Saturday, January 26, 2008

Black voters lift Obama to South Carolina win

From the NyTimes:

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Senator Barack Obama appeared to sprint to a lopsided victory in the South Carolina primary, the first Southern contest of the presidential campaign.
More than half of the voters who participated in Saturday’s primary in the state were black, according to early exit polls, a higher turnout than the 2004 Democratic primary and a signal that Mr. Obama enjoyed strong support from African-American voters.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign had sought to lower expectations about her performance in Saturday’s primary, and she was scheduled to be in Tennessee for a rally on Saturday evening.
But Mr. Edwards, seeking to revive his flagging campaign, had ratcheted up his efforts in recent days as he hoped to attract support from voters in the state where he was born. Mr. Edwards was the winner of the 2004 South Carolina primary.
A large majority of Democratic voters in South Carolina said America was ready to elect a black president or a woman president, according to exit polls.
Party officials predicted a record-setting turnout. Throughout the state, party officials said they had early reports of high turnout, in predominantly white and black precincts. Several precincts in York County, on the state’s northern edge, had surpassed their complete voting totals from four years ago by early afternoon. Officials said similar turnout patterns were coming in from Aiken County, on the Georgia border.

It seems clear to me that Hillary is the winner tonight in South Carolina. Of course, the first goal is to win, but if she must lose, she'd hope Obama would use an incredible black vote to defeat her. She can now take a broad coalition toward the Democratic nomination.

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