In blogging last night on the new ABC/Washington Post poll
on the 2008 primary match-ups, I overlooked some intriguing results from the
in-depth ABC News analysis
(also in PDF
format with full results). Despite the flurry of attention received by
challenger Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton continues to receive support from a
majority of African American Democrats.
The ABC News analysis provides a helpful set of
cross-tabulations on the Clinton-Obama-Edwards results (from the question that asked Democrats to choose from a field of
12 potential candidates):
Not surprisingly, Clinton
does better among Democratic women (49%) than among Democratic men (30%). More intriguing is that Clinton's support is much stronger among
those ABC labels as "mainline Democrats" (47%) than among "Democratic leaning
independents." Since independents
typically participate in caucuses and primaries less often than stronger
partisans, these results suggest that Clinton's
current standing among actual primary
voters may be stronger than national polls suggest, at least for now.
But most intriguing of all are the results among African
American Democrats. In the last two ABC
News surveys (combined to yield a large enough subgroup for analysis), Clinton led Obama among blacks
by a 53% to 27% margin [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]. Her lead over
Obama is smaller (35% to 17%) among white Democrats. These early results suggest that Obama has
considerable room to grow his support among African Americans nationally,
especially if he is successful in the early primaries. On the
other hand, absent an early breakthrough by Obama, Clinton may be in a much stronger position
among black Democrats than conventional wisdom suggests.
UPDATE (3/2/07): The original ABC News release
cited above included an incorrect result for the Clinton-Obama preference among African-Americans. According to an email received on 3/1/2007 from Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen, "the
original ABC numbers were incorrect." They have subsequently updated the release to show the correct numbers: Clinton led Obama among African Americans by a 60% to 20% margin, not 53% to 27%.