The Exit Polls: What Was Behind Tuesday’s Vote

Posted March 5, 2008 at 12:36am

Exit polls based on samplings in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont show an electorate concerned about the economy and their personal finances, and Democratic voters in the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton camps who concede some of the virtues of the other candidate. The theme of change is still a major factor but not by as much as in earlier primaries. The Hispanic voter turnout in Texas may be headed for a record, and Clinton has a big lead among them.

Check out also Greg’s Giroux’s analysis of the Ohio exit polls in *Net Results*.

From CNN:

– Early exit poll results showed Clinton ahead of Obama among Hispanic voters by 64 percent to 35 percent – a must for her. Black voters were supporting Obama by an 83 percent to 16 percent margin.
– In Texas, 26 percent of Republican primary voters said the economy was the top concern, followed by 23 percent who cited terrorism, 21 percent who noted Iraq, and 16 percent who said illegal immigration.
– In Vermont, more than two-thirds of women, and roughly 60 percent of voters age 65 and higher — usually the core of Clinton’s support – went for Obama, in part, because they preferred him on the issue of Iraq.

From MSNBC for Ohio:

– White voters made up 75 percent of the turnout, and Clinton led among them by 61 percent to 38 percent. Black voters accounted for 19 percent of the turnout, and Obama led 89 percent to 11 percent.
– Obama led 67 percent to 32 percent among the 16 percent of voters under 29. Clinton led 67 percent to 23 percent among the 23 percent over 65. The differences were less sharp for voters between those age groups.
– Clinton led 63 percent to 36 percent among the quarter of voters whose education stopped with high school graduation. Obama did better among more educated voters, but not by as large a margin.
– Eleven percent of voters didn’t make up their minds until today and, of them, they broke for Clinton by 52 percent to 46 percent.
– Obama and Clinton ran within about 6 points or less of each other on three top issues: the economy, Iraq and health care. Fifty eight percent of voters cited the economy as the top issue compared to 19 percent each for Iraq and health care, and on the economy, Clinton led 52 percent to 47 percent.

Associated Press toplines:

– As polls have been showing for weeks, the economy was the foremost campaign issues for voters in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.
– Two-thirds of Democratic voters in Texas said they were very or somewhat worried about their personal financial situation, and seven out of 10 answered similarly in the three other states.
– In Ohio, 80 percent of voters blamed international trade for taking away more jobs than it creates.
– Four in ten Clinton voters in Texas and Ohio say that Obama inspires some about the future of the country while one in seven Obama voters conceded that Clinton was more qualified to be commander-in-chief.
– More than two-thirds of white women and older voters stuck with Clinton in Ohio. Obama won more than 9 in 10 blacks, who were about one-fifth of the voters in Ohio. Clinton won the votes of 6 in 10 white men.
– One-fifth of voters in Ohio said race was an issue for them, and among them, eight of ten went for Clinton.
– John McCain was giving Mike Huckabee a run for his money among white, evangelical Christians who made up about 40 percent of the Republican vote.

From CBS News:

– Thirty-two percent of Texas primary voters are Hispanic — up from the 24 percent in 2004. In Ohio, 20 percent are African American, compared to 14 percent in 2004. Eighteen percent of Texas primary voters today are black, compared to 21 percent in 2004.
– In both Ohio and Texas, a majority of Democratic voters say superdelegates should cast their vote based on the results of the primaries. A third say the superdelegates should support the candidate who has the best chance of winning in November.

From ABC News:

– The ability to bring change trumps experience in voters minds by 20 points in Ohio and 15 points in Texas, but that was lower than Wisconsin where the margin was 32 points.
– Turnout among women looks to be up in Texas and Ohio.
– Early exit polling suggests a smaller-than-previous turnout among union voters in Ohio.