A Big, Expected Win for Obama in SC


If you were expecting anything other than a big win for Obama in South Carolina today, you weren’t paying attention:

Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, forging a coalition of support among black and white voters in a contest that sets the stage for a state-by-state fight for the party’s presidential nomination. 

The N.Y. Times states that “In a bitter campaign here infused with discussions of race, Mr. Obama’s convincing victory puts him on equal footing with Mrs. Clinton — with two wins each in early-voting states — and gives him fresh momentum as the contest plunges into a nationwide battle over the next 10 days.” Obama’s received 55 percent of the vote, Clinton – 27 percent, and Edwards – 18 percent.

In the South Carolina contest, more than half of the voters were African-American, and surveys of voters leaving the polls suggested that their heavy turnout helped propel Mr. Obama to victory.

Mr. Obama, who had built an extensive grass-roots network throughout the state, received the support of about 80 percent of black voters, the exit polls showed. He also received about one-quarter of the white vote, with Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards splitting the remainder.

AP News noted on Obama’s win that Obama said at his victory rally: “The choice in this election is not about regions or religions or genders. It’s not about rich versus poor, young versus old and it’s not about black versus white. It’s about the past versus the future.”

The audience chanted “Race doesn’t matter” as it awaited Obama to make his appearance after rolling up 55 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

But, race did matter, “in a primary that shattered turnout records.” Or, as Politico notes:

It’s the demographics, stupid: The black candidate won the black vote. The white woman won white women. The white man won white men.

Obama and his supporters can claim tonight that it’s about the “past versus the future” but we still have a long ways to go in this primary race, and over confidence after his South Carolina win, could prove to undermine Obama again, as it did after Iowa. Time will tell.  

The transcript of Obama’s victory speech is here and the video is here. The State reports on the exit polls noting, “IT’S THE ECONOMY, AGAIN.” Duh… Just days ago Obama didn’t get that.

John Edwards has vowed to fight on, despite his third place showing. His speech to supporters can be found here.  Edwards has done a fine job shaping the debate and hey, this thing isn’t sewn up yet.

Hillary Clinton’s speech to supporters in S.C. can be found here. Hillary “called Senator Obama to congratulate him and wish him well,” and headed to Nashville, TN, telling supporters,  “Now the eyes of the country turn to Tennessee and the other states voting on February 5th.”

She added that “millions and millions of Americans are going to have their voices heard.”

The full buzz in the news and the blogs can be found here and here. And now it’s on to Tsunami Tuesday…

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5 Responses to A Big, Expected Win for Obama in SC

  1. Pingback: Barack Obama Campaign Jump Started By Massive Victory In South Carolina

  2. Pamela,

    Obama won in Iowa.

    Do you remember that?

    I am from Wisconsin. By the way, there are very few African-Americans in Iowa.

    Obama nearly won in New Hampshire. There are very few African-Americans in New Hampshire.

    Obama got as many of the white males as Edwards in South Carolina.

    He got the majority of the young people. And the college-educated.

    Hillary gets the vote from women. White women. And there are a lot of them.

    Obama was supposed to win in South Carolina. But nobody expected him to thrash Hillary Clinton. And he did.

    Hillary Clinton is a very qualified Senator from New York. But she is failing to connect well with the American people.

    We will need that connection to win in November. Obama can provide that passion that will bring people to the polls for change.

    Bob Freedland

  3. Bob

    Maybe what i said didn’t make sense – he seemed overconfident after Iowa, as pundits said and it affected him in NH.

  4. Pamela,

    Everyone is playing the ‘expectations game.’

    A couple of weeks before New Hampshire voted, Barack was way back in the polls. Only shortly before the vote did it appear he might win. While Barack was expected to win in South Carolina, nobody expected him to blow away the field.

    I truly admire Hillary Clinton. As I have said before, I am prepared to work my heart out for her if she is the nominee. It would be a great day for women to break through this final glass ceiling.

    However, we cannot deny the impact on every American of color to see an African-American capture America’s imagination.

    And who can deny the message that John Edwards carries for America?

    We are truly fortunate to have three great Americans in contention for our nominee. Things would be perfect if John Kerry was also among the final four!

    It is important for all of us to contribute to the proper tone in this campaign. I do not want to vote for anyone because I am against someone else. Let us all remember that the stakes are high, that the Supreme Court, the Constitution, our Economy, and our Environment are at stake!


  5. Bob

    I think it remains to be seen if Hillary is “to connect well with the American people.” Remember before yesterday she was ahead in the national polls. I think there is validity in pointing about that Obama may lack in experience, and that concerns some voters. Likewise there is validity in pointng out the negativity that has been floated from all of the candidates. The truth is none have proven to be 100% above that.

    And yes the stakes are high, but each candidate has made it clear that “Supreme Court, the Constitution, our Economy, and our Environment ” are tops on their lists.