Pollster.com

Articles and Analysis

 

Clinton's Support from Women

Topics: 2008 , General , Hillary Clinton , The 2008 Race

Three different analyses in the last two days have looked at the demographic differences in recent presidential polls. While each has a different angle and emphasis, they collectively make intriguing and somewhat contradictory conclusions about Senator Hillary Clinton and her potential appeal to women.

A front page story by the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut and Matthew Mosk digs into the implications of this finding:

In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, Clinton led Obama by a 2 to 1 margin among female voters. Her 15-point lead in the poll is entirely attributable to that margin.

Yesterday, USA Today's Susan Page looked at a mash-up of Gallup polls on the nomination races taken since January and observes:

Clinton, in contrast, is a classic Democrat. She does best among women, Democratic partisans, older voters, and less-educated and lower-income workers. She trumps Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, her top rival and an African-American, among blacks.

That mix of support could help her win Democratic primaries, but she faces hurdles in the general election. She draws only 1 in 4 independents who "lean" Democratic, for example, and 1 in 4 white men in the Democratic sample.

ISO white men

Without stronger support among white men, who made up 36% of the electorate in 2004, "it becomes very difficult for a Democrat to win the White House," says political scientist Merle Black of Emory University.

Finally, an analysis posted earler today by Gallup's Lydia Saad examines three tests of a Clinton-Giuliani trial-heat since February and concludes:

Most notably, it appears Clinton would run no stronger among women than Kerry did in 2004 -- or, for that matter, than Al Gore did when running against Bush in 2000. On average in 2007, women prefer Clinton over Giuliani by a six-point margin -- 53% to 47%, respectively. That is not much different from women's four-point preference for Kerry over Bush in 2004, or the eight-point preference for Gore over Bush in 2000.

A Clinton-Giuliani race may be more striking for its impact on the male vote. Men favor Giuliani over Clinton by a 16-point margin in 2007. That compares with a 12-point lead among men for Bush over Kerry among 2004, and a 7-point lead among men for Bush over Gore in 2000.

All of this analysis -- intriguing as it is -- suggests a different question: Should we be doing this sort of micro-analysis of national trial-heat questions asked eight months before the primary season begins and almost a year and a half before the general election? While the horse race numbers often change as the campaign progresses, there is some logic in looking at the demographic patterns in the support of frontrunners like Clinton and Giuliani. These candidates are very well known, and voters have real opinions about them that will likely persist. Thus, these initial measurements of vote preference provide a good sense of the political landscape that all of the campaigns will confront.

Also, the trial heat match-ups in early primaries often show the same demographic patterns as the national surveys, as seems to be the case in the latest CNN/WMUR poll of New Hampshire. The crosstabs provided in the University of New Hampshire show Clinton leading Obama by nearly two-to-one (43% to 22%) among women, but by only two points (24% to 22%) among men.

 

Comments

Mark says: All of this analysis -- intriguing as it is -- suggests a different question: Should we be doing this sort of micro-analysis of national trial-heat questions asked eight months before the primary season begins and almost a year and a half before the general election?

I'm not sure if we have a choice. As someone who plans to vote for the democratic nominee, no matter who he or she may be (even if it's Dennis Kucinich), I'm afraid that I could end up in the minority again. This is the problem as I see it: Hillary could win the nomination and still lose the general to some unprincipled jackball like Mitt, becuase there might be enough misogynists out there who just won't vote for a woman, period, no matter what.

In that sense, Obama is a much safer nominee for the general, just becuase he appeals to a larger contingent of potential republican crossovers. We could argue about whether sexism or racism is a more invidious and persistent evil in American society, or about which might affect voting choices less... and if I'm wrong, I guess the opposite would be true.

I guess my hypothesis is that while there are more pro-Hillary democratic women than there are pro-Obama democratic women, and that contingent might be enough to swing the primary, there are more white male misogynist Republican voters who have a knee-jerk anti-Hillary position than there are white male racist Republican voters who have a knee-jerk anti-Obama position, and that everything else comes out to a wash in the general. If this is true, then Obama would have a better chance of beating whoever emerges as the Republican nominee.

And the only way we can avoid nominating Hillary or Obama and then having them lose the general on the basis of discrimination is by polling now, to understand which group of Republican haters is bigger...

____________________

CM:

Tekel - Why do you have to reduce everything down to whether there are white male misogynists or white male racists? It could have something to do with race or gender, but it could also just be that independents are more interested in voting for the candidate who is more charismatic, less a creature of establishment Washington, and has been consistently against the Iraq war.

____________________

CM:

Tekel - Why do you have to reduce everything down to whether there are white male misogynists or white male racists? It could have something to do with race or gender, but it could also just be that independents are more interested in voting for the candidate who is more charismatic, less a creature of establishment Washington, and has been consistently against the Iraq war.

____________________

timm0:

Has anyone thought to ask this question in a poll:

I will read through the list of candidates. Please tell me which ones you will absolutely, positively NOT vote for?

I'd love to hear what the answers are for that.

____________________

anon:

I would prefer to see poll numbers for EACH state individually that ask potetnial general elecion voters (not primary voters) their preferences. Polls that give you national results don't do any good when the general election will be decided by electoral votes.

____________________

Mark Blumenthal:

Timm0: Someone has. I just posted a recent example here.

Anon: Totally agree. We're working on it and should have statewide polls, charts and trends on Pollster very soon.

____________________

Joshua:

As fascinating as all this analysis is, I will not allow polls to influence my choice of candidate. Not before, not now, and certainly not in November 2008.

I implore everyone to look at the candidates' positions and choose whomever they feel is best suited to be President, regardless of their polling strength.

____________________

rblackbird:

I do not understand the remark that Obama would be the "safer candidate" for the Democrats. It is a mistake to assume that while sexism will be an important factor, racism no longer is. One of the failures of the news media so far in the campaign is to test the depth of racism in the country. We need to be realistic and stop assuming that America is ready to elect an African American as president. Many people do not like to admit their racial prejudices in polls. I think that the uproar over illegal immigration is a case in point. Would there be so much anger if, instead of having 12 million illegal Hispanics in this country, we had 12 million illegal Scandinavians? I don't think so. Even if racism could be surmounted, Sen. Obama does not have a sufficient record of distinguished service to pull it off. The proof lies in the support African Americans are giving Hillary. They know what's going on.

____________________

the topic is good

____________________

the topic is good

____________________

Al :

Can someone explain to me why there is any support for Hillary when she clearly voted for Amnesty and Benefits for Illegals when 99% of the country is AGAINST those items ! Do people just ignore those facts ? Help me understand if your a Hillary supporter ? Thanks

____________________

AL:

??

____________________



Post a comment




Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR