Nevada and South Carolina thread

Presenting a thread in which you may all chew the fat about today’s presidential election action from South Carolina and Nevada. Republicans in South Carolina are holding an open primary (meaning any voter can participate in one primary or the other, regardless of their registration) to choose 24 delegates from the national total of 2380. It would normally be 47 delegates, but the state has been penalised for “allocating delegates outside of the Republican National Committee-approved timeframe”. The South Carolina Democratic open primary will be held next week, choosing 54 delegates from a national total of 4050. Forty-five of these are pledged to particular candidates; the remaining nine are unpledged “superdelegates” who attend the national convention as senior party office holders. In Nevada both parties will hold closed caucuses: closed means only voters registered with the party can participate, while caucuses means there is no secret ballot. The state’s Democrats get 33 pledged delegates along with eight superdelegates; the Republicans have 31 delegates determined by the caucuses plus three unpledged Republican National Committee members (the term superdelegates does not get used in relation to the Republicans, for some reason).

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

855 comments on “Nevada and South Carolina thread”

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  1. South Carolina had an interesting split on gender: 40/60 men to women voters for Democrats and 51/49 m/w for Republicans.

    I wonder how many families in South Carolina discuss politics!

    It would be interesting to put the black/white mix in there too.

  2. Among white voters in South Carolina, Obama took about a quarter and Clinton and Edwards split the rest.

    But black voters were about half the total.

    OK, what I’m thinking is that white voters in ‘black states’ are not the same as white voters in ‘white states’. If you’re white in SC you have a perspective on blacks that’s very different to someone living in Iowa. No doubt this stuff is detailed in polls somewhere, but it makes the whole idea that Obama is now the ‘black’ candidate, as the Clintons are so desperately trying to portray him, just might not hold up in ‘white’ states. (No doubt they know all this, hence the full frontal campaign to slur him with this).

    No doubt someone will know about this.

  3. KR again suggests that Iowa proved that Obama has crossover appeal. It did no such thing. 227,000 Democrats voted, in a state where John Kerry polled 725,000 votes in 2004. Obama polled 37.5%, or 86,000 votes, 12% of the total Iowa Democrat voter base. The people at the caucuses were overwhelmingly middle-class white liberals. There was no secret ballot – they all stood up in each other’s living rooms and declared who they supported. OF COURSE a lot of them voted for the black guy, to show how liberal they really were. In those circumstances 37.5% was actually quite a poor result. As soon as Democrat voters got a secret ballot in a proper primary election, in NH, they voted for Clinton, and will do so virtually everywhere except in IL and a few southern states like SC. At the risk of repeating myself, the Obama candidacy is a liberal media fantasy, which will evaporate like morning mist on Super Tuesday. Jesse Jackson actually had MORE crossover appeal than Obama does – he won the 1984 Michigan primary largely with white working-class votes.

  4. Thankyou for your explantion Adam.

    So, Obama got 37% against Hillary’s 39% in New Hampshire and that somehow translates as white people using the ‘secret ballot’ in some racist way? Obama got more than twice the votes of the ‘white guy’!

    Sorry, but I think your ‘theory’ is not explained by the facts. (NOTE: I am NOT calling you a ‘liar’!! LOL)

  5. If Obama is a ‘liberal’ fantasy, then what I fear is that the Hill-Billy show might end up a ‘liberal’ nightmare!

  6. Hey Adam, how do you feel about supporting the Old White Female candidate, cos that’s the area where she beat Obama. Note that white males were split pretty evenly. You could almost say that dismissing Obama as the black candidate is a desperate last ditch racist ploy at splitting the democratic party along racial lines. You could go further and say that the Clintons care more about themselves than their party, or their country.
    You could say all of those things and they would still have more credit than dismissing Obama as the black candidate when he has not lost the delegate battle in a single state yet, and Hillary is obviously desperate enough to try and get Michigan and Florida delegates seated.

    She’s not the most electable, her policies aren’t the best, and the racial profiling you seem to seek as justification doesn’t stand up under evidence.

  7. I didn’t say “white people used the secret ballot in a racist way.” I said they used it to indicate their preference for Clinton. Hardly any of the primary vote against Obama is motivated by race – voters motivated by race are nearly all Republicans these days. It’s motivated by the belief that Clinton is a more mainstream and more electable candidate. Democrat voters know that the Repub propaganda machine would eat Obama alive if he were the candidate – not because he is black but because he’s a left-liberal with no credentials to be president.

  8. 808

    OK, I think is a good discussion, so Adam, have you seen the polls on a match up with McCain/Clinton and McCain/Obama?

    And what do you make of them?

  9. Ah, bloody democracy!

    I’m out-voted, and on this fine Sunday arvo, the Removal’s family is hitting the beach!

    No doubt we’ll be having this discussion for a while yet, (past Woozy Tuesday??).

    But quickly, the polls I’ve looked at show MCain beating Clinton by a bigger margin than Obama (who comes very close).

    So what’s that about? Why would they think that? SOmething about CLinton’s past?

    I’d really like to know, but the beach awaits….

  10. Wealthy upper-class New York liberal endorses Obama. I rest my case, m’lud.

    KR, yes McCain will be hard to beat, and I’m actually surprised that the Repub electorate has had the brains to recognise that he is their best candidate. But once the primaries are over Clinton will be able to focus on attacking the truly appalling record of the Repubs in office, and then she will draw level with McCain. She’s a very tough campaigner and will be well equipped to take on the Repub smear machine. There’s plenty of dirt on Clinton, but it’s all been out there for years and it can’t hurt her anymore.

  11. 812

    Repubs and ‘brains’ in the same sentence! (ooh, nasty partisan comment alert!)

    Yeah, but that Hill-Billy show can turn into a hurricane in a unique way, and it’s already got a bit of the wobblies about it. I’m nervous about the old stuff erupting in a new form and distracting them from what really counts ie getting the Repub’s out of the Whitehouse and getting their country back again.

    Gotta go!

  12. Re Mrs Kennedy-Schlossberg endorsing Obama, I was reminded at once of Tom Wolfe’s brilliant 1970 essay “Radical Chic.” Here’s an extract:

    Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

    Excerpt from Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe. Copyright © 1970 by Tom Wolfe. Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. These are nice. Little Roquefort cheese morsels rolled in crushed nuts. Very tasty. Very subtle It’s the way the dry sackiness of the nuts tiptoes up against the dour savor of the cheese that is so nice, so subtle. Wonder what the Black Panthers eat here on the hors d’oeuvre trail? Do the Panthers like little Roquefort cheese morsels rolled in crushed nuts this way, and asparagus tips in mayonnaise dabs, and meatballs petites au Coq Hardi, all of which are at this very moment being offered to them on gadrooned silver platters by maids in black uniforms with hand-ironed white aprons . . . The butler will bring them their drinks . . . Deny it if you wish to, but such are the pensées métaphysiques that rush through one’s head on these Radical Chic evenings just now in New York. For example, does that huge Black Panther there in the hallway, the one shaking hands with Felicia Bernstein herself, the one with the black leather coat and the dark glasses and the absolutely unbelievable Afro, Fuzzy-Wuzzy-scale, in fact—is he, a Black Panther, going on to pick up a Roquefort cheese morsel rolled in crushed nuts from off the tray, from a maid in uniform, and just pop it down the gullet without so much as missing a beat of Felicia’s perfect Mary Astor voice . . .

    Felicia is remarkable. She is beautiful, with that rare burnished beauty that lasts through the years. Her hair is pale blond and set just so. She has a voice that is “theatrical,” to use a term from her youth. She greets the Black Panthers with the same bend of the wrist, the same tilt of the head, the same perfect Mary Astor voice with which the greets people like Jason, John and D.D., Adolph, Betty, Gian-Carlo, Schuyler, and Goddard, during those aprés-concert suppers she and Lenny are so famous for. What evenings! She lights the candles over the dining-room table, and in the Gotham gloaming the little tremulous tips of flame are reflected in the mirrored surface of the table, a bottomless blackness with a thousand stars, and it is that moment that Lenny loves. There seem to be a thousand stars above and a thousand stars below, a room full of stars a penthouse duplex full of stars, a Manhattan tower full of stars, with marvelous people drifting through the heavens, Jason Robards, John and D. D. Ryan, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Schuyler Chapin, Goddard Lieberson, Mike Nichols, Lillian Hellman, Larry Rivers, Aaron Copland, Richard Avedon, Milton and Amy Greene, Lukas Foss, Jennie Tourel, Samuel Barber, Jerome Robbins, Steve Sondheim, Adolph and Phyllis Green, Betty Comden, and the Patrick O’Neals . . .

    . . . and now, in the season of Radical Chic, the Black Panthers. That huge Panther there, the one Felicia is smiling her tango smile at, is Robert Bay, who just forty-one hours ago was arrested in an altercation with the police, supposedly over a .38-caliber revolver that someone had, in a parked car in Queens at Northern Boulevard and 10th Street or some such unbelievable place and taken to jail on a most un-usual charge called “criminal facilitation.” And now he is out on bail and walking into Leonard and Felicia Bernstein’s thirteen-room penthouse duplex on Park Avenue. Harassment & Hassles, Guns & Pigs, Jail & Bail—they’re real, these Black Panthers. The very idea of them, these real revolutionaries, who actually put their lives on the line, runs through Lenny’s duplex like a rogue hormone. Everyone casts a glance, or stares, or tries a smile, and then sizes up the house for the somehow delicious counterpoint . . . Deny it if you want to! But one does end up making such sweet furtive comparisons in this season of Radical Chic . . . There’s Otto Preminger in the library and Jean vanden Heuvel in the hall, and Peter and Cheray Duchin in the living room, and Frank and Domna Stanton, Gail Lumet, Sheldon Harnick, Cynthia Phipps, Burton Lane, Mrs. August Heckscher, Roger Wilkins, Barbara Walters, Bob Silvers, Mrs. Richard Avedon, Mrs. Arthur Penn, Julie Belafonte, Harold Taylor, and scores more, including Charlotte Curtis, women’s news editor of The New York Times, America’s foremost chronicler of Society, a lean woman in black, with her notebook out, standing near Felicia and big Robert Bay, and talking to Cheray Duchin.

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  13. Just back from the US. Probably the biggest surprise to me was how little advertising there was in the media outlets I was accessing (mainly national TV networks like CNN and ESPN) – some of the other advertising was for local businesses so it wasn’t just that they sell their advertising nationally. Obviously the advertising is very much targeted at specifically local media. (I’ve spent time in the last fortnight in both Florida and South Carolina). There also doesn’t seem to be much campaigning on the ground in a state (other than Iowa and New Hampshire) until the last few days – an inevitable consequence of the heavy schedule.

    There are plenty of signs out, although if you took the number of signs as an indicator of likely success then Ron Paul would be a runaway favourite – he doesn’t have a lot of supporters but the ones he has are obviously very committed (including the group waving banners from a freeway overpass in Asheville, North Carolina).

    The weather for the Republican SC primary last weekend was very ordinary, with ice forecast for several of the main inland cities (this stuff is downright dangerous to be on the roads in, and must have had an adverse impact on turnout). The forecast for today wasn’t brilliant either but I haven’t heard what actually happened on that score.

    My money would still be on Hillary Clinton for the Democrat nomination, although I don’t think it’s as cut and dried as Adam is suggesting. If he does badly in Florida (which is looking increasingly likely) Rudy Guiliani will be sunk, which will make it a two-horse race unless Huckabee wins quite a few states in the South (and if he can’t win SC then he’s probably not going to win in too many others). I haven’t been following all the posts of this thread, but one thing I noticed which didn’t seem to get a lot of coverage is that, in polling of various potential matchups, Mitt Romney’s numbers are dire – 20 points or so behind all three Democrats (whereas polling for a McCain-Clinton or McCain-Obama race is pretty close).

    My last stop was New Orleans, and just to show that the local politics are especially colourful, the first few pages of Friday’s local paper featured:

    – the state Agriculture Commissioner being re-indicted on various charges just after another raft of charges had been dropped
    – someone who was, until recently, the heir-apparent for Mayor of New Orleans appealing against his 37-month sentence for receiving bribes
    – a close associate of the previous Mayor being indicted for alleged tax fraud, the third such associate to meet a similar fate in recent months
    – the Governor being fined (modestly) for (reasonably trivial) campaign-finance irregularities
    – the last-but-one Governor seeking early release from a federal prison
    – the ongoing case of the local Congressman, who allegedly kept $90,000 of alleged bribes in his freezer

  14. Did you gather any news on Senator Landrieu’s chances of losing her LA Senate seat, given that a large chunk of her voting base left the state after Katrina and is now living in trailer parks in Texas? This is the only Senate seat the Dems are worried about losing.

  15. I’m surprised no-one has posted the final margins (the exit polls were spot on though)
    With more than 98% of the precincts reporting, Obama leads 55% to 27% to 18%.

  16. Didn’t see much about Senator Landrieu, although incumbents of all varieties and at all levels of government are seriously on the nose in New Orleans at the moment (the governor at the time of Katrina saw the writing on the wall and didn’t stand for re-election). If George W. Bush was running again I think he’d be lucky to get 5% there.

    I also have no idea (maybe someone with a better idea of American electoral law does) where those who left after Katrina (there are apparently 60,000 living in Atlanta, for one) are registered to vote these days. I saw a reference to the impossibility of polling for the mayoral race because the potential voters were scattered all over the country, but the local elections may well use different rules to the Senate ones.

  17. Judging by the almost complete lack of change in the betting markets after Obama’s huge win, it appears the people with money agree with Adam. And the swing of Fred supporters continues to favour Romney and Florida is now line ball between Macca and Romney. Florida prides itself on choosing the POTUS almost single-handedly in recent history so the money-men will be watching closely, given that all the Repugs seem to be broke except Romney.

  18. It was reported yesterday that McCain’s fundraising has increased dramatically and that the campaign which is now seriously short of money is Guiliani’s. Whoever advised him to ignore the early primaries and stake everything on Florida is likely to go down as the most misguided political strategist in living memory.

  19. I believe Obama won about a quarter of the white vote in South Carolina, that is the white democrat vote.

    He cannot win a presidential election.

    That will be settled conclusively after New York, California etc vote.

    McCain will be this decades Bob Dole. The Clintons will destroy him. You can still get odds of 2.5 to 1 on Hilary in the presidential and 1.5 to 1 for the nomination, v. good odds i believe.

  20. From my recent reading, the US political campaign money situation is quite different to ours. They have backers who will invest heavily in a candidate if they see momentum, and will also withdraw funds just as quickly if things aren’t looking good. That probably explains why Macca is suddenly flush and Guily is broke (I heard his lot are working for free until Feb 5). It’s pretty ruthless.

  21. 823 – I can point out again that he split white males with Hillary, and that he only lost on white females, but don’t let that stop you from saying 25% white vote when he was projected as getting 10% is a failure.

  22. About 530,000 people voted in SC. Apparently more than half of them were black – let’s say 270,000. So about 260,000 white Democrats voted. If Obama got 25% of the white vote, that’s 65,000 votes, in a state which cast 1.5 million votes in the 2004 presidential election. Obama has not yet won a secret ballot among white voters, and on curent indications the only place he will do so is in IL.

  23. #828 Adam – do you have any numbers that compare apples with apples – e.g. the voter turnout numbers for prior Democratic Primaries in South Carolina? After all – comparing primary numbers with the main event numbers is not really relevant.

  24. Edwards beat Hillary in the male white vote, therefore Edwards will beat Hillary overall. Come on, you’re doing the sort of things with statistics that a tenth grader would laugh at.

  25. I’m making the point that Obama getting 65,000 white votes in a state with 1.5 million voters cannot be construed as evidence of Obama crossover appeal.

    The Democrat turnout in 2004 was 291,000. Evidently black voters weren’t very impressed with the choice of Edwards, Kerry, Dean and Lieberman, and I don’t blame them. The large increase in turnout this time was evidently caused by black voters turning out in strength for Obama, which is hardly surprising.

  26. Then nothing will convince you if you are determined to make the evidence support your position. Your position appears to be set that a black man cannot appeal to white Americans and nothing will change your mind. Your opinion of Americans seems so low that it almost to me seems like another reason for me to support Obama, to show people like you that American can rise above that, and that it does not matter whether a candidate is black, or a northern liberal, or part of a powerful political machine, but that what matters is the individual man or woman themselves and how they will run that country. I believe Barack Obama can inspire America to be a better place, and if he won it would show the world America’s better side. I hope it would show you that America isn’t the simplified place you seem to think it is.

  27. Another name in the hat for McCains VP is Gov Crist (hard not to spell that one with an “h”) of Florida. He’s campaigning hard for Macca in Florida and would be a big plus in the (correct me if I’m wrong) biggest purple state.

  28. Then your previous post is just hot air.

    I did not say “a black man cannot appeal to white Americans.” I said that the 65,000 white votes Obama got in SC are not evidence that he has sufficient crossover appeal to win a primary in a white-majority electorate, let alone to win the election in November.

  29. I did not say that a black man cannot appeal to white Americans, I said there is no evidence that a black man can appeal to white Americans. Semantics ITT

    Are you a professional cricketer? Then you cannot comment on cricket!
    Are you a politician? Then you cannot comment on politics!

  30. Here’s another fact for you. Obama has never won an election in a secret ballot against a white opponent in a white-majority electorate. He represented a virtually all-black district in the IL state legislature, he was elected to the Senate against a token black Republican opponent, and he has won the SC primary almost entirely on black votes. The only time he has contested a secret ballot against a white opponent in a white-majority electorate was the NH primary, which he lost.

  31. Amazing, he fails to meet a completely arbitrary criteria you set with the sole goal of proving that he does not meet that same criteria?

    Did you know that Hillary Clinton has failed to win a single state based on delegates yet? And that popular vote is every bit as important as it was in the 2000 general?

  32. You persist in misrepresenting what I said. I made no comment at all about black candidates as a category. There have been many black candidates able to win against white opponents in white-majority electorates – Tom Bradley, Doug Wilder, Deval Patrick, J C Watts, David Dinkins. I just said that on current evidence Obama is not one of them.

  33. Re Clinton and delegates: IA, NH, NV and SC are small states and the delegate count hardly matters. These contests were important for momentum, not delegates. When Clinton wins NY and CA on 5 Feb she will have plenty of delegates.

  34. Except that you are determined to exclude caucuses because they do not suit your argument. You also exclude the fact that the results in predominately white NH and NV were so close that – as I said – he has not lost a state based on delegates yet.

    At any rate, I have to take the Missus to tennis, but I will undoubtedly be making an effort to catch up on whatever of this thread I miss in the meantime.

  35. On the cross-over appeal thing – the numbers of white men voting Clinton and Obama respectively were 28% and 27%. I.e. one could argue that Obama is as appealing as Clinton is to the white male voter. On the other-hand, white women were favoring Clinton 2:1 over Obama. And to complete the picture – the non-white men and women favored Obama over Clinton by a factor of about 4:1. So, the more interesting issue is not cross-over, instead – it is white female Clinton alignment.

    Gosh – does this make me sexists and racist in the same post?

  36. I agree with Adam as to Clinton vs. Obama.

    Besides, Obama would be eaten alive if he was the nominee. His baggage hasn’t been explored or exposed yet (all politicians/people have them).
    Clinton’s “big negatives” are in part because she’s simply been around for so long. If you become the poster boy/girl for your party of course the committed members of your opposition party will hate you. If Obama gets the nomination his ‘hate’ factor will climb among these very same people, because he’ll be the liberal poster boy. Look what happened to Kerry’s negatives between the primaries and the election.

    Also remember, she won New York with 67% of the vote in 2006. With many many Bush voting up-state counties voting for her. (Remember Kerry got ‘just’ 58% of the New York vote in 2004, and lost most of the upstate).

    She actually does have cross over support.

  37. For the record, I think that in a general election Clinton and Obama would have equal ‘negatives’. If the argument is about ‘electablility’ then you should be supporting Edwards or drafting an Al Gore.

    If you favour Obama over Clinton then it should be on substantive policy differences. I simply don’t buy the idea that he’s more any more “electable” than her.

    KR et al, please advise how he would be a better more successful president than her, in terms of his program and agenda for change.

  38. Also remember, she won New York with 67% of the vote in 2006. With many many Bush voting up-state counties voting for her. (Remember Kerry got ‘just’ 58% of the New York vote in 2004, and lost most of the upstate).

    Err, so what?

    Clinton faced only token opposition in her last Senate campaign. Of course a Republican senate candidate making only a perfunctory effort is going to do worse than a sitting president. But it doesn’t follow that Clinton has any special connection with the rural areas.

    For what it’s worth (not much), Obama outpolled Kerry 70% to 55% in Illinois in 2004, winning almost every county in the state.

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