The Virginia Democratic primary was supposed to be Sen. Hillary Clinton's best hope for the so-called Potomac Primaries. But a look at exit polls following a significant victory for Sen. Barack Obama shows that the Illinois Democrat's political base is expanding deep into Clinton's turf -- including among women and working class Democrats.
In Virginia, Obama outdid Clinton among women by a margin of 58 percent to 42. He also captured the majority of those voters who make less than $50,000: 59 percent to 40 percent. And even bested Clinton among Latinos by a margin of 55 to 45, though the later made up a small portion of the voting public and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Indeed, Obama had strong performances across the board. He narrowly lost the white vote to Clinton, 48 percent to 51 percent, but won the majority of white men in the state, 55 percent to 43 percent. That group, as recently as the South Carolina primary several weeks ago, also seemed firmly in the Clinton camp.
Obama also maintained what has become the most reliable demographic elements of his electoral base. Ninety percent of blacks supported the Senator, as did 66 percent of those under 40-years-of-age, 66 percent of independents, 70 percent of Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary, and 58 percent of post-graduates.
The exit polls from Maryland pretty much tell the same story. Obama won ever portion of the state, both the city and the suburbs. He won every income level as well, except for those voters making over $200,000. He won among those who said the economy was the most important issue as well as those who most valued the war in Iraq. And he won the majority of every age group.
Obama again won among Latinos: 53 percent to 47 percent (although the group again comprised a fairly small portion of the polling data). He was also close among whites: 46 percent to Clinton's 51.
He took the black vote by nearly 90 percent, and again bested Clinton among white men. Though, like he in Virginia, Clinton held on to white women by a margin of 55 percent to 42 percent.