South Carolina Democratic primary thread

Australia Day festivities prevented me putting this thread up in a timely fashion, but better late than never. Barack Obama has polled 55 per cent of the vote in today’s Democratic primary in South Carolina, which has the country’s third highest proportion of African-Americans behind Mississippi and Louisiana. Hillary Clinton took second place with 27 per cent, ahead of John Edwards on 18 per cent.

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.

462 comments on “South Carolina Democratic primary thread”

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  1. Hillary is still ahead nationally and in the big states of NY CA NJ and also FL. She will get a big boost from winning big in Florida. Which is a much bigger state than SC.

  2. There isn’t really any boost for Clinton when she wins Florida because the DNC stripped the state’s delegates for holding the contest too early.

  3. Jack, there is no way the DNC will stop the Florida delegation from being seated in Denver. Florida is a critical swing state and whoever the nominee is, they will need its delegates to work hard to win the state. The same goes for Michigan as well. The delegates will be seated.

  4. Hillary is ahead in pledged delegates when Michigan is rightfully counted and is ahead in Superdelegates. Any momentum Obama gets from SC going into super tuesday will be cancelled out by Hillary’s Florida win.

  5. Neither michigan of florida should count. Break the rules, pay the price. Saying Michigan should be counted when only one person ran is silly.

  6. Iowa and New Hampshire broke the rules as well. They moved their primary and caucus dates ahead of the DNC scheduled earliest dates for those two states and they did not get penalised. More than one person ran in Michigan. Should the voters of Michigan’s voices not be heard just because Obama and Edwards removed their names from the ballots because they thought they would lose. Florida will have everyones name on the ballot anyway. It is the 4th biggest state in the country and there is no way it can be ignored.

  7. Because Iowan and NH didn’t breach the order that they were held in. And they withdrew their names in agreement that it was not appropriate to run there. To claim they withdrew out of fear is ignorant and wrong. If they let Michigan and Florida have their delegates despite breaking the rules, they lose all claim to effective management of their own party. They will be saying “don’t break the rules or we will say don’t again.” Rules breaches of this nature must be accompanied by appropriate punishment. The fact that Clinton supporters want to try and sneak a few delegates and play dirty, underhanded politics makes me feel good, because it shows that they have appropriate concern about losing.

  8. New Hampshire did breach the order of the nominating contest. Nevada was supposed to go before it. If Obama had thought that he was competitive in Michigan he would have stayed on the ballot. Let me stress. Michigan and Florida delegates will be seated at the convention. No one seriously believes otherwise. If Obama wins the nomination in the states to come before the convention then he will call for those states delegates to be seated.

  9. Obviously we shall. Even if you don’t count Florida’s delegates the state’s primary will still be important because all of the candidates names are on the ballot and because of the size of the state. A Hillary win shows that she is very capable of brining in the big delegate rich states on Feb 5th and denies Obama any honeymoon he otherwise would have had out of SC. There is no doubt the Democratic race could go either way but i would definitely have to say that Hillary is still the most likely to win.

  10. Anybody want to predict on what Edwards does here?

    If he drops out, he will surely endorse Obama, he has been against Hillary from the start really. Add a few more percent to his total, which could push him over the line.

    If he stays in, as I think he will, then he runs on the hope that one of the main candidates majorly, majorly stuffs up. As I see it, he won’t make it past anyone Super Tuesday.

    This is probably the one and only time he has the influence to get some sort of promise from the two main candidates in return for his endorsement. But he knows if he drops out, he will never be president on the United States – nobody will take seriously a third run.

    Any takers?

  11. Edwards will stay in until at least super tuesday. If he drops out after that i don’t think that his endorsement will make that big a deal. Everyone assumes that Edwards supporters will flock to Obama. But actually next to Edwards, Clinton is the most progressive candidate in the race and many of his committed liberal democrat supporters will move to her. We know from exit polls that liberals are voting for Hillary over Obama because he is running such a moderate ‘post-partisan’ campaign, barely even mentioning the word ‘Democrat’. Unless the delegate race after super tuesday is extremely tight between Obama and Clinton then i doubt Edwards could make that much difference in the race.

  12. I know this is in poor taste but that’s never stopped me before. Given the tragic demise of that nice dictator it is:

    Diogenes 1
    Edward StJohn 0

  13. The best thing Edwards can do for Obama is leech votes from Clinton, and then in a close race (likely because of proportional representation) sends delegates to Obama.

  14. Adam, you bring back memories with that Wolfe quote on the other thread.

    Almost forty years ago, Tom Wolfe wandered amongst the glitterati and the A list New York scene with its roll call of rich, famous and incredibly talented celebreties, who partyed hard and lavishly while spinning off an east coast liberal philosophy that ran the spectrum from hippy crystal healing to Black Panther ‘revolutionaries’.

    Like a modern Proust, Wolfe settled on the “Roquefort cheese morsel” as his very own petite madeleine, his rememberance of things past, and rolled that morsel over and over as he conjured the nuts and the cheese. Not just any cheese, but a ewe’s milk blue from the south of France. And not just any nuts… but I digress, you get the picture.

    So there he was, leering and louche in a milleu he both needed like crack and at the same time looked down upon from some superior eyrie he imagined himself inhabiting.

    Rolling the Roquefort cheese morsel betwixt thumb and finger as prelude to savouring its culinary contradictions, Tom’s eye glances over the carnival of personalities and he etches the list into his mental ledger: 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 . .

    It’s not a party, it’s a cultural Who’s Who, and he strains to remember all of their names; the long, distinguished list of their names coded into his mental notebook for easy retrieval later is his party trick, and the ascerbic few brush strokes which he splashes against their names is his signature style. Deft, short, and cutting.

    Into this pyrotechnical cultural display, the Black Panthers, hot on drugs and a couple of centuries of being called ‘boy’, wade into this rarefied atmoshpere like bikies at a Kabuki performance. As the Vietnam war comes to an ugly crescendo, their impossible Afro’s and impeneterable brotherhood are a symptom this strange time. Die in the swamps of Vietnam or the dark alleyways of America’s bigger jungle, they haven’t yet seen, let alone imagined, much in between.

    Tom Wolfe rolls the Roquefort cheese morsel betwixt thumb and finger, casting his laser eye across this Fellini-esque crowd, and decides upon his metaphor, his rememberance of things past. For him it’s the effete French cheese eating class butted up against the hard nuts, and it’s pure Wolf, so very witty, so exquisetly concocted, so…so…so damned effete is what it is!

    But that was then, and forty years later, much, although not everything has changed. Many of those white, J3wish liberal intellectuals and cultural icons are actually black! There’s nearly two generations of black achievement, and there are writers and musicians and academics who tell black Americans their story. There is a real black middle class, ( and still a very big black underclass), which can see itself in an elite class of achievers in a way that was hardly existent forty years ago.

    I like Wolfe, but he’s dated…so very, very dated.

  15. 18
    Possum Comitatus

    Thanks Possum, an arvo at the beach with the kids, fossicking in rockpools, breathing all that salty air does wonders for the mental clarity!

  16. Florida will NOT count for the simple fact that DNC has declared that it delegates will not count before the vote has taken place. They are not to going to declare the contest valid in retrospect. The expection might be may for the Superdelegates.
    I know it is Florida; where they do seem to have questionable processes anyway, but I can’t see the ruling being over turned until a candidate is clearly going to won the nomination without the questionable delegates.

  17. 20
    B.S. Fairman

    Just note that for both parties, there are incredible numbers of early votes being registered.

    So far, about 400,000 a piece, from memory (well, earlier this evening!)

    Source: NY Times

    There’s a lot of BS being sprouted in the Dem race on Florida.

  18. It’s 11 more months to go Diogenes and I here Studs Terkel has issued his memoirs and the poet is not all well. I am quietly confident.

  19. From I have selected the Worst poll results for Hilary Rodham Clinton and the best poll results for Barack Obama for each ‘Super Tuesday’ state. Displayed in order of number of Presidential college votes of state, as a guide (proxy) to the electoral importance of each state for the Democrat primaries.

    State Votes Clinton % Obama %
    Cal 55 43 28
    Ny 31 47 26
    Ill 21 25 50
    NJ 15 42 32
    Geo 15 33 36
    Mas 12 32 22
    Mon 11 36 24
    Ten 11 34 20
    Arz 10 41 24
    Minn 10 47 22
    Col 9 34 23
    Okl 7 29 25
    Con 7 41 23
    Kan 6 27 22
    Ark 6 49 16
    Ida 4 31 33

    Given that these are the worst Clinton results, and best Obama results, my opinion is that this indicates that Mrs Clinton should emerge as the clear winner on 5th Feb. I think that some people have given far too much importance to what seems to me to be a couple of small wins for Mr Obama in a a couple of small and relatively unrepresentative states, as well as the ABC poll mentioned at (#3).

  20. The Wolfe extract is not at all dated, which is why I quoted it – New York upper class liberals such as Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg fawning on Obama is exactly the same phenomenon.

    It doesn’t matter whether the FL and MI delegates are seated or not. Clinton will sweep the board on Super Tuesday and thereafter it will be a procession. Obama and Edwards will probably stay in the race out of spite against Clinton, but the party machines will fall into line behind Clinton once it is clear she has the nomination wrapped up. I imagine the same will happen for McCain on the Repub side, although the fundies, who care more about theology than politics, may decide to take their bibles and go home.

  21. Shapiro at Salon:

    Some longtime residents of the village called Hillaryland were privately appalled by Bill Clinton’s narcissism, but they comforted themselves with the knowledge that these tactics seemed to be working. For a while it appeared that Obama’s white support in South Carolina had all but evaporated. In truth, Obama’s numbers rebounded enough so that he even ran ahead of his two rivals among white voters under the age of 40. Suddenly, the famous 1992 Clinton jiggle — “Buy one, get one free” — has become a threat rather than a promise.

    …and if you check the CNN exit polls:

    …it shows a ‘liberal’ bit of hyperbole!

    Obama took 52% of 18-29 yr old ‘non-blacks’, whereas Edwards took the next two age blocks, and shared them, basically with Clinton, leaving Obama with only 25% or less. Hillary only got an equal share of the over 60’s with Edwards.

    With Edwards, surely, seriously out of this race in his own right, it’s going to be interesting to see where those over 30’s ‘non-blacks’ go.

  22. 24

    And not only the fundies might nick off with bibles, maybe a lot of black voters might do the same on the Democrat side?

    As for Wolfe’s flashback: If Obama was sporting an incredible Afro, was punching the air with a clenched fist a lot, and never took off his shades, even at night, I might, just might, concede a similarity!

  23. One of the Wolfe comments/articles reads suspiciously like an article by Sven Birkets in Esquire from 2000. I will leave it to other commenters to draw conclusions.

  24. Adam and KR- My reading of the blogs is that the Romney/Thompson supporters have said they would prefer a Democrat to win and “stuff everything up so badly that the country comes to its senses and let us back in in 4 years time” than have McCain win. The fundies don’t seem so anti-Macca (perhaps all the talk of a Huck VP).

    On the Democrats, the SC exit polls suggested that Obama supporters (mainly black) weren’t very anti-Hillary but the Hillary supporters (mainly white) were very anti-Obama. That suggests that the Obama (black) voters will support Clinton, but the Hillary (white) voters have a problem with Obama. Sorry for making it seem more “black and white” than I’m sure it really is.

  25. 27
    Edward StJohn

    I beg your pardon? I have never heard of Birkets, nor ever, in my entire life read Esquire!

    Jessus, you are a snide little critter.

  26. KR #26,

    Not very likely as the situation is different on each side of the fence.

    The fundies detest any secular candidate, and will withhold their votes.

    The black proportion of the populace likes Clinton just fine – they simply like Obama better, and will vote for him first. They’ll still vote for Clinton later on, if she should get the nomination, which is looking very likely.

  27. Once Clinton is the nominee the black community will be quick to get on the bandwaggon. The want the Repubs out as much as anyone and more than most. Clinton will get the usual 80-90% of the black vote come November.

    I wasn’t comparing Obama to the Black Panthers, I was comparing Caroline Schlossberg to Leonard Bernstein.

  28. ESJ- I note that Studs is 95 now and waited until he was 94 to publish his memoirs. Who waits until they are 94 to publish their memoirs??!! Talk about thumbing your nose at Mr Reaper.

    And if Glen is around, who out of Romney and McCain would you support if Rudy drops out (I’m not seriously entertaining Huck as a possibility)?

  29. OK, smartarse ESJ, I found the article you so cutely allude to.

    If you can find any passage, sentence, or metaphor in it that is supposedly “similar” ie copied, by me, then go on right ahead.

    You take the friggin’ cake, mate. Like I said, serial abuser! (And I meant it!)

    Esquire > September 2000 Tom Wolfe. (What?) Tom Wolfe. (Can’t Hear You.) Tom Wolfe!!!!!
    A reconsideration
    By Sven Birkerts | 1/09/2000 | 1115 words , 0 images
    “THE ONLY EMPEROR,” wrote the enigmatic Wallace Stevens, “is the emperor of ice cream.” Years ago, before I’d even guessed that the poet was I would always read that line and visualize Tom Wolfe suit.

    For so long, he was the man, the emperor, the renovator (in these pages and elsewhere) of documentary journalism; he was our pundit, our diagnostician, our sui generis social gadfly. In essay after essay, book after book, he took on the wild excursions of American culture, everything from drag racing to the psychedelic adventurings of Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, from the Apollo astronauts to the anomalous party-circuit coupling of ultraliberals like Leonard Bernstein and members of the militant Black Panthers. Along the way, he coined many of the tags–“radical chic,” “the Me Decade”–through which we grasped the strangeness of our rapidly mutating world. Later came rants against modern architecture and modern art, as well as his too-big-by-half but still enormously successful novels, The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full.

    The man had an eye for the intricate codes of social expression, the cipher systems of caste. Writing, for instance, about monied Bostonians on Martha’s Vineyard, he snagged a universe of implication in a handful of sartorial details. “The jackets,” he wrote, “were mostly navy blazers, and the ties were mostly striped ties or ties with little jacquard emblems on them, but the pants had a go-to-hell air: checks and plaids of the loudest possible sort …. The pants were their note of Haitian abandon.., weekends by the sea. At the same time the jackets and ties showed they had not forgotten for a moment where the power came from.”

    Wolfe possessed, too, the open-sesame key of paradox. In essays like “Summing Up the Seventies,” he nailed down-bang, bang, bang–the code reversals that illuminated our overheated image culture: “College boys have affected great Army Surplus Street People funkiness… but they do not really want to be mistaken for proles. So it’s the shit kickers with their Camaros up on cinder blocks.., who now wear the hair of the much-hated hippies of the 1960s …. Meantime, the shortest hair of all, the crew cut, or butch cut-formerly associated with military macho–is now affected by the more trendy male homosexuals of the gay life.”

    Deft and slicing as Wolfe has been from the first, the essays always rode on a swell of fond bemusement. To look that closely at anything, one might say, is to pardon, if not endorse; attention can be construed as a form of respect.

    But now, eighteen years after his last collection, comes Hooking Up (which, at this writing, Wolfe is still completing, holding close, forcing certain surmises about content from the reviewer). All signs are that much of the fond bemusement has ebbed away and been replaced by spleen and indignation.

    Hooking Up. From the denturec-lack of the title alone, we know something is off. “Hooking up” is the phrase du jour for getting it on. Wolfe wants it to telegraph that he still gets it, but it feels forced here.

    He writes, “The typical Filofax entry in the year 2000 by a gift who had hooked up the night before would be: `Boy with green Wu-Tang… T-shirt and cargo pants: O, AS 6.’… The letters referred to the sexual acts performed.., and the number indicated the degree of satisfaction on a scale of one to ten.” I feel embarrassed reading this, and I’m not even a kid. The young have never presumed to write about the old-why would they want to?-and it should work the other way as well.

    This latest work is unbalanced, often cranky, and does not show off the emperor to his best advantage. The much-ballyhooed story “Ambush at Fort Bragg” depicts a media sting operation with the usual Wolfean flourishes-hyperbolic characters, rapidly mounting tension-but then throws it all away with an ill-judged scene of sexual overkill: “Lola’s back is arched. Both hands are on her genitals. Her pelvis is thrusting. She gasps, she sighs, she moans some more.” This is lame even as parody, but it’s not just that the inquisitor’s gaze has become a leer; Wolfe has made himself into one of the tiresome pronouncers. Whether he is pontificating on the mission of the contemporary novelist or railing against the poisoning of the intellectual well by academic Marxists, the feeling I get is the same-that of being trapped at the dinner table by someone’s famous old uncle. The evening started fine, but now the bottles are drained and he’s hammering the air in front of you with the butt of his cigar.

    What has happened? The thought, still nattily dressed in the phrase-maker’s cloth, is utterly undistinguished, on autopilot. Wolfe seems to believe that his aptitude for the American surface makes him a master of depths. It does not.

    Wolfe may have outlived his moment as a satirist. He was at his best a few decades back, when the culture was in its most conspicuous throes of transition-from the heyday of the counterculture through the Reagan eighties. But our world has grown complexly self-contradictory. Wolfe writes, for instance, in a recent tract that the “peculiarly American faith in the power of the individual to transform himself.., is now as moribund as the god for whom Nietzsche wrote an obituary in 1882.” He cites Horatio Alger and Dale Carnegie as former exemplars, looking right past the whole digital revolution and its potentates and start-up kings. The man has begun to ride the tails of his crotchets.

    We all grow older if we are lucky. Wolfe has just turned seventy. He was recently pictured on the cover of the anniversary issue of Harper’s, white-suited, seated across from a similarly garbed Mark Twain. What a suggestive match. Twain was born in 1835, almost a hundred years before Wolfe. Both triumphed as social satirists. But Twain in his last decade veered into weary anthropophobia, brooding darkly on human vanity and societal decay. Wolfe seems to be nipping and yapping right along behind him. His underlying subject: the decline of values. He does not seem to see how his own prurient disgust and reactionary cultural politics abet that decline. If Twain survived for the ages, it was on account of books like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, not the screeds of later years. Wolfe’s novels, alas, will not carry him to posterity. They are too tethered to the vanishing moment, too eager to push situation to stereotype. The emperor’s future reputation may well hang on the cheeky innovation of his early work. Not a Wolfean paradox exactly, but an instructive one.

    Copyright © 1997-2008 by the Hearst Corporation.

  30. ESJ

    You will retract your snide comment and apologise, or forever be known for what you are…a snide little creep.

  31. 31
    Robert Bollard

    Apparently any white privileged person (j3w or gentile) who asserts a liking for any black person is, ipso facto, radically chic!

    It’s too funny, but Adam may just have something! By that standard, Bill Clinton is radically chic, and Hillary, and…

    Oh well, you get the idea!

  32. Yeah, the fundies are an especially weird mob, and no doubt, Afro-Americans will get over Barak Obama, especially if they feel he’s been done over by Bill Clinton!

    (I’d expect some to be really, really p!ssed, but maybe not enough)

  33. Harold Pinter has been getting quite a lot of life time achievement awards, the French gave him one last year – he must be close Diogenes.

  34. “I will leave it to other commenters to draw conclusions.”

    …that’s a right laugh!

    You’ve just been caught at what you do best, slurring other people while pretending not to!

    I’ll leave it to others to draw conclusions.

  35. ESJ

    You are contemptable, utterly without any skerrick of honour and your attempts at humour, when you’ve been caught, red-handed, are pathetic.

  36. If you can find any passage, sentence, or metaphor in it that is supposedly “similar” ie copied, by me, then go on right ahead.

    …I’m still waiting, or have you decided that maybe you’ve just been caught out?

  37. Actually it seems irrelevant who wins for the Democrats as both Obama and Clinton are going to following the same stupid and ruinous Middle East policy whih has seen The Us go from war to war.
    As Jimmy Carter and others have said recently,there must be policies based on equity.At present US policies are ,as recent studies show,crafted by the Jewish Lobby whose awesome clout makes it hard for politicians to oppose!!
    to challenge,and Carter was denounced in the usual way as “anti-semitic”.
    Unless the US has a president who can break the malign grip of”The Lobby” on policy,the vast outpouring of money and lives will go on..and in the near future the fall of the US will become evident in the face of China and Russia. Of course the Republicans are sooo bad as to hardly deserve mention.
    The neo-cons,have made Washington,as Gore Vidal ,the great novelist said…”Israeli Occupied territory”…and the mad Christian findamentalist like Huckabee,make US decline inevitable…so what does it matter who wins in the primaries ??

  38. 45
    It’s time

    You’re right, don’t feed worms, it only encourages them to think themselves better than worms. Clearly that’s not true for this one!

  39. A source inside the Obama campaign says the candidate’s web site has seen one of its best hours tonight, raising $525,000 in one hour. A senior aide inside the Obama campaign said the candidate’s site saw its “highest peak” tonight in both online donations and traffic, “bigger than after Iowa, bigger than after New Hampshire.”

    The Obama campaign measures online donations every 15 minutes, and the source said that online money was pouring in at the rate of more than $500,000 per hour.

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