California exits are looking up for Clinton

She wins big among Democrats. Were there enough independents to save Obama?

Published February 6, 2008 4:44AM (EST)

The polls have just closed here in California, so now we get to dig into exit polls for the night's biggest prize. The upshot: Things are looking better for Clinton than for Obama.

Here's the quick dish.

Women: 57 percent Clinton, 39 percent Obama.
Men: 51 percent Obama, 44 percent Clinton.

Income less than $100,000: 52 percent Clinton, 42 percent Obama.
Income more than $100,000: 54 percent Obama, 43 percent Clinton.

White Democrats: 47 percent Clinton, 46 percent Obama.
White independents: 65 percent Obama, 28 percent Clinton.
Latino Democrats: 70 percent Clinton, 30 percent Obama.
Black Democrats: 77 percent Obama, 19 percent Clinton.

And this key stat:

Democrats: 55 percent Clinton, 41 percent Obama.
Independents: 61 percent Obama, 31 percent Clinton.

Obviously these are close. They each win and lose key demographics. But look at this Dem vs. Independent split. Democrats represented 79 percent of the voters, and Clinton beat Obama handily there.

Independents made up only 18 percent of the voters. So the key question, did his enormous margin there make up for his loss among Democrats? Only a few returns are in now, but clearly Clinton's got to be pleased with the numbers so far.

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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