Saturday, January 26, 2008
Obama carries South Carolina
Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) won the Presidential primary contest in South Carolina, John Edwards' home state, with 55% of the vote, netting 24 delegates to Sen Clinton's 11 and Edwards' 5. More at CNN.com.
Sen Clinton was not campaigning in South Carolina. However, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was there campaigning on her behalf. Sen Obama had made a comment in one debate that it wasn't always clear to him which of them he was running against (hint for Sen Obama: you're running against both of them), but it can be said that in a one-on-one contest against Bill Clinton in South Carolina, Sen Obama won big.
Looking at the exit polling, there are no really peculiar trends. Obama carried nearly every major demographic except for voters 65 and older (who went for Clinton) and non-blacks over 30, who tended to vote for Edwards.
This win doesn't help Obama nearly as much as a loss would have hurt him, since a win by Clinton would have re-established her as the clear front-runner, and a win by Edwards would have given his campaign new life. Still, it allows Obama to maintain his credibility as a challenger to Clinton. And by beating Edwards on his own turf, he essentially makes Edwards the new Kucinich of the race: a long shot who is quickly becoming a no-shot.
Come Super Tuesday, we may have a clear front-runner. Or, if Obama and Clinton manage to split it down the middle, we may see this race continue for a few more months. Clinton still leads in delegates, but with most of those being super delegates, that 182-89 lead in super delegates will become less and less important. Obama leads in normal delegates, 63-47-23. Super Tuesday may paint a very different picture. If not, later states will become increasingly important, especially large ones like California.
Enough horse race speculation for one day. As an Obama supporter myself, I'm happy with these results, and hope that they become a part of a larger trend.