Who’s winning each group
Groups that candidates are winning by eight or more percentage points, based on median support in available exit polling across Super Tuesday states
Exit polls across a dozen Super Tuesday states show former vice president Joe Biden won strong support from black voters, consolidated support among moderate and somewhat liberal Democrats along with a swing from late-deciding voters on his way to victories in eight states.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) led in the day’s biggest delegate prize — California — and held about even in Texas, boosted in both states by Hispanics, younger voters and the most liberal swath of voters.
The Post is analyzing the level of support in exit polling for the top four Democratic candidates in national polls and calculating the median support among a voting group across states where exit polling is available. Results show the strengths and weaknesses of each Democratic candidate, according to a survey of voters as they exited randomly selected voting sites.
Biden wins among black voters in Super Tuesday states
Share of support among black voters in Super Tuesday states
Black voters made up vastly varying shares of the Democratic primary electorate across the country today, from roughly 1 or 2 percent of voters in Maine and Vermont to more than 4 in 10 voters who cast a ballot in Alabama, according to exit polls. Black voters were also double-digit shares of the electorate in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
In almost all states where there were enough black voters to accurately poll, Biden dominated. He was supported by roughly 7 in 10 black voters in Alabama and Virginia and about 6 in 10 in North Carolina and Texas. The outlier: Massachusetts. There, black voters made up about 1 in 10 voters, and Biden edged out Sanders by only single digits.
Each candidate’s five most and least supportive groups
Based on median support in available exit polling across Super Tuesday states
Biden’s support was consistently drawn Tuesday night from voters who put a higher priority on beating Trump than on agreement with the candidate’s policy positions. A clear majority of voters prioritized electability in every state, according to exit polls. And in 9 out of 12 states, these voters favored Biden.
Biden’s support fueled by moderate and conservative voters
Share of support among moderate or conservative voters in Super Tuesday states
Biden clearly dominated among conservative and moderate Democratic primary voters across most Super Tuesday states, winning majorities of these voters in several states, and by sizable margins in every state except Colorado and Sanders’s home state of Vermont.
But exit polling found that in many states, Biden performed well not just among the segment of the Democratic electorate who considered themselves to be moderate or conservative, but also among the large share who called themselves somewhat liberal. In several Southern states he won these somewhat liberal voters by a wide margin — by roughly 2 to 1 over Sanders in Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Even in Sanders’s neighboring states of Maine and Massachusetts, as well as in Texas, Biden’s performance was on par with or slightly better than Sanders among these voters.
Voters who decided in the last few days backed Biden
Share of support among voters who decided in the last few days in Super Tuesday states
Late deciders heavily backed Biden, according to exit poll results, an indication of how much he was boosted by his resounding South Carolina victory and late endorsements by Klobuchar and Buttigieg.
Exit polls showed Biden won roughly 6 in 10 primary voters who decided in the last few days in Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama, and won about half of this group in Maine, Texas and Minnesota. Sanders won no more than 3 in 10 late deciders in any state except his home state of Vermont, where Sanders and Biden ran about even.
Hispanic voters boosted Sanders
Share of support among Hispanic or Latino voters in Super Tuesday states
Hispanic voters showed a strong preference for Sanders in the states where they made up the largest shares of the Democratic primary voters, exit polls show. About 3 in 10 voters in Texas identified themselves as Hispanic and just under half of them voters for Sanders. Biden got about 1 in 4 votes from Hispanics.
The share of Hispanic voters was slightly smaller in California, but Sanders won the group by a larger margin according to exit polling, capturing a majority of their votes. Biden got about 1 in 5, giving Sanders a margin of about 30 percentage points.
Exit polling from Super Tuesday states is below. Candidates who won a demographic group by eight or more percentage points are highlighted. The table also includes median support in states where data is available. Follow live election results from Super Tuesday states here.
Exit polls are results from a survey of voters as they entered randomly selected voting sites in Alabama, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia on primary day, March 3. Colorado results are based on a phone survey of early voters; polls in California, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas include phone interviews with early voters. The poll was conducted by Edison Media Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations. Results for typical characteristics have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Exit polling was not conducted in Arkansas or Utah. The question about socialism was not asked in Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts, Minnesota or Vermont. The median support level among the youngest voting bloc includes support in some states where 17-year-olds are allowed to vote in primaries.
Additional design and development by Chris Alcantara. Additional polling analysis by Claudia Deane and Jocelyn Kiley. Candidate illustrations by Ben Kirchner.
Originally published March 3, 2020.