The presidential front-runners benefited from continued strong support among older voters in the May 3 Indiana primary. But Democrat Hillary Clinton had a weak showing among younger voters, which led to her defeat in Indiana by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Donald Trump, by contrast, had consistent backing across age groups, as he virtually wrapped up the GOP nomination.
Former Secretary of State Clinton retained her nationwide lead in delegates over Sanders. But compared to her recent victories in Northeast states, her Indiana performance showed a loss of support across age groups, according to news media exit polls. She won 66 percent among voters 65 and older, and 58 percent among those 45 to 64. In each case, her Indiana votes fell below the tallies she received from those age groups in the New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland primaries.
Sanders took 74 percent of the vote among Indiana Democrats younger than 30, and 64 percent among those 30 to 44. He also benefited from the fact that older voters were only 55 percent of the Democratic turnout, a lower number than in Northeast primaries. Sanders led Clinton, 52 percent to 48 percent, in the unofficial total vote.
Trump won a majority of older voters, with 56 percent of those 65 and older and 57 percent of those 45 to 64. He beat Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 46 percent to 39 percent, among those younger than 30, and also bested him, 48 percent to 39 percent, among those 30 to 44. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was a distant third in all four groups, with 6 percent in the two older age groups.
In the unofficial total vote, Trump led Cruz, 53 percent to 37 percent. Following the Indiana results, Cruz announced that he would suspend his campaign.
Clinton has led among voters 65 and older in all contests except for Sanders’ home of Vermont; Sanders, by contrast, has led among voters younger than 30 in all states where exit polls were conducted, except for Alabama and Mississippi. On the Republican side, Trump has led in 21 states among voters 45 to 64, and in 19 states among those 65 and older. He has led among those younger than 30 in only 12 states.
Next: On May 10, Republicans have primaries in Nebraska and West Virginia. Democrats will vote in West Virginia.