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ABC News: Clinton & Obama Demographics

Topics: 2008 , The 2008 Race

In blogging last night on the new ABC/Washington Post poll on the 2008 primary match-ups, I overlooked some intriguing results from the in-depth ABC News analysis (also in PDF format with full results). Despite the flurry of attention received by challenger Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton continues to receive support from a majority of African American Democrats.

The ABC News analysis provides a helpful set of cross-tabulations on the Clinton-Obama-Edwards results (from the question that asked Democrats to choose from a field of 12 potential candidates):

01-22%20abc%20news%20table.png

Not surprisingly, Clinton does better among Democratic women (49%) than among Democratic men (30%). More intriguing is that Clinton's support is much stronger among those ABC labels as "mainline Democrats" (47%) than among "Democratic leaning independents." Since independents typically participate in caucuses and primaries less often than stronger partisans, these results suggest that Clinton's current standing among actual primary voters may be stronger than national polls suggest, at least for now.

But most intriguing of all are the results among African American Democrats. In the last two ABC News surveys (combined to yield a large enough subgroup for analysis), Clinton led Obama among blacks by a 53% to 27% margin [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]. Her lead over Obama is smaller (35% to 17%) among white Democrats. These early results suggest that Obama has considerable room to grow his support among African Americans nationally, especially if he is successful in the early primaries. On the other hand, absent an early breakthrough by Obama, Clinton may be in a much stronger position among black Democrats than conventional wisdom suggests.

UPDATE (3/2/07): The original ABC News release cited above included an incorrect result for the Clinton-Obama preference among African-Americans. According to an email received on 3/1/2007 from Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen, "the original ABC numbers were incorrect." They have subsequently updated the release to show the correct numbers: Clinton led Obama among African Americans by a 60% to 20% margin, not 53% to 27%.

 

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