McCain Finds Momentum; Dems Set for Showdown


Half of Democratic voters are liberals, slightly more than in 2004 (47 percent) and considerably more than in 2000 (43 percent) and 1992 (31 percent). Clinton won broadly among liberals and moderates, but split the conservative vote with Obama and Edwards.

The key to Obama's overwhelming victory in South Carolina was the record turnout among blacks. While Obama claimed 73 percent of the black vote, African-Americans were a smaller share of voters here (19 percent) compared with South Carolina (55 percent). Among Hispanics – 12 percent of voters – Clinton beat Obama by 29 points, and she won among whites by 30 points.

Obama has consistently appealed to high-end voters – those with higher incomes and higher education – but Clinton beat Obama across the board. Among those with income of $100,000 or more, Clinton won by 16 points. Among college graduates she won by a more modest 6 points.

Florida Democrats and the Issues

Among Democratic voters, 55 percent said the economy was the most important issue facing the country, followed by a quarter who cited the war in Iraq and 18 percent who said health care. Clinton won each group, with sizable advantages among "economy" voters (18-point edge over Obama, 50-32 percent) and health care voters (19 points over Obama, 52-33 percent). Her lead was smaller, 8 points, among those who said the war in Iraq was the top issue, 45-37 percent over Obama.

Half of Democratic voters said they were primarily looking for a candidate who could "bring about needed change," and Obama beat Clinton 51-36 percent among these voters. But Clinton had a much larger advantage among voters who most valued experience, beating Obama 83 to 3 percent among this group that made up about two in 10 voters. Clinton also won among voters who sought a candidate who cared about them, as well as Democrats who voted for the candidate they thought had the best chance to win in November.

On Making History

Overwhelming majorities of Democratic primary voters think the country is ready for a woman or a black president. Seven in ten said so about a black president and more, 82 percent, for a woman president. But fewer said the country is "definitely ready" for either – only 29 percent said the country is "definitely ready" to elect a black president and 42 percent said the same about a woman president.

Eight in ten voters said they'd be satisfied if Clinton wins the nomination, but fewer, 70 percent, would be satisfied if Obama wins. Far fewer, 41 percent, would be "very satisfied" with Obama, while a majority, 54 percent, would be "very satisfied" with Clinton.

About half of voters said Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama was important in their vote, and Obama won this group, 47-40 percent over Clinton. Among those who said it was "very important," Obama won by 28 points, 59-31 percent. But among those who said the endorsement wasn't important, Clinton won by 35 points, 57-22 percent.

ABC News' Rich Morin, Pat Moynihan, and Scott Clement contributed to this report.

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