EXIT POLLS: Negative Campaign Tarnishes Clinton, Obama

Late deciders favor Clinton by a wide margin.

ByABC News
April 22, 2008, 2:22 PM

April 22, 2008 — -- The tough tone of the Pennsylvania Democratic campaign tarnished both candidates -- more so Hillary Clinton, with 67 percent of voters saying she attacked Barack Obama unfairly.

Yet it appears to have worked: Late deciders favored Clinton by a wide margin, boosting her to an essential victory in the state.

Clinton beat Obama by 59-41 percent among voters who decided in the last few days, countering his equally large edge among those who picked their candidate between a week and a month ago. It was the sixth primary in a row in which she won late-choosing voters.

Other support groups were crucial for Clinton: Women accounted for 58 percent of voters, a record for Pennsylvania primaries (though about what it's been elsewhere this year), and she won them by 59-41 percent; she won white women even more broadly, by 68-32 percent.

Clinton again won seniors, this time by 63-37 percent. And she won voters who haven't been through college by a bigger-than-usual 58-42 percent margin.

Obama countered with broad support in Philadelphia (66-34 percent over Clinton) and a 4-point better showing among white men, a swing group in these primaries, than he managed in Ohio, which Clinton won March 4.

But Obama still lost white men, by 14 points. (He split men overall with Clinton, 51-49 percent.)

Obama also won 90 percent of African-Americans. But at 15 percent, their turnout was lower than the Pennsylvania primary record, 17 percent in 1988 and 1984.

In a difference from supposedly similar Ohio, 47 percent of Pennsylvania voters were college graduates -- usually a better group for Obama -- compared with just 38 percent in Ohio. But college graduates divided by a close 51-49 percent between Obama and Clinton, compared to his 9-point advantage in this group across all primaries to date.

Another difference strongly favored Clinton: White Catholics accounted for an unusually large share of voters -- 32 percent, vs. 16 percent in previous primaries this year -- and they favored her by a very wide 72-28 percent, a gap that's appeared in some previous contests (e.g., New Jersey and Rhode Island) but not most.