Election 2020

Indiana Exit Poll: White Women Delivered the State to Sanders

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


Bernie Sanders won in Indiana Tuesday with stronger support among groups that have helped Hillary Clinton win in other Democratic primaries, the NBC News Exit Poll indicates.

White women represented 43 percent of Indiana Democrats, up from an average of 34 percent in prior primaries. Fifty-six percent of white women voted for Bernie Sanders, a 12-point gain from previous primaries.

Changes in the age of Tuesday’s electorate also influenced the outcome. There were fewer senior voters in the Indiana electorate; they represented 16 percent of voters. Sanders picked up 34 percent of the senior vote versus an average of 26 percent in other states.

More voters in Indiana identified themselves as liberals, and the majority voted for Sanders on Tuesday. Clinton has been winning an average of 54 percent of liberals in prior primaries. Among liberals in Indiana, 56 percent voted for Sanders.

The last part may not mean that much because “liberal” may be the most ill-defined ideological label in American politics these days. Sort of like “Republican.”

Sanders has been doing well in places where the Democratic electorate is whiter, and Hillary cleans up with minority voters, so that news isn’t t0o odd either, but the bump in turnout is worth noting. Maybe those only marginally interested in the process are beginning to realize that it’s crunch time?

Here’s the juiciest part of this poll:

Among the three in 10 voters who considered honesty the most important quality when deciding which candidate to support, 80 percent backed Sanders. He also captured six in 10 votes from Democrats who are anti-Wall Street (64 percent of the electorate)

Have all the fun you want with the fact that only thirty percent of the Democratic electorate in Indiana thinks honesty is the most important quality–I’m surprised it was that high–but look how many still can’t bring themselves to even pretend Hillary is honest. The anti-Wall Street sentiment is really strong on that side, however, and Hillary has been trying to co-opt Sanders on that and it seems to not be working well.

One wonders what the delegate count would look like if all of the Super Delegates weren’t basically forced by the party long ago into being Hillary supporters. Bernie obviously resonates with a good chunk of the Democratic electorate more, and those delegates could have been swayed if they weren’t all afraid of being Vince Fostered.