ANALYSIS: White Men Boost Obama; McCain Wins Amid Doubts Over Conservative Cred

On personal attributes, Huckabee again won voters looking for a candidate who "shares my values," 64-24 percent, and again it was the most-cited quality, while McCain won 93 percent of those most concerned about experience. McCain fairly narrowly won voters focused on a straight-talking candidate who "says what he believes," 48-42 percent.

MD REP -- McCain had an easier race in Maryland, largely because of a lesser prevalence of evangelical voters (34 percent) and partly because he did less poorly among evangelicals and strong conservatives alike, though still losing both groups.

Unlike Virginia, McCain narrowly won conservatives overall in Maryland, by 44-36 percent, because of his 51-31 percent margin among "somewhat" conservative voters; however he again lost very conservatives to Huckabee, but by a much closer margin than elsewhere, 42-36 percent.

McCain has won conservatives overall in just two previous states, New York and New Jersey, and tied the since-departed Mitt Romney among conservatives in Illinois.

While McCain lost evangelicals in Maryland by 50-36 percent, he won non-evangelical voters by a wider margin, 65-19 percent.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, McCain did among his best of the year among veterans in Maryland; about a quarter of voters, he won them by 57-33 percent. And he won the two in 10 voters who called the Iraq war the country's most important issue, by 64-23 percent, among his best in that group in primaries to date.

On attributes, as in Virginia, Huckabee won voters looking for the candidate who shares their values. But unlike Virginia, those looking mainly for a candidate who says what he believes went very broadly for McCain, 64-21 percent.

VA DEM -- In the Democratic contest Obama not only won 90 percent of African-Americans but beat Hillary Clinton among whites, 52-47 percent. That came on the strength of his support from white men, who favored him by an 18-point margin.

Obama has won or tied Clinton among white men in 12 previous contests in which exit polls were conducted, and in seven of them he won the race. (Those he lost include California and Arizona, where Hispanics made the difference for Clinton.)

Blacks accounted for 30 percent of voters in Virginia, compared with their 33 percent share in 2004; their support for Obama was near his highest from African-Americans in any primary this year (93 percent in Illinois).

While Hispanics accounted for just 5 percent of voters, Obama narrowly won them, 54-46 percent, in Virginia; as noted, in only one previous state, Connecticut, has he won Hispanics. (In Maryland, Hispanics accounted for 4 percent of voters and broke 55-45 percent for Clinton.)

Obama also was helped by independents, who made up 22 percent of voters in Virginia's open primary. While Clinton won white Democrats by a 12-point margin (56 percent to 44 percent), white independents went even more broadly to Obama, 66-33 percent.

A third of all Democratic voters were from northern Virginia, the more moderate-to-liberal region of the commonwealth, and Obama claimed 62 percent of their votes. Only in the largely rural Shenandoah and southwest of the state did Clinton win, a region that accounted just one in nine Democratic voters.

MD DEM -- Obama won white men by a narrow 48-45 percent in Maryland, compared with 58-40 percent in Virginia; as noted above, Clinton, by contrast, won white women by 18 points in Maryland and by just 6 points in Virginia.

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