Bill Clinton has made a lot of noise in the media as the Democratic South Carolina primary gets closer. One of his statements, according to USA Today, is that Barack Obama may win the primary because the majority of black voters in South Carolina will side with him. Indeed, Obama has the lead in South Carolina in early polls, according to CNN. The Clintons each appear to be doing a bit of preemptive damage control if Obama wins, and eats into Hillary Clinton’s recent momentum. A this point, it does appear likely that Obama will be the winner tomorrow night. But what would a victory mean for him, or for Clinton, as Super Tuesday looms?
If Obama were to win as expected, it would bring back some needed momentum to his campaign. Since being anointed the new leader after Iowa, Obama has had a string of second place finishes. A win in South Carolina would end Clinton’s winning streak, and keep him neck and neck with Clinton heading into Super Tuesday. If Obama is indeed propelled to victory by the African American vote, it would shore up his base of supporters. Having won in South Carolina with heavy African American support, it would go along well with Obama’s earlier win in the almost all white state of Iowa. With a victory, Obama can prove that he will not go away easily, just as Clinton did not go away after Iowa.
However, if Clinton were to win, it would be her second comeback in this race. After Iowa, Clinton was expected by many in the media, and by the early polls in New Hampshire, to fall further behind Obama. However, with her unlikely New Hampshire victory, Clinton regained the frontrunner status. Likewise, if Clinton overtook Obama in another primary that he was expected to win, then she would go into Super Tuesday with all the momentum. Pundits have been critical of Bill’s recent ordeals with the media, but if that does not stop Hillary from winning in South Carolina, then it proves that Bill’s actions do not have much of a negative impact as others might think. If even that cannot derail Hilary, then she may be in very good shape to finish Obama on Super Tuesday.
According to the Greenville News, a final poll released today in a survey from Raleigh, North Carolina had Obama leading with 44%, Clinton trailing with 24%, and John Edwards as a distant third yet again with 19%. An Edwards victory seems very unlikely at this point. The best he can do is try to poll relatively well, so that he will not have to start thinking about dropping out before Super Tuesday. The new poll does state that Edwards is starting to move up, while Clinton is dropping down.
CNN.com- “Obama’s legitimacy on the line in bitter South Carolina contest” www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/25/sc.primary/
USATODAY.com- “Bill Clinton says race, gender to decide S.C vote” www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-01-24-sc-bill-clinton_N.htm
13WMAZ.com- “Obama on top before S.C Primary” www.13wmaz.com/news/national_story.aspx