by Steven Ertelt
January 3, 2008
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Exiting polling data conducted by the major political news networks provides some focus as to how and why Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama captured victories in Iowa Thursday night. Both candidates did well with women voters and pro-life evangelical voters provided a margin of victory for Huckabee.
Previous polls show about 70-75 percent of Republican voters in Iowa take a pro-life position and Huckabee’s frequent references to his strongly pro-life views — in the face of attacks from Mitt Romney and other candidates — may have made the difference.
CNN exit polling showed Huckabee winning 46 percent of the evangelical voters that turned out on Thursday night while Romney only received the support of 19 percent of that segment. Those who said a candidate’s religious views mattered significantly backed Huckabee 56-11 percent over Romney.
At the same time, Huckabee also won overwhelmingly among women voters by a 40 to 24 percent margin over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Those voters who described themselves as “very conservative” sided with Huckabee on a 35-23 percentage point margin and Huckabee won with the largest group of Republicans who said the most important consideration was someone who shared their political values.
Moderate voters represented only 11 percent of the GOP voters and the split between Romney and John McCain at 26 percent each. Huckabee still did well among moderates with 22 percent of their vote.
On the Democratic side, Obama won with voters who wanted a change from the current federal government — and 51 percent of “change” voters backed him compared with just 19 percent for Hillary Clinton.
CNN exit polling data also showed Obama fared well with younger and newer voters by gaining the backing of 57 percent of voters from 17-29 years of age.
However, Obama won smaller percentages of the vote as the age of the voter increased. He had 42 percent of 30-44 year-olds and only 21 percent of 41-64 year olds, and only 18 percent among voters 65 and over.
Because nearly a quarter of the Democrats heading to the polls on Thursday night were under the age of 30, Obama fared well. Edwards received only 14 percent of that group while Clinton received just 11 percent.
The media entrance polls also showed Obama winning with independents, first-time caucus goers, those who call themselves liberal Democrats, and women.
Democratic voters seeking change supported Obama and those voters outnumbered the Iowa Democrats seeking someone with experience, a candidate who cares about people or someone with the best chance at capturing the White House.
Obama also won with the handful of Republicans who crossed over to vote in the Democratic caucus.