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White Men With Obama Since The Beginning

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Much was made this week of Obama's performance among white men in Virginia. Indeed, his support with white men was seen as both the key to Obama's Potomac Primary victories, as well as a sign of broadening support to include those formerly in Clinton's base. Others are skeptical, even worrying that while male superdelegates might tip the scale toward Clinton.

In fact, Virginia was neither the first state (nor even first Southern state) where Obama bested Clinton among white men. Nor was it the state where he won this group by the largest margin. Obama has been doing well with this group since the beginning of primary season.

Below is a table of the Clinton/Obama vote among white men, from exit poll data from every contest thus far. The table is ranked in descending order, with the state showing the largest Obama margin at the top.

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Compared to Virginia, Obama did even better with white men in Utah, New Mexico, and California (setting his home state of Illinois aside). This pattern is also not a function of election type or overall outcome. Obama led with white men in states with primaries and states with caucuses, and in states that he won and states that Clinton won.

Further, the country doesn't exactly fall into an obvious North/South divide. While Obama tends to do less well with white men in the South, he still led with the group in Georgia (in addition to Virginia), and trailed with the group in New Jersey and Missouri.

Finally, it's also worth reminding ourselves about the contest that started it all - the Iowa caucuses. Among white men in Iowa, Obama garnered a 10-point lead over Clinton, and an 8-point lead over Edwards.

** (Thanks to Joe Lenski for correcting the original graph by sending the official numbers from Iowa.)