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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 05:51 PM ET, 02/14/2008

Democratic Demographics: Past and Future

Here's an update on last month's demographic preview. The first table shows the change from 2004 exit polls among key demographic groups. Below that you'll find demographics from the 2004 National Election Pool exit polls for all the remaining states where exit polling was conducted.

The strong turnout in Democratic contests so far has produced a few noteworthy trends:

1) Women made up a greater share of the electorate almost across the board, but the increase did not uniformly benefit Clinton. One reason is that while turnout among female voters was up, not much of the bump came from white women, one of Clinton's core constituencies. White women increased significantly as a share of the electorate only in Louisiana and decreased sharply in California and Delaware.

2) In most states, younger voters are up as a percentage of all voters, older voters are down. Some of the biggest age shifts occurred in this week's Maryland and Virginia primaries, with voters under 30 increasing their share by six percentage points and seniors dropping eight points in both states. With those changes, there were as many young voters as old ones in Maryland and Virginia; in 2004 seniors outnumbered those under 30 by nearly 3 to 1.

3) Black voters are up in some states, particularly in the south, but down in others where the Hispanic population has increased a lot (e.g., Florida, Virginia and New York). In Delaware, the 12-point jump in the percentage of voters who were African American provided a big boost for Obama; he won there despite losing white voters by double-digits. At the same time, white voters increased as a share of the electorate only on Clinton's home turf: New York.

The table below shows the change from 2004 for each of the groups we highlighted in last month's post, plus the change among college educated voters.

Jan. 3
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Iowa   +3     NA*   NA*   NA*   +5   -5   NA*
*Race and education not available in Iowa.
Jan. 8
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
N.H.   +3     -1     0     0    +3   +1   -1
Jan. 26
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
S.C.   +4     -8    +8     0    +5   -3   -5
Jan. 29 
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Fla.   +4     -3    -2    +3    +3   -7   +7
Feb. 5
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Ariz.  +3     -4    +6    +1    +1   -6   +3
Calif. +1    -16    -1   +14    +5   -3   -7
Conn.  +6     -7    +2    +4    +5   -9   +5
Del.   +3    -15   +12    +4    +1   -1   -9
Ga.    +7     -6    +4     0    +7   -9  +10
Mass.  +4     -5    +1    +2    +5   -7   +5
Mo.    +4     -6    +2    +3    +5   -5   -7
N.Y.   +1     +5    -4    -1    +7   -6   +8
Okla.   0      0    -2    +2    +3   -6   +5
Tenn.  +5     -7    +6    +2    +6   -4   -2
Feb. 9
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
La.    +6     -1    +2    -1    +3   -2   -3
Feb. 12
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Md.    +4     -5    +2    +1    +6   -8    0
Va.    +1     -2    -3    +3    +6   -8   +3

Percentages listed below represent the size of each group's vote in the state's 2004 Democratic primary (e.g. 52 percent of Wisconsin Democratic voters were women, 61 percent of voters in the Vermont Democratic primary were college educated, etc.)

Feb. 19
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Wisc.  52     89      6     3   11   20   45   
March 4
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Ohio   52     81     14     3    9   22   37
R.I.   55     89      4     4    8   30   59
Tex.   53     52     21    24   10   19   42
Vt.    51     97      1     1   10   22   61
March 11
State Women White Black Latino 18-29 65+ Clg.
Miss.  58     40     56     3    7   31   34

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  05:51 PM ET, 02/14/2008

Categories:  Exit polls

 
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