially tied with Clinton – 47 percent to 46 percent – among Democrats whose education level is a high school diploma or less.

Clinton’s advantage among women overall seems to have evaporated, with Obama now holding a lead within the survey’s three point margin of error, 49 percent to 46 percent. Hispanics favor Obama over Clinton by 7 percentage points, 51 percent to 44 percent. And Obama now leads among voters in Eastern states by 9 percentage points over Clinton – 52 percent to 43 percent.

Clinton’s standing with whites has fallen by five percentage points during the month of May. With Hispanics, Clinton has lost eight percentage points in the same time period. Clinton’s support with Easterners has fallen by seven percentage points and with women, Clinton has last four percentage points in May. Women age 50 or older is the only major demographic group where a majority, 52 percent, still support the New York senator.

Obama’s support among voters with postgraduate education, voters with monthly incomes of at least $5000, and men – has grown to the point that, he now leads Clinton by a margin of 2-to-1. Among voters 29 or younger, Obama leads Clinton by a margin of nearly 3-to-1.

Gallup’s results released Tuesday are based on a survey of 1,261 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters using combined data from May 16-18, 2008. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. Gallup’s May 1-13 daily tracking poll results are based on a survey of 5,474 Democratic or Democratic-leaning voters. The May 1-13 survey results have a margin of error of plus or minus one percentage point.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Polls
soundoff (600 Responses)
  1. Alex in San Diego

    I think you may be right! Hillary isn't losing ground, it's a CNN trick.
    Quick call all the Superdelegates and tell them to stop herding towards Obama. We've been Duped!!!

    Whew!!! That was a close one. Good thing Hillary supporters are so sharp. I would have totally missed that one.

    May 20, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. JLee

    Thank you David from Santa Rosa – good answer – well said and my sentiments exactly!

    May 20, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. Zein

    its time for hillary to realize that she has the race its time for her to get that the math doesn't favor her .
    She fails to realize that the math doesnt favor ? She has failed to realize that everything has lost her way . All she is doing is scream " omg omg i got the whites.. omg omg they love me ? " Its time she quit her sexism nonsense, She is a racist .
    Go barack obama .
    Lets all unite behind Obama and beat John granny mccain .
    Johnny should be in a Retirement home !

    May 20, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Steven

    Sen. Clinton is still in this because 17 million people have voted for her so far, and she is their representative in this race. How can that be so hard to understand?

    Ted Kennedy was behind over 700 delegates when the primary was over, and he did go on to lose at the convention (700 is a huge deficit, compared to the one now) to Jimmy Carter. HE WENT TO THE CONVENTION and no one said a word about it.

    Polls have changed on a dime throughout this election season.

    May 20, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. K

    I'm with you Gayle! I believe that Obama is getting support from these delegates because he is inexperienced, malleable and controllable. If he gets the democratic nomination, he will not win this election, he can not beat McCain. Clearly, Clinton is a very strong experienced woman who will not back down, will fight for what is right and will not let others control her. GO HILLARY!

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Samuel T. Horton

    As far as this 'data' is concerned. Its amazing I cant find a single source to back up this claim.

    Would CNN mind releasing the data and breaking it down so we can see who was polled and in what numbers?

    I dont buy this sudden and obnoxious turn around in voter attitudes all of a sudden .It doesnt make common sense in the slightest.

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Fellow Democrat

    Dear Democrats,

    I started off the 08 election season a Hillary fan, thinking her senate career had made her better, and yes I thought that she would be better than Bill. But then Obama winning made her old "fighter" come out again. I switched over, because we are tired of war, of politics, of divisive styles that pits one American against another. Sen. Clinton continues to drum the divisions and is actually playing all kinds of cards saying that because these groups of Americans support her, she should win... It is all about getting elected, it is all about pandering to one group of voters or another... one day it is the white men from WVa, the next it is women of NY.. She is skewing math every which way. She is looking at map and dividing the country between high turn out and low turn out and blue states and red states... Enough!

    Despite my total lack for her as an individual politician at this moment, I would STILL vote for her IFshe was to be the Democratic Party candidate. That is my conviction. That is my resolve at this point.

    Because a DEMOCRAT is who we need in the white house. It don't matter what color s/he is, what gender s/he is, what his or her economic back ground. None of it matters.

    We, the Democrats, need a Democrat our OUR house.

    So, please, stop this hate this and hate that, and i'll never vote this or never vote that...

    Let us vote for our 2008 Democratic Party Candidate!!!

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. jojo

    once again, pro-obama, sexist media promoting faux or slanted stats to try and gain control of voters on important primary day...shame on you...obama will never get this female democrat's vote, and this will be the first time in this generation of females for several years female (and male) democratic ancestors must be rolled over in their graves at the ignorancy of the people who support obama and his lack of experience...i'm appalled about him thinking he can talk any sense w/ these foreign leaders...he talks of change, unity and hope...when all is said and done, if he's elected, we'll all be left hoping a whole lot: hoping we aren't going to hell in a handbasket before the next election to GET HIM OUT!

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. isis dagmar

    Dallas TX: I think doing any research about Obama will unearth a lot of substance, although no candidate is perfect.

    I think the thing that first made me really focus on Obama, back when it looked impossible for him to win, was his speech against the Iraq War. People say that it doesn't matter what he said because he wasn't voting in the Senate, but he still gave a very public speech outlining his reasons for opposing it: had we actually achieved a victory, which at that point I think most people thought we would, that would have had awful ramifications for his political career, so I think that was quite a principles, brave thing to do. And moreover, if you read his speech (which you should), he was right. He could see all the reasons why the war was a mistake, and he wasn't afraid to say it.

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. Abe

    She was my choice and I have contributed to her compain twice, but I'll swallow my pride and vote Dem even if she is not the nominie. I am not stupid to vote for third term of Bush in the form of McCain just because my candidate is not the nomenie.

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |


    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Jane, College Park, MD

    Supporters of both candidates need to grow up, else, you will totally turn Independents off – PERMANENTLY.

    Hillary supporters should not behave like spoiled little brats, and Obama supporters should not kick those who are already down.

    The goal is to send the Republicans to political purgatory. Do not lose sight of that. You all need to grow up, right now!

    May 20, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. John Tiller in Dallas Texas

    Well I am glad to see her still moving on. Whiny Obama is going to get eaten alive by the republican machine. He is already telling his opponent to be nice to he and his wife. What a sissy.

    Clinton is the tough one!

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. 50 Plus

    Dallas, TX May 20th, 2008 1:10 pm ET said

    "I guess I need to know why all these people support Obama. I just don't see any substance."

    Guess what! I know which president doesn't have substance.
    I will vote for OBAMA because I see substance. I am not responsible for those who intentionally have myopic views. America is a Democracy and the majority begs to differ.

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. johnd

    jmarie is right. Clinton has suffered some from sexism, but she has benefitted far more from reverse sexism. Women write that they don't know Obama's policy positions, but his are detailed while Hillary's are not (unless you count "form a commission"). They write that Hillary speaks for all women; duck now – sniper fire! (Or filegate, or travelgate, or vast right-wing conspiracy, or illegal fundraising, or ...). All the men I know who don't want to vote for Hillary wish they could. But none see a difference between her and any other candidate who will say and do anything to obtain power. We all know as truth that Hillary is a power-hungry liar who doesn't care about her constituents (she would already be out of the race if she did). So, what we have to do is bring those sexists, racists and under educated voters her support Hillary back into the fold. I guess Hillary has to be the VP. What a shame to saddle the first truth-telling cadidate in memory with that sorry baggage, but this is still politics thanks to the sexist, racist and foolish people who still support Hillary.

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Pat in AZ

    As a 50 something woman not registered with either party, let me go on record as saying that Hill/Billy Clinton does NOT represent anything about me. It's too bad that the first female candidate has to be this one.

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. SO

    Why is it that CNN never publishes anything critical of it's position or Obama?

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. sue

    jmarie wrote "media has not been s e x i s t ... "

    jmarie, which planet are you from?

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Sarah

    To :Former Obama Supporter

    I believe there is no such thing as a former Obama suporter. You were never really for him perhaps, but were maybe leaning and changed your mind...but to say you're a former Obama supporter is not the truth.

    May 20, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Irwin,Thousand Oaks, CA

    Great news for the general election, if this polling is accurate! It appears the only ones Obama won't be getting are the openly racist voters from 'blue-collar' states, who have bought into the myth that minorities are the cause of their problems, rather than the greed of businesses and their Republican supporters. With Obama a living wage, health care and job protection will be on its way. It'll be a battle with any president, but less so with Obama.

    May 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. yvonne from Texas

    I really do not believe in those polls. How come nobody has called me to count my vote on the polls. I just think thats a way to scare people off into thinking one is ahead of the other.......HILLARY 08-16

    May 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. ANGIE


    May 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. KATHY1

    Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! You go President Barack Obama, you go!!! The voters are now coming together on one accord, to see that this country is given back to the American voters and not to the Washington Repugs conservatives, the wannabees, and the lobbyists.

    Let's stay on this road and we can get back to the nation our fore fathers planned for us to be. Don't let the Repugs goad us by their fear mongering tactics. We need to think and research for ourselves. We see where the Repugs fear has put us for the last 8 years, practically in the poor house.

    Let's go with that and let the Repugs know that this is the Democrats time to "heal" this country; starting, with our soldiers and our war veterans. They should have been on the top of the list years and years ago, they have protected and died for us, now they are begging for their benefits or living in cardboard boxes on the streets in the dead of winter. How sad is that? These people fought to keep us safe and we can't return the favor because of the red tape. They should have a b-line straight to the head of the benefits table. Dem's lets do this for the good of the country, let's make this change for 2008. Let's send the Repugs a "clear message" that their fear tactics won't work this time because we see it for what it is; their "wallets."

    May 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Concerned Democrat

    I wouldn't take this as a sign that the party will unite. Poll numbers can be manipulated to show what ever the pollster desires based upon the individuals questioned as well as demographics. I still think that there is a divide that Sen. Obama will not be able to heal. In particular, at least in Michigan, there is a lot of resentment toward his candidacy. A poll taken here after his last campaing event showed about half of the people thought he was just politics as usual and that his visit was too little too late.

    May 20, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Rick in Oregon

    Much like JFK picking LBJ, Obama needs to pick Clinton. It would be an amazing and historic ticket and once they are on the same team, they will take their amazing clout and change the world.

    I know that a lot of you think that this is a bad idea, but if you look back to when the Clintons got in the WH, they were the "outsiders". In many ways they still are. She is not a part of the political machine nearly as much as the media would like you to believe.

    Let go of your hatred. Let go of your fear. Think about the amazing potential that the two of these amazing candidates have in working together.

    May 20, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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