Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada Dem Caucuses
Jan. 19, 2008
(CBS/AP) CBS News estimates that Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Nevada Democratic caucuses. CBS News also estimates that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will win the Nevada Republican caucuses.
According to CBS News entrance polls, the economy was the issue most on the minds of Democratic caucus-goers today, ahead of health care and the war in Iraq. Nearly half of Democratic caucus-goers said the economy was their most important issue, while one in four cited health care and 22 percent cited the Iraq war.
Twenty-nine percent of Democratic voters said they were members of a union household. Fourty-three percent of union voters said they favored Clinton, while 42 percent favored Barack Obama and 11 percent favored John Edwards.
Obama won the support of voters under age 45, while Clinton won among older voters. Voters under age 45 broke for Obama over Clinton 48 percent to 34 percent, while those over 45 chose Clinton over Obama 54 percent to 33 percent.
More than half of women said backed Clinton in today's caucuses, while men were more divided in their support, with 43 percent supporting Clinton and 42 percent supporting Obama.
Hispanics made up 14 percent of Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada today, and they overwhelmingly supported Clinton. She got 64 percent support from Hispanics, while Obama got 24 percent and Edwards got 9 percent.
Romney, the only Republican to seriously focus on Nevada, earned his second straight victory today, following a win in the Michigan primary earlier in the week.
In a statement released while he flew to Florida, site of the Jan. 29 primary, Romney said Nevada Republicans had cast their votes for change. "With a career spent turning around businesses, creating jobs and imposing fiscal discipline, I am ready to get my hands on Washington and turn it inside out," it said.
According to early CBS News exit poll data, the economy and illegal immigration were the issues on the minds of Nevada's Republican voters today.
About three in four Nevada GOP caucus-goers were conservative, and nearly half of GOP voters chose sharing values as their top candidate quality. GOP caucus-goers in both categories supported Romney.
Romney had made seven campaign trips to Nevada. He has largely ceded the South Carolina Republican race, also taking place today, to his rivals. South Carolina will hold its Democratic primary next Saturday.
In Nevada, Democrats have been mired in legal disputes and exchanges about race. The uncertainty stemmed in large part from earlier-than-usual voting in the U.S.'s fastest-growing state that has also been hit by a high mortgage foreclosure rate.
Clinton and Edwards ganged up on chief rival Obama in the final days, mocking his evocation of former Republican President Ronald Reagan in an effort to offset Obama's endorsement by the powerful Culinary Workers Union. The Illinois senator was thought to benefit from special caucus rules that Clinton supporters tried but failed to overturn in federal court.
Obama, who hopes to become the first black president, responded by suggesting Clinton would be a "president whose plans change with the politics of the moment" as part of one of his most direct critiques of the New York senator yet.
Clinton won in New Hampshire and scored a victory in the largely meaningless Democratic race in Michigan where Obama and Edwards had withdrawn their names from the ballot after the national party stripped the state of its delegates for violating party rules by moving up its primary date.
Going into Nevada's contest, a poll Friday showed Clinton leading in the state with 41 percent while Obama trailed with 32 percent. But the survey by Mason-Dixon showed about 10 percent of likely caucus-goers still undecided. Edwards had 14 percent. Other polls have shown the three in a statistical dead heat.
For both parties, Florida's voters go to the polls on Jan. 29. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has focused virtually all of his efforts on the state. South Carolina Democrats - the majority of whom are black - will choose a nominee on Jan. 26.
Still ahead for those who remain in the race is "Mega Tuesday," Feb. 5, when two dozen states cast what could be deciding votes for the presidential nominees.
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