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Why Obama won

From MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell and Adam Verdugo
First, it was a landslide among black voters. Obama received about 80% of the African American vote. The size of his vote was nearly uniform across every demographic group among blacks, as well as nearly every issue or opinion question in the poll: old, young, male, female, well educated, poorly educated -- all of them broke in pretty much the same way.

As for the white vote, Obama did not win the majority but neither did either of his two rivals. In fact, while Clinton got 36% of the white vote -- it really was pretty close to a three-way split; Edwards got 40% and Obama 24%.

An MSNBC/McClatchy poll released on Thursday showed Obama's support among white voters to be 10%. So consider his showing tonight a big improvement.

In other early voting contests, women have been one of the keys to a candidate's victory. In South Carolina, the question was whether Clinton could score well with black women.  Obama bested Clinton in this category.

The age of the voters was also a factor for Obama, particularly in the white vote he attracted. Take a look at the breakdown in age groups among White voters: 52% of those ages 18-29, 25% of those 30-44, 23% of those 45-59, and 15% of those 60 and over.

When we asked voters which one candidate quality mattered most in their voting decision, over half said the ability to bring about change -- 54%. Three out of four voters who said this broke for Obama. Other numbers: 14% said experience and only 6% said electability.

Lastly, we asked which candidate would be most likely to unite the country. Obama beat Clinton 2-to-1 on that question.