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Where Sanders Might Have His Best Shots Going Forward

Bernie Sanders waves as he leaves the stage at a rally in Illinois.
Paul Beaty
/
AP
Bernie Sanders waves as he leaves the stage at a rally in Illinois.

Bernie Sanders was able to win in Michigan, upsetting Hillary Clinton, with the support of white men. (NPR's Tamara Keith laid that out in this post this morning). Sanders won 62% of white men in the Michigan Democratic primary, while Clinton won 68% of black voters. That is a big share, but wasn't enough — and certainly smaller than the margins she's gotten among black voters in Southern states.

Looking at that difference, between white men and black voters, the chart shows where Sanders and Clinton might have their best shots in states going forward with significant delegate hauls. This analysis is based on 2008 exit polls and takes the difference between what white men were as a share of the electorate as compared to black voters.

Using 2008 exit polls in the Democratic primaries, the chart shows the difference between white men and black voters as shares of the electorates in upcoming states with big delegate hauls.
Domenico Montanaro / 2008 and 2016 exit polls
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2008 and 2016 exit polls
Using 2008 exit polls in the Democratic primaries, the chart shows the difference between white men and black voters as shares of the electorates in upcoming states with big delegate hauls.

A couple notes:

-No exit polls were conducted in Washington state in 2008, but it probably looks similar to Oregon. Census data shows Washington state has a marginally higher African-American population.

-Hispanics were not factored into this analysis, and they will certainly make a difference in California, Arizona and Florida. Clinton won a large share of Latinos in Texas, though Sanders split with her in Nevada, according to exit polls. Sanders also won Colorado, a state with a large Latino population, though no entrance or exit polls were conducted at those caucuses.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.

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