Barack makes gains

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama drew even with Hillary Rodham Clinton among white males and led with black, young and higher-income voters, national exit polls showed yesterday.

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama drew even with Hillary Rodham Clinton among white males and led with black, young and higher-income voters, national exit polls showed yesterday.

The polls revealed that white females rallied behind Clinton, who also got a boost from Hispanics, older people and those seeking an experienced candidate.

Both candidates received support from almost half of white males, marking a big improvement for the Illinois senator with a group whose support had mostly eluded him this year.

Former presidential candidate John Edwards' decision to drop out last week may have helped Obama with white males, who made up more than a quarter of Tuesday's Democratic voters from coast to coast.

More than four in 10 women and about the same number of whites were supporting Obama. That represented a gain for him from most previous Democratic nominating contests this year, though he still trailed Clinton by more than 10percentage points in both categories.

Linda Ster, 44, a social worker in Nashville, Tennessee, said: "I think Obama can bring a more radical change. I have voted for a Clinton already. I want something different - way different - this time."

The bulk of Obama's white support was coming from those under age 40, especially those younger than 30.

Clinton had the support of almost six in 10 white women, giving her a 24 percentage point edge. - Sapa-AP

X