POLITICS
04/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Improving Among Whites And Seniors, Holding Among Jews

Barack Obama may have his work cut out when it comes to recruiting white men and seniors. But if the exit polls from Pennsylvania provide any insight into the evolution of this political process, the Illinois Democrat may be improving among both those groups.

In Ohio, Obama lost to Senator Clinton among white men by a margin of 58 percent to 39 percent. That deficit was reduced to 55 percent to 45 percent, according to Pennsylvania exits polls - a 16-point gap narrowed to ten.

A similar trend held true among seniors. In Ohio, Clinton won this group by a wide margin of 69 percent to 28 percent. Six weeks later, Obama narrowed the gap by more than half, earning 41 percent of support among Pennsylvanian's 60 years and older compared to Clinton's 59 percent.

The margins still pose problems for the Illinois Democrat, who, going forward both in the primary and, potentially, in the general, needs to shore up his standing among these two valuable constituencies. But the trends show him making progress.

On another front... conventional wisdom held that, in light of the scandal over Obama's controversial former pastor Jeremiah Wright - and revelations that Wright had once said positive things of Louis Farrakhan - the Senator would have trouble with the Jewish community.

But if the exit polls from Pennsylvania are to be trusted - and maybe they shouldn't be - the state's Jewish electorate was almost split between the two candidates.

Jewish voters, which made up seven percent of the voting populace, supported Sen. Hillary Clinton by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent. When the surveyed group was limited to just white voters, that split was decreased to 51 percent for Clinton, 49 percent for Obama.

All of which leads to two possible conclusions: Obama may not have the terrific Jewish problem that pundits have predicted and, yes, there are some non-white Jews.