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Ohio Update: Inside the Exits

Polls across Ohio -- with the exception of Sandusky County -- have now closed, but exit polling suggests the Democratic race is too close to call.

A look at those exit polls reveal a deeply divided Democratic electorate in Ohio.

Among all women, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) held a 54 percent to 45 percent margin over Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in Ohio; among white women that margin was far more pronounced with Clinton winning that bloc by a 2-to-1 margin.

Clinton also held wide margins over Obama among voters 65 years of age or older, voters living in rural areas and small cities and those who cited a candidate's experience as the key element in deciding their vote.

Obama, again, carried the black vote in Ohio by a huge margin -- nine to one. The Illinois senator also ran extremely strong among voters under 30, those with college degrees and those who cited a candidate's ability to bring about change as the key characteristic in making up their minds.

On issues, the economy was the top concern of nearly six in ten of those voters participating in the Ohio Democratic primary. Among that bloc, Clinton took 52 percent to Obama's 47 percent. The war in Iraq was the top issue of roughly one in five Ohio voters with Obama at 53 percent and Clinton 47 percent among those voters.

For more on where things stand all night long, make sure to check out the Democratic and Republican stories on

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 4, 2008; 8:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Ohio-Texas Down To The Wire
Next: Huckabee's Out; McCain Officially GOP Nominee


Hillary Clinton's endorsement of John McCain

Clinton's Military Supporters unable to site any Crisis she had been in charge of: ..Please listen up...It's dead silence.... 4.aspx

Posted by: msadvice | March 7, 2008 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Bloodbath is a reference to what is to come. Not what has occured yet. Of course, I'm speaking metaphorically.

Posted by: MNobserver | March 5, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Obviously you have not been a frequent visitor here.

If you're an Obama supporter, no problem for you.

Bloodbath? What a mischaracterization of the race; it indicts you as another overly zealous Obama supporter...

Posted by: vammap | March 5, 2008 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Do you hear yourself, vammap?

Obama supporters = "meanies"

I guess I don't monitor The Fix regularly enough to know for sure how people behave themselves, but I see this whole party nomination going down a very divisive path. There will likely be a lot of deep-seeded antipathies toward the opposing candidate by their supporters.

The late rally for Hillary when she's against the ropes (New Hampshire and now tonight) appears to be from white women especially who are empathizing with a woman who appears to be getting shafted. The man appears to be stealing it again.

But, how will African-Americans feel if Hillary wins? Once again, a white person/couple uses underhanded, divisive tactics to take away opportunity from a person of color. Don't forget South Carolina. Many have not.

Which of these two groups will feel good about the opposing candidate when this long, hard bloodbath is over?

Answer: none.
Winner: McCain

There's plenty of blame to go around. But, I think overall, it's fair to say that Obama has gotten where he is (on balance) without going negative. Clinton has gotten where she is (on balance) when she goes negative. Clinton claims Obama has only gotten where he is because he's given preferential treatment. I don't buy it. He's gotten where he is because a lot of people are uncomfortable with Clinton and want new leadership. Obama could just as easily argue that Clinton only started out as the heiress apparent because her husband was president.

Posted by: MNobserver | March 4, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Hillary tonight. She earned it. The race goes on.

Posted by: optimyst | March 4, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Right, where are all the meanies, I mean Obama pundits? What happened to HOPE tonight?

Posted by: vammap | March 4, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Listening to HRC in her speech, there will be no early exit - she says she is in it to the end. She looks fired up and reborn. That should put Republicans on CC's winners list tomorrow.

Posted by: dave | March 4, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

thank god Ohio has a brain, now it looks like Texas is swinging her way. :-)
where are all of the "he's going to crush her on March 4th" posters tonight?

Posted by: blevins20061 | March 4, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

FOX calls Ohio for HRC. And it's probably by more than 2%. Yes it is a HUGE win for HRC. It looks like she may win TX by a slim margin.

Posted by: dave | March 4, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Clinton appears to have retaken white women significantly in Ohio compared to previous contests.

Why? IF it's because she's been complaining about unfair treatment and it's working, then maybe Obama should try a George Costanza. See Season 8.

Here's the recap:
George is excited about the new apartment he is going to move into. George finds out the apartment has been pulled out from under him because the tenant association is going to give it to an Andrea Doria survivor who has played up his sufferings. George confronts his rival for the apartment and decides to wage war. From a suggestion by Jerry, George decides to fight fire with fire and asks for a hearing with the association and tells them the sorry story of his life. George and the survivor don't get the apartment.

Hillary has the power to complain. Women haven't gotten a fair shake in our society. Barack would have the power to complain too. African-Americans haven't gotten a fair shake either.

I think the outcome would be the same as the Seinfeld episode. Neither wins.

The apartment goes to John McCain. I think that's looking more and more like the outcome.

Posted by: MNobserver | March 4, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The sparcity of posts here means Fix self proclaimed pundits are, let's say, not having a very good night?

Aw shucks. And I thought we'd have a Hillary style celeb to commemorate what a little MO can do, when you're just having fun, just getting started.

Let's see if Chris can fix this outcome for his candidate?

Posted by: vammap | March 4, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, again, carried the black vote in Ohio by a huge margin -- nine to one."

Isn't this reverse racism?

Posted by: femalenick | March 4, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

CHRIS--please do me a favor, out of curiosity, could you take a map of those counties that voted for Kerry in states that have held primaries and eliminate them for argument sake and say that they are "democratic counties" Then, look at the vote totals between Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama in those counties that George W. Bush carried. Who is carrying more votes in the red districts? In other words, who is penetrating into those counties?

I bet Hillary has more of the "raw" vote in those areas....

Posted by: philip_cline | March 4, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

And Texas looks like a Clinton edge of just 1% per the exits. If that holds true (and that is a big if 'cause there's still a margin of error in exit polls), she will split the delegates at best, and probably lose delegates in the caucuses. Can she spin a 2% win in Ohio, a 1% win in Texas, with a net loss of delegates to be a true game changer at this stage?

Also, does anyone have the details on the methodology, were these just based on today or do they include all of the early voting?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 4, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The NYTimes is reporting that the Clinton camp is considering filing a lawsuit at worst or just complaining nonstop at best about the Texas caucus system.

They are claiming that it disenfranchises voter who don't or can't go to the caucus.

Funny, no real problems with a caucus system any of the other elections. Perhaps their problem is that they consistently lose them.

Obviously, what we need to do is change the rules.

Posted by: steveboyington | March 4, 2008 9:22 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary stays in after tonight, she will be remembered as this election cycle's version of Ralph Nader in 2000.

Time to move on ...

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 4, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary stays in after tonight, she will be remembered as this election cycle's version of Ralph Nader in 2000.

Time to move on ...

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | March 4, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

why the spin? Cspan is reporting that Obama carried college grads by 4% , but your post chris implies more.

NOt good, not honest.

Posted by: newagent99 | March 4, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Hillary is the winner. Can she remain viable with a Texas loss, though?

Posted by: parkerfl | March 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

We are very much in a state of change. Witness the numbers of democrats versus the numbers of republicans. Witness the strength of Obama versus the Clinton Machine. 2008 is the second American Declaration of Independence.......

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 4, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

This is a repost from the other thread since it's a bit more appropriate here:

Based on CNN's Ohio exit polls (, I averaged most of their columns (for instance, on gender Obama was(52*0.41)+(45*0.59) = 47.87%), and the results I got were:

Clinton: 49.5%
Obama: 47.0%

With a few Obama leaning counties still open, and this being the state Clinton has had the bigger lead on, those numbers can't be too comforting. A thin popular vote win and a probable delegate split, you really have to stretch the bounds of reason to call that a huge victory, but I'm sure the Hillary folks will be around (probably near 3am) to declare just that.

I wonder, as far as spin goes, we probably won't get a final call until late in the evening (and miss the morning paper cutoff), does that completely dampen any momentum Clinton may have been able to declare for Ohio?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 4, 2008 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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