Race And Gender Both Helped Clinton

by Jonathan Chait | March 4, 2008

I just noticed something really interesting from that CNN exit poll I mentioned below. One question asked if the candidate's gender was important. 17% said yes, and of them, Clinton won 57-43. So voters who wanted a female candidate outnumbered those who did not. Another question asked if the candidate's race was important. 20% said yes, and of those, Clinton again won 57-43. So voters who did not want a black candidate outnumbered those who did. Race and gender both seemed to cut in Clinton's favor -- which may not be a shock, since whites and females outnumbered blacks and males.

In both questions, voters who did not care about race or gender split evenly. Clinton's winning margin -- assuming the exits hold up, and it is close enough that maybe it won't -- came from the pro-female, anti-black (or, I guess, anti-male, pro-white) vote.

--Jonathan Chait

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/race-and-gender-both-helped-clinton