Exit Polls: Clinton's Win Broad and Deep
By Jon Cohen
Preliminary results from a CNN exit poll of 1,545 Democratic primary voters in Puerto Rico show that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won voters across the board there -- voters in each age, education and income category, both male and female -- even as women made up just 49 percent of the electorate, a lower percentage than in any previous nominating contest.
The average across Democratic primaries has been 58 percent female.
Sen. Barack Obama beat Clinton only among those voters who have a favorable view of Gov. Anibal Acevedo-Vilas, who endorsed the Illinois senator. Obama won these voters narrowly, 53 to 47 percent, but only 34 percent held positive views of their embattled governor. Obama lost the approximately two-thirds of Puerto Rican voters holding negative views of their governor by a 4 to 1 margin.
Clinton's better than 2 to 1 overall margin in Puerto Rico is in line with how she has done among Hispanic Catholics across all primaries so far: she won them 69 to 29 percent. Among all Hispanics, Clinton has outpaced Obama 61 to 35 percent in all previous contests with exit polls.
Clinton won the 83 percent of Democratic primary voters with a favorable view of former president Bill Clinton by better than 3 to 1.
As it has been stateside, the economy was again the top issue -- six in 10 called it the country's most pressing issue. Clinton won nearly three-quarters of "economy voters." Iraq was a distant second at 25 percent, and Obama did better among these voters than among those prioritizing either the economy or health care. More than eight in 10 voters said they disapprove of the war in Iraq.
About eight in 10 said Clinton could improve life on the island; only half said so of Obama.
Six in 10 said Puerto Rico should be a state; 35 percent said it should remain a commonwealth and 4 percent want it to be an independent country.
Matching the previous high (n Mississippi), 31 percent of voters said race was a factor in their vote. But those who said race was part of their voting calculus were somewhat less apt to vote for Clinton than were those who said race was not a factor.
Only 49 percent said they would be satisfied with Obama as the party's nominee; 55 percent said they would vote for him over McCain in the fall, if they were given a vote.
NOTE: Edison-Mitofsky conducted this exit poll exclusively for CNN; the other networks did not participate. These data may change as actual votes are tallied. The poll's margin of sampling error is approximately plus or minus four percentage points.
Web Politics Editor
June 1, 2008; 6:08 PM ET
Categories: The Pollster
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