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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 01:50 AM ET, 02/13/2008

Tale of the tape: Clinton vs. Obama

One helpful way to see the closely contested race between Clinton and Obama is to look across all 24 Democratic exit polls conducted by Edison-Mitofsky that included both candidates (there was an exit poll in Michigan, but Obama was not on the ballot there).

For example, Obama won black voters by large margins in each of the 20 contests that had exit polls and big enough samples of African Americans. Among whites, Clinton outpaced Obama by double-digits in 16 states; Obama was at least 10 percentage points better in three.

The score-sheet among white men is Clinton with eight double-digit wins, Obama with seven. Among white women, Clinton beat Obama by at least 10 points in 19 states; Obama topped her by that many in just one, his home state of Illinois.

A more complete record follows, showing each candidate's core constituencies as well as the voters who have been the most up-in-the-air. In some states, there were not big enough samples of subgroups to report, or one candidate had a more narrow edge over the other.

Number of states where candidate held a double-digit advantage:
                      Clinton   Obama   
Whites                  16         3
African Americans        0        20
Hispanics                9         1
Men                      2        13
Women                   11         7
White men                8         7 
White women             19         1
Democrats               11         8      
Independents             3        16
Age under 30             1        18 
Age 65 and up           17         1
Whites under 30          3        10
Whites 60 and up        19         1    
Top quality: 
     Change              0        22
     Experience         24         0
     Empathy            10         7
     Electability        6         6
Non-college             11         6
College or more educ.    2        13
Income under $50K       11         8
Income $50K and up       3        11
Top issue: 
     Economy            10         8
     Health care         9         6
     Iraq                2        12

By  |  01:50 AM ET, 02/13/2008

Categories:  Exit polls

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