Obama Now Leading Among Key Clinton Constituencies

Some Clinton supporters claim that since Obama has not done as well as Clinton among some segments of Democratic voters he would have trouble in the general election. Today’s Gallup Poll provides evidence disputing this belief. Obama has moved out to a sixteen point lead after weeks of the poll generally being close and the lead switching between the two candidates. More importantly, the poll shows that groups which previously backed Clinton are now moving to Obama:

The broadening of Obama’s appeal for the nomination seen in Gallup’s May 16-18 polling is fairly widespread, with the percentage favoring him increasing among most demographic categories of Democratic voters. However, as a result, certain groups that were already highly supportive of Obama for the nomination — men, 18- to 29-year-olds, postgrads, and upper-income Democrats — are now overwhelmingly in his camp. Obama is currently favored among these groups by a 2-to-1 margin, or better, over Clinton.

At the same time, support for Clinton among some of her traditionally stalwart support groups — women, Easterners, whites, adults with no college education, and Hispanics — has fallen below 50%.

The only major demographic group still supporting Clinton to the tune of 51% or more is women aged 50 and older. This group’s preferences have changed little during May, at the same time that Clinton’s support among younger men (those 18 to 49) has declined by nearly 10 points.

This is consistent with what I have predicted in several previous posts. There is no reason to think that Obama would not receive the support of traditional core Democratic voters, regardless of whether he was previously their first choice. Despite Clinton’s previous lead among working class voters, Obama’s economic policies are actually better for them, as well as the rest of the country. It was largely a matter of time for Obama’s message to get through to the low-information Clinton supporters who initially backed the better known candidate.

While Obama has picked up much of Clinton’s base, the reverse would not happen should Clinton win the nomination. Much of Obama’s support has come from bringing in more educated and affluent voters who do not typically vote Democratic. Such support would not be transferred to Clinton, especially in light of both the populist tone and unethical nature of the Clinton campaign. While under normal circumstances Clinton would be able to pick up black support if Obama wasn’t in the race, the racist tone of the Clinton campaign has also made this very unlikely. Clinton will do well in Kentucky today, but not for reasons which most Democrats would find desirable.

Yet another argument being used to try to convince superdelegates to ignore the will of the primary and caucus voters has been thoroughly disputed. Of course, like all of Clinton’s other arguments, this one was never very convincing and we’ve seen which direction the superdelegates have moved since Super Tuesday.

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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Xenman says:

    I’m a Hillary supporter.  She’s toast, even with the big win in Kentucky.  Can’t stomach voting for Obama.  He’s too far Left on taxes and foreign policy. 

    I’ll vote Libertarian this year. 

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