Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 26: South Carolina (Democratic)

Obama 55
Clinton 27
Edwards 18

Huzzah! Now, for some objective political analysis:

Hillary can't be too scared: among white voters (a minority among South Carolina Democrats), the split was Hillary 40/Edwards 35/Obama 25. On second thought, Hillary ought to be really afraid - in South Carolina, the cradle of secession, the home of Strom Thurmond, "Cotton Ed" Smith, and other such undesireables, a black man got one out of every four white votes. The cross-tabs show that Hillary is being isolated to her base among older white women - a base that matters, but not enough to prevail over Obama.

Caroline Kennedy
endorsed Barack Obama in today's Sunday New York Times. Her third-to-last paragraph is a tour de force of an attack by velvet scissors:

"Senator Obama is running a dignified and honest campaign. He has spoken eloquently about the role of faith in his life, and opened a window into his character in two compelling books. And when it comes to judgment, Barack Obama made the right call on the most important issue of our time by opposing the war in Iraq from the beginning."

By omission, Hillary is running an undignified, dishonest campaign, can't articulate what faith means to her, ghostwrites her books for political expediency instead of 'opening a window into her character', and flip-flopped on the Iraq war. Too bad all those charges are true.

John Edwards, who won the South Carolina primary four years ago, finished third yet again. At this stage, Edwards seems likely to stay in the race, hoping to have leverage at the convention if Clinton and Obama finish the primary season in a virtual tie. It's clear that he's not staying in it to win primaries, because he has gone steadily downhill since his strong performance in Iowa.

The campaign trundles on with Obama and Clinton tied at two victories apiece (Michigan excepted). Obama has two impressive victories, and Clinton has two narrow ones. February 5 looms.

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