EXIT POLL: Critical Clinton Wins

Latinos, lunch bucket voters help Clinton to critical wins.

ByABC News
March 4, 2008, 2:10 PM

March 4, 2008 — -- Latinos, working-class voters, women and late deciders helped Hillary Clinton push back against Barack Obama's recent winning streak, while some Texas and Ohio Republicans fired a warning shot at John McCain even as he clinched his party's presidential nomination.

The Democratic races in these states were more closely fought, with demographics -- more Latinos in Texas, more lunch bucket voters in Ohio -- assisting Clinton after her string of losses since Feb. 9.

She also did well with late deciders, winning those who made up their minds in the final few days by 18 points in Ohio and 23 in Texas.

Latinos in Texas accounted for a record 34 percent of voters, up from 24 percent in 2004 -- second only this cycle to New Mexico -- and they backed Clinton by 67-31 percent, crucial to her fortunes.

Obama hit back with 83 percent support from African-Americans, two in 10 Texas voters. And while Clinton won white women in Texas by 21 points, the two candidates split white men evenly.

Ohio was different; there Clinton won white men, a swing group in many Democratic primaries this year, by 58-39 percent.

That partly reflected the working-class nature of the state: Obama won white men who've been graduated from college, albeit by narrower-than-usual 52-45 percent; as elsewhere, Clinton won white men who don't have a college degree, here by a wide 66-31 percent.

And those lacking a college education made up a greater share of white men in Ohio, 60 percent, than in Texas, 48 percent, or all primaries to date, also 48 percent.

While the theme of change continued to resonate in Ohio and Texas, it wasn't by as wide a margin as in most previous primaries.

The ability to "bring needed change" beat "experience" as the most important quality in a candidate by a 17-point margin in Ohio and by 15 points in Texas, 43-28 percent. Both had among the fewest to pick change as the top attribute in any primary this year.