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Women, whites lifted Clinton to an easy win




NEW YORK

Strong support from white and women voters gave Hillary Rodham Clinton a decisive win Tuesday in Kentucky’s Democratic primary, where she also cut away at her rival Barack Obama’s base of the young and wealthy.

Despite the wide support for Clinton, more than half of voters said they expect Obama will become the eventual Democratic nominee, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.

About two-thirds of women cast votes for Clinton, as did about seven of 10 white voters. Although young and rich voters have supported Obama in many other states, Clinton won more than half of voters under 30 in Kentucky, and about two-thirds of voters who earn $100,000 a year or more.

She also held on to her traditional base of rural voters and those with less education.

Obama won decisively among blacks, taking about nine out of every 10 votes. But black voters made up only about 10 percent of the electorate. Obama also did well in urban areas. Much of his support came from Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, the state’s largest city.

The economy weighed heavily on voters’ minds. Given a choice of three issues, twothirds said the economy was the most important issue facing the country over the war in Iraq and health care.

Additionally, nearly nine in 10 voters said the current economic slowdown had affected them or their family.

A majority of voters favored one of the latest campaign proposals to address the economy, suspending the gas tax for the summer. More than half thought the summer suspension was a good idea, and they were overwhelmingly Clinton voters. Those who thought the suspension was a bad idea were split between the candidates.

Nearly half of voters described themselves as moderate, and more than a third said they were liberal. Clinton fared best among self-identified conservatives and claimed smaller majority of the liberal vote.

More voters said they thought Clinton was honest and shared their values than Obama.

About two-thirds of voters said they thought Clinton was honest and trustworthy, while nearly half thought the same of Obama. Likewise, more than seven in 10 voters said they thought Clinton shared their values, while nearly half thought Obama did.

However, about half of voters said they thought Obama shared the values of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Obama broke with Wright after he made incendiary anti-American comments at a press conference last month in Washington.


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