Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama hammers Clinton in South Carolina

Barack Obama has scored a crushing victory over Hillary Cinton by 2 to 1. John Edwards polled very poorly scoring 18% of the vote. Obama won 81% of the African-American vote and 25% of the White vote. The fact that more than 50% of the Democratic electorate here is African-American made the victory inevitable. Nevertheless the decisiveness of the Obama victory must boost his prospects on Super Tuesday. Caroline Kennedy's endorsement will not hurt Obama.

Many African-Americans had intended to vote for Clinton. The ugly campaign fought by Bill and Hillary Clinton backfired and galvanised them to support Obama. There is evidence that a sizeable minority of white voters in the last days of the campaign recoiled in disgust at the Clintons and voted for Edwards. Obama can legitimately claim that he represents both communities as he secured 25% of the white vote in a three person race.

The Clintons have attempted to inject a racial element into the campaign in a subtle manner. Polarisation of the electorate would ensure that Obama is seen as the African-American candidate and Hillary is seen as the White candidate. The Clinton reasoning is that the White candidate will secure the Democratic nomination. The racial element to the campaign boosted Hillary in New Hampshire. It may yet tilt the race in Hillary's favour. In addition the majority of Latinos will vote for Clinton. Clinton remains the favourite

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