Clinton Wins Indiana, Obama Takes N.C.
Clinton Wins Indiana, Obama Takes N.C.
CBS News Projects Democrats Will Split Tuesday's Big
EVANSVILLE, Ind., May 6, 2008
(CBS/AP) CBS News projects that Hillary Rodham Clinton
will win the Indiana Democratic primary and Barack
Obama will win in North Carolina.
Clinton pulled off an Indiana win in what was a
virtual must-win Midwestern state. With 85 percent of
the votes being reported in the state, she was leading
Obama 52 percent to 48 percent.
At a rally in Indianapolis, Clinton said that her
Indiana victory had "broken the tie."
"And thanks to you, it's full speed to the White
House," she said to the cheering crowd.
Obama's North Carolina victory mirrored earlier
triumphs in Southern states with large black
populations: Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and South
Carolina among them. With 85 percent of the votes in
North Carolina being reported, Obama was leading
Clinton 56 percent to 42 percent.
At his own rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Obama
struck a conciliatory tone by acknowledging Clinton's
Indiana win, which CBS News has projected.
"I want to start by congratulating Senator Clinton in
what appears to be her victory in the great state of
Indiana," he said.
Obama went on to tout his North Carolina victory as a
win in a "big state, in a swing state," and vowed to
compete to win it in the general election.
CBS News exit poll results show that most voters in
both states made up their minds a while ago. Only 18
percent in Indiana and 14 percent in North Carolina
decided in the last three days. Twenty-five percent in
Indiana and 20 percent in North Carolina decided in
the last week.
Late deciders backed Clinton in Indiana by a margin of
59 percent to 41 percent for Obama. In North Carolina,
Obama won late deciders by a much smaller margin of 49
percent to 48 percent.
As it has been throughout the Democratic primaries,
the economy was the most important issue in both
states with 67 percent of voters in Indiana describing
it as such and 61 percent in North Carolina. In
Indiana, 49 percent of voters said Clinton would be
more likely to improve the economy and 47 percent said
that Obama would. In North Carolina, 53 percent said
that Obama would be more likely to improve the economy
and 42 percent said that Clinton would.
Nearly half of voters in both states said the
situation with Obama's former pastor Reverend Wright
was important in their vote, while half said that it
was not. In Indiana, 46 percent said that it was
important and 51 percent said that it was not, while
in North Carolina, 47 percent said the Wright
situation was important in their vote and 51 percent
said that it was not.
In both states, more voters thought that Clinton
attacked Obama unfairly than vice-versa. Sixty-four
percent of Indiana voters and 67 percent of North
Carolina voters thought Clinton attacked her opponent
unfairly, while only 44 percent in Indiana and 40
percent in North Carolina thought that Obama unfairly
Looking ahead to the general election, CBS News early
exit polls showed that the majority of voters said
that they would not be satisfied if the Democratic
candidate they did not support were to become the
nominee. Only 35 percent of Clinton voters in Indiana
and 34 percent in North Carolina said they would be
satisfied with Obama. Forty percent of Obama voters in
Indiana and 45 percent in North Carolina would be
satisfied if Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee.
Obama was seen as the candidate with the best chance
at beating presumptive Republican nominee John McCain
in the general election. Forty-seven percent of voters
in Indiana thought that Clinton could McCain, while 50
percent thought that Obama could win in November. In
North Carolina, 39 percent thought that Clinton could
beat McCain and 55 percent thought that Obama could
beat the Arizona senator.
Obama had 1,830 delegates to 1,680 for Clinton in the
latest CBS News delegate count. 2,025 are needed for
In Indiana, Clinton was leading Obama with 38
delegates to Obama's 29. In North Carolina, Obama was
ahead 35 to 23.
Both races were dominated in the final days by
Clinton's call for a summertime suspension of the
federal gasoline tax, an issue that she created after
scoring a victory in the Pennsylvania primary two
Obama ridiculed the proposal as a stunt that would
cost jobs, not the break for consumers she claimed.
The two rivals dug in, devoting personal campaign time
and television commercials to the issue.
Indiana had 72 delegates at stake, and Clinton
projected confidence about the results by arranging a
primary-night appearance in Indianapolis.
North Carolina had 115 delegates at stake, and Obama
countered with a rally in Raleigh.
The rivals made their final appeals in Indiana as the
polls opened, the former first lady at the famed
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Obama greeting early
morning diners at a restaurant.
Clinton declined to offer a prediction about the
outcome. Obama wouldn't either, except to say, "I
think it's going to be close."
Obama leads Clinton in delegates won in primaries and
caucuses. Despite his defeat two weeks ago, he has
steadily whittled away at her advantage in
superdelegates in the past two weeks and trails 257 to
Clinton saved her candidacy with her win in
Pennsylvania, and she campaigned aggressively in
Indiana in hopes of denying Obama a victory next door
to his home state of Illinois. Indiana is home to
large numbers of blue-collar workers who have been
attracted to the former first lady, and she sought to
use her call for a federal gas tax holiday to draw
them and other economically pinched voters closer.
Inevitably, the issue quickly took on larger
Obama said it symbolized a candidacy consisting of
"phony ideas, calculated to win elections instead of
actually solving problems."
Clinton retorted, "Instead of attacking the problem,
he's attacking my solutions," and ran an ad in the
campaign's final hours that said she "gets it."
To a large extent, the gasoline tax eclipsed the
controversy surrounding Obama's former pastor. After
saying several weeks earlier he could not disown the
Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his fiery sermons, Obama did
precisely that when the minister embarked on a media
At a news conference in North Carolina last week,
Obama equated Wright's comments with "giving comfort
to those who prey on hate."
The balance of the primary schedule includes West
Virginia, with 28 delegates on May 13; Oregon with 52
and Kentucky with 51 a week later; Puerto Rico with 55
delegates on June 1, and Montana with 16 and South
Dakota with 15 on June 3.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nomination
already in hand, campaigned in North Carolina and
assailed Obama for his vote against confirmation of
Chief Justice John Roberts.
"Senator Obama in particular likes to talk up his
background as a lecturer on law, and also as someone
who can work across the aisle to get things done,"
McCain said. "But ... he went right along with the
partisan crowd, and was among the 22 senators to vote
against this highly qualified nominee."
Clinton also voted against Roberts, but McCain, as if
often the case, focused his remarks on Obama.
Obama's campaign responded that the Republican would
pick judges who represent a threat to abortion rights
and to McCain's own legislation to limit the role of
money in political campaigns.