Obama Win in South Carolina Impressive but Not Surprising

Senator Barack Obama’s win Saturday in the South Carolina Democratic Primary helps boost his campaign for President. But the big prize still remains all the primaries and caucuses voting on Super Tuesday Feb 5, 2008. Some 22 states will vote including large ones like California and New York. And the outcome is far from certain.

South Carolina Democratic Primary Voting Results:

Obama 295,214 (55.4%)
Clinton 141,217 (26.5%)
Edwards 93,576 (17.6%)

The problem with the hodgepodge of voting so far is that each state has had different advantages to each candidate. South Carolina’s uniqueness to Obama was that 55% of the Democratic turnout was black voters of whom 78% voted for Obama and 19% for Clinton and 2% for Edwards.

According to the US Census, South Carolina comes in 5th in black population at 29%. Mississippi ranks 1st with 37.1%, Louisiana 2nd with 31.7% , Georgia 3rd with 29.9% and Maryland 4th at 29.5%.

As noted in a comment thread on American Renaissance, for Obama to win in November he must be the white candidate. Blacks will vote Democratic when they vote since there is nothing the Republicans have to offer them. Remember the snub the Republican Presidential candidates McCain, Giuliani and Romney gave Travis Smiley and PBS when they ducked a debate at Morgan State College.

Obama will not be taking votes away from Republicans, but even a higher turnout of black voters will not be decisive if he doesn’t draw significantly from all racial groups, including whites.

This is not to say Democrats can take the black vote for granted but further divisiveness among the candidates that accentuate racial differences will not help Clinton in November if she wins the nomination but blacks aren’t motivated to vote. Likewise Obama can not only be the black candidate if he hopes to win.

Population wise, for example, Hispanics comprise the same percentage in the population, 13%, as do blacks. And Clinton won Nevada with the help of Hispanic voters.

This all goes to say the race is far from over – with a lot more to come. Feb 5, 2008 looms now as a major sorting out day for this race.

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