EXIT POLL: White Working-Class vs. Change in Indiana; Blacks Lift Obama to N.C. Victory

In North Carolina, Obama wins nearly unanimous support among African-Americans.

ByABC News
May 6, 2008, 3:40 PM

May 6, 2008 -- A sharply divided electorate made for a close contest in Indiana, where working-class whites and controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright worked to Hillary Clinton's advantage, while liberals, new voters and the mantle of change boosted Barack Obama.

In North Carolina nearly unanimous support among African-Americans lifted Obama to an easy victory. It was the eighth state were blacks made up more than 30 percent of the voters, and he's won all eight of them.

Indiana was the closer race, and perhaps the more portentous one.

Even with Clinton's narrow victory, compunctions about her were widespread: Sixty-five percent said she'd attacked her opponent unfairly. (Four in 10 voted for her nonetheless.) A substantial 45 percent saw her as not honest and trustworthy. (A quarter of them voted for her anyway.) As elsewhere, bringing "needed change" was the most-desired candidate attribute; 51 percent of voters picked it, and they went to Obama by about his customary 40-point margin.

Obama drew new voters in Indiana, winning the one in five participating in their first primary by 22 points. He again won young voters by a wide margin. And he won liberals in the state by 57-43 percent, much better for Obama than the dead heat among liberals across previous primaries to date, including their 50-50 split in Pennsylvania two weeks ago.

While a socioeconomic gap continued, compared with Pennsylvania Clinton did 5 points less well, and Obama 5 points better, among whites with less than $50,000 in household incomes; there was a similar shift among middle income whites, together helping to draw the contest much closer than Clinton's 10-point Pennsylvania victory.

Wright was a new element; in Indiana nearly half of voters, 46 percent, called Obama's former minister an important factor in their vote, and they overwhelmingly favored Clinton, by 70-30 percent. Obama came back about as strongly, though, among those who said the issue wasn't important.