Economy Casts Shadow Over Super Tuesday

Just over three-quarters (77 percent) of GOP voters today are party regulars as opposed to Independents.

But nationally, in all primaries, McCain is losing conservatives by 11 points — and they account for 64 percent of all GOP voters today. Conservatives are breaking 42 percent for Romney, 31 percent for McCain, 21 percent for Huckabee.

In many states he's come close enough among conservatives to have moderates carry him home. But it's a reminder nonetheless of the challenges McCain faces in the party's base.

Among "very" conservative Republicans, moreover, McCain get gust 19 percent to Romney's 48 and Huckabee's 25.

The difference for McCain — moderates — about a quarter of GOP voters (26 percent) break 52 percent for McCain, 24 percent for Romney, 13 percent for Huckabee.

Evangelicals Help Huckabee

Also on the Republican side, evangelicals account for about four in 10 of the party's voters, and a larger share than that in some Southern states.

In a close Republican race in Missouri, Huckabee is doing best among evangelicals, who account half of Missouri Republicans, and among voters who want a candidate who shares their values.

The evangelical turnout in Alabama is a bigger evangelical vote seen tonight or previously -- and they turned out for Huckabee in that state. They accounted for a remarkable 78 percent of the Republican primary voters there, and Huckabee won them by 17 points.

Minorities Look to Obama

A snapshot of several states offers a glimpse into minority voters' choices.

Black voters in Alabama made up a record-setting half of the primary day electorate, and their overwhelming support for Barack Obama made up for Hillary Clinton's strength among both white women and white men in these preliminary exit poll results. Black voters made up 50 percent of the electorate — more than double their share in 1992.

For Missouri Democrats, black turnout is about where it's been in the past, just under two in 10 voters, and Obama took over seven in 10 of them. But Clinton did well with white women, winning them by 57-38 percent to stay in a close contest.

In New York, Clinton ate into Obama's strongest voter group, claiming 39 percent of all votes cast by black voters in that state. That's his smallest share of blacks, and Clinton's highest, in any state voting today.

Clinton also won Hispanic as well as white voters in New Jersey, while Obama prevailed among blacks.

Black voters surged to the polls in Georgia and delivered more than eight in 10 of their votes to Barack Obama, lifting him to an easy victory over Hillary Clinton there. Exit poll results indicated that blacks accounted for just over half the voters in the Georgia Democratic primary — 52 percent, a record high for Blacks' share of the vote in the state, and reminiscent of their turnout in South Carolina.

However, the race was not only about the black vote — Obama also came close to Clinton among white men in Georgia (49-46 percent, Clinton-Obama), indicating he has held his own in a group (Southern white men) who had formerly appeared to favor the departed John Edwards. Clinton, meanwhile, easily won among white women in Georgia.

Women Tip the Scales

Women continue to make up a disproportionate share of voters, 57 percent nationally in these preliminary results.

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