Thursday, January 24, 2008

Latest Poll on the Eve of the South Carolina Democratic Primary

Well, the latest poll came out for the South Carolina Democratic primary. Taken by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research, Inc., the polls shows Barack Obama (38%) with a fairly comfortable 8 point lead over Hillary Clinton (30%). John Edwards brings up the rear with 19%.

As earlier projected, it looks like Obama will take South Carolina, however and upset is not out of the question. A look at the numbers states there is a 5 point margin of error. Assuming Edwards stays at 19%, and assuming Hillary gets a 5 point boost, while Obama gets the opposite, Clinton could defeat Obama 35% to 33%.

Something that does not play into Hillary's favor is the fact she is essentially splitting the female vote. While Hillary carried the female votes in Nevada and New Hampshire quite handily, this appears not to be the case in South Carolina. What is interesting though, is to look at the split in the female vote. Hillary is carrying 43% of the white female vote, while Obama is carrying 55% of the black female vote. For Hillary, this rivals the percentage of women she won in New Hampshire (46%- we're assuming that most of the women in New Hampshire were white). If Hillary can consistently carry the white female vote in the high mid to high 40's and work on better establishing herself with female voters of color (the polls in Nevada suggest she can, as it was estimated she won 50% of the Latino vote) this will bode well for her in the upcoming primaries.

Something else that I really hate to bring up, but is glaringly apparent, is that for all the talk about white voters accepting a black candidate based on the results in Iowa, this trend falls utterly flat on its face in South Carolina. Obama is polling at 10% with all white voters, while at 59% with all black voters. These numbers could narely be more opposing. Broken down even further, he's attracted only 11% of white males, and 8% of white female voters. He has the flip side though, with African American voters, polling at 66% male voters and 55% female voters respectively. This is very disturbing. Although South Carolina is 55% African American and 42% white, if this South Carolina polling trend continues on Super Tuesday, it could pose problems for Obama. In the bigger picture, its seems apparent Iowa and New Hampshire are, indeed, fairly distanced from South Carolina.

One last thing I'd like to note, is that 13% of polled voters were still undecided. And further down the poll, 20% of Hillary voters and 15% of Obama voters stated that they might change their mind. When the actual voting takes place on January 26, it will, indeed be interesting to see where these votes fall into place. Though the polls show Obama with an 8 point lead, in reality, it's any candidate's game.

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