Sunday, January 27, 2008

South Carolina Primary Analysis

South Carolina Democratic Primary (99% reporting)

Obama - 295,091 (55%)
Clinton - 141,128 (27%)
Edwards - 93,552 (18%)
Kucinich - 551 (0%)

The winner from Saturday is Barack Obama and the losers are Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and John McCain. Here is the breakdown:

Barack Obama: This win in South Carolina trancended race and gender. According to the CNN exit polling breakdown, the race breakdown shows that while Obama won "the black vote", he also won soundly the "Non-black vote" among those between the ages of 18-29 years of age. But Non-Black vote between the ages of 30-59 was not "won" by Senator Hillary Clinton, but by John Edwards! Also, among those who believed Obama was the "most qualified" to be President, he received 96 percent of their votes. Among those who believe Clinton is the "most qualified", 72 percent voted for her and 20 percent voted for Obama. Obama has been doing his best to get away from race and gender. Winning South Carolina was essential to give him momentum entering the Super Tuesday primaries. He has a great shot at doing well on Super Tuesday and could come out with a slight edge in delagates. This race for the nomination is far from over and Obama has a good shot at being the nominee.

Hillary Clinton: This loss may have been expected, but losing by 28 percent certainly was not part of the expectations. Also, the demographic she "won" in South Carolina was the 65 years of age or over column (where she only beat Obama by 8 percent) speaks to the fact that among some democratic voters, her and her husband's message is old and uninteresting. She lost to Edwards and Obama among those who were "Non-Black" and under the age of 65. She has entered the same boat as McCain on the Republican side: having a limited demographic to draw from and needing to convince the rest you should be their choice. Losing by 153,000 plus votes is a damaging blow to the Clinton campaign entering Super Tuesday. She needs to do much better than Obama on Super Tuesday to show she is "nationally" electable. If Obama does better or they both finish failry close to each other in number of states and delagates, her campaign will need to re-evaluate their strategy or they can kiss their White House hopes good bye.

John Edwards: Congrats John, you won the white vote in South Carolina. That is all he can hang his hat on at this point. His home state, the state he won in 2004, he came in a disapointing third place. Edwards needs to evaluate his options, whether he wants to stick it out inorder to play "kingmaker" at the Democratic Convension or if he wants to cut his losses and endorse one of the two front runners. Whoever the nominee is, they should try to distance themselves from allowing Edwards to be their running mate. Edwards has made a habit of voting one way while he was a Senator and running the other direction while running for the Democratic nomination. Also, the fact that Edwards was a self promoter while running with John Kerry in 2004 raises many flags among Democratic faithful. Obama has stolen the identity as the "new" and "fresh" candidate anyways.

Side Note: I mentioned John McCain as a "loser" earlier. I say this because McCain did very well in South Carolina among those between the ages of 45 and older. If Obama becomes the nominee, McCain will be in trouble because Obama has polled very well among those under 45 and McCain has done well with those over 45. If those between the ages of 18 and 45 young people come out to vote like they have in South Carolina, Iowa, and New Hampshire and the Obama campaign hits the college campuses hard before the General Election, McCain will fall easily. The messages of Clinton and McCain is full of so much rhetoric and are so intrenched in the culture of dirty and deceitful politics, that unless you are a die hard supporter, it is hard to choice either one on principle.

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