Saturday, January 26, 2008

Obama Back in the Win Column in South Carolina

Well, that didn't take long. Eleven minutes after the polls closed in South Carolina, The New York Times called Obama the winner of the state's Democratic primary. Exit polls are showing an overwhelming level of support for Obama amongst African Americans. Among whites, the three candidates were much closer when Clinton and Edwards bunch together and Obama not far behind. The question now is how well was Edwards able to do (...at Clinton's expense). The answer to that question will go a long way toward telling us whether he'll be able to survive until Super Tuesday (a week from Tuesday) and how much spin we will hear out of the Clinton camp.

7:29pm: They must round down because with 0% of precincts reporting Obama leads.
Obama 64%
Clinton 24
Edwards 12

7:38pm: Just to show that even 0% was no fluke: with 2% now reporting it's...
Obama 51%
Clinton 34
Edwards 15

Oh and don't forget to check things out over at scvotes.org. Those maps will look good once they start coloring them in. And no phone books or xeroxed copies of maps necessary.

Also, The Caucus over at the New York Times has a nice live blog going concerning the primary results.

9:25pm: I'm assuming that this is going to pass the decisiveness test that Rob placed on an Obama victory. With 96% in it's:
Obama 55%
Clinton 27
Edwards 18


So, let's do an instant analysis here. Obama has made a statement that he's going to be a factor on February 5 (that he's not just the guy who won Iowa). Clinton has has her string of victories broken and will now begin to spin the "unimportance" of South Carolina. Edwards is now left wondering whether he can keep garnering as much of the support as he has in the earlier states when it is clear he won't win the nomination. You can't be kingmaker if you can't at least pick off a decent chunk of delegates.

There are now two days between now and the Florida primary on Tuesday. Do any of the Democrats venture into the state in that time? Is Edwards desperate enough even after having cast himself as the rule guy in this race (taking matching funds, staying out of Michigan and off the ballot there) to break the party rules and attempt to make some waves in Florida?


8 comments:

Robert said...

And who was that snide comment about phone books aimed at? It looks like the Clintons ploy did not work in SC. It will be interesting to see if Obama gets a bump in Florida.

Robert said...

Good questions. We should get some answers tomorrow. Hillary and Bill need to be careful at writing off SC as many southern states vote Feb. 5 and there are some African-American women who vote in New Jersey and California. I don't think further alienation of the African-American community is very smart. The California debates on Wednesday and Thursday nights should prove interesting. Those maps are neat. Looks like Edwards won in Oconee County (where he was born) and Clinton won in Horry County (where the debate was held. The rest of the state looks like it is going for Obama.

Josh Putnam said...

Snide? That wasn't meant to be snide. I'm a card-carrying member of the map coloring camp. My stories are just limited in that department. Computers came along and ruined meaningful map coloring for my generation. I just don't have the experience. And I probably shouldn't have opened up that can of worms. But I am a sucker for a good map. I will say that.

The Clintons' plan definitely backfired. They had to sense that this was a possibility though (as good as they are). That attempting to downplay the state and having Bill campaign heavily there (and that became a major story) were actions that ran counter to each other.

I'm still really interested to see what happens with Florida and the Democrats. If Michigan repeats itself how will the media play it? It is just a really interesting dynamic.

Josh Putnam said...

If Edwards wants to have an impact, he needs to camp out in those states where that alienation is possible between Clinton and African Americans. If he's not completely focused on Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Missouri and Oklahoma, then I don't know what he'll do (other than drop out). Sure that relegates him to being a regional candidate to some extent, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to say that you could win white votes in the South. Like for instance if you wanted to be considered for VP.

Robert said...

I love the maps. I am going to permanently retire my crayons. I also like the online sites better than the TV. Paul is right again as usual. I don't think Edwards wants to be VP but I think he would relish the position of Atourney General.

Josh Putnam said...

In the context of the hypothetical plan I laid out for him, VP would be the goal (and if he was doing well amongst whites in the South may be seen as an asset in that capacity). But I agree, I just don't see him as motivated to repeat that 2004 trip. Has that even ever happened? Someone being on the ticket as VP under two different presidential nominees.

There have been a few VP-related things in the news this week. I need to get together a post on that topic.

Robert said...

There are three examples of candidates for VP under two Presidential candidates:

John C. Calhoun -- VP under J.Q. Adams (1825-1829) and under Andrew Jackson (1829-1832).

Adlai Stevenson (the father) -- VP under Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) and running mate of William Jennings Bryan in 1900.

Charles Fairbanks -- V.P. under Teddy Roosevelt (1905-1909) and candidate with Charles Evan Hughes in 1916.

There are some in the party that blame Edwards for failing to go after GWB in the 2004 campaign contributng to Kerry's defeat.

Josh said...

Well researched, Rob. Thanks.

I guess we can say that it isn't a phenomenon that has regularly occurring during the modern era (much less US history).