Crunching the South Carolina Numbers

Here's the vote tally for yesterday's South Carolina Democratic primary. Here's the map of counties.

A few observations I didn't hear on tv last night:

  • While Hillary and Edwards only won one county each, in several counties, their combined totals exceeded Obama's. Among them: Anderson, Chesterfield, Cherokee, Lancaster, Lexington, Newberry, Pickens, Spartanburg and York.
  • Hillary drew more votes than Obama in Oconee County, which was won by Edwards.


  • Horrey County, the one county Clinton won, has four colleges.
  • Obama's vote total: 295, 214. Hillary and Edwards combined vote total: 234, 793. Candidates who dropped out: 2,461 votes. So the total vote was 532,468. Of that, Obama got 55% of the vote, the other candidates got 45%.
  • Perspective: Obama scored a big win over Hillary Clinton, but not so big among all Democrats. Democratic primary voters preferred Obama by 10 percentage points. He's clearly the favored candidate, but there was also a strong preference shown for someone other than Obama.
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    What's funny (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by phat on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:17:47 AM EST
    and it mean this in more than one meaning of funny, is that the Obama supporters seem to think that they are the Democratic base.

    That video pretty much says it all.

    Who will determine the next Democratic nominee? I don't think it will be non-partisans or Republicans who cross over in open caucuses or primaries. It'll be dedicated Democratic voters.

    I find it interesting that I'm having a hard time finding numbers about what partisan groups voted in the SC primary. Is that a story that MSNBC doesn't want to talk about.

    Obama has hitched his wagon to open primaries and caucuses, which is pretty shrewd. But it's a gamble nonetheless.

    I don't think it gets him the win.

    That video that you've posted is the face of the people who will make Hillary the nominee.

    That's not a prediction, mind you, but that's just  straight up evidence.

    If Obama takes it, or Edwards for that matter, than something else is up.

    But that video will likely be iconic of Hillary's win.


    Unspinning the primary (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by RalphB on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:04:16 AM EST
    Can we get a grip?  The reality of the SC primary is that Obama went 110% into a state he should win without much problem.  It worked, he got a big win, and we'll see how that gets spun over the next few days.

    Other than fundraising over the internet, I don't see a large impact in the big Feb 5 states.  If internet fundraising was the key, Ron Paul would be winning fwiw.

    ya know (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by magisterludi on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:11:22 AM EST
     that register as a "dem for a day" in the Reno Journal Gazette was quite a coup for Obama on the Republican side before the NV caucus. I would be really surprised if that GOP dog whistle went unheard in SC. Dismissing  talk of republican cross-over chicanery is intellectually dishonest. Don't deny it, deal with it.

    The beauty of spin (3.00 / 2) (#19)
    by lily15 on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 03:43:37 AM EST
    Over 50% African American and an open primary..where not only independents, but Republicans can vote...This is hardly a typical Democratic primary state.  Plus, in general elections, this state is solidly Republican.  So we should consider this state important?  Who cares what the margin is if the state is not representative and will have no impact on the general election?  Iowa and South Carolina are certainly two states that have no business selecting or impacting our selection of a Democratic candidate in any substantial way.  The only mistake HIllary made was not abandoning  this state.  She probably would have done as well whether she stayed or left.  Anyway, the main point is that the pundits and liberal media elite should not tell us how to vote or allocate the importance of a very minor state with the most conservative of roots.  

    Each day I dislike Obama and his followers a little bit more...

    On the perspective... (none / 0) (#1)
    by andreww on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:09:19 AM EST
    No Dem candidate beat the others combined candidates in Iowa or NH.  Your first bullet saying that the Edwards and Hillary combined totals beat Obama is supposed to take away from this victory?  That means using your logic Hillary's win in NH wasn't a big deal.  And Hillary's win in NV wasn't big either apparently because she only beat obaa and edwards combined by a point.

    A 10% point victory over the REST OF THE FIELD COMBINED! This is the biggest win of any candidate in either party since voting began.

    I understand your frustration with the media coverage.  But this is just as biased if not more so.

    It's that perpective (none / 0) (#3)
    by Stellaaa on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:13:57 AM EST
    It's not a mandate.  It's perspective.  

    hmm, and you have to consider the (none / 0) (#31)
    by hellothere on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    circumstances. any good politcal analyist will also consider it's importance in the general election along with what the voting groups were and what it means for super tuesday. and frankly, these numbers don't support your candidate. unfortunately obama's win does not translate to upcoming elections.

    I said (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:13:02 AM EST
    Obama scored a big win over Hillary. I'm just pointing out that when you consider his total against the others, it's a 10 point margin, not a landslide.

    I'm not frustrated at his win, I expected it. I'm trying to figure out how significant it is, particularly in terms of Super Tuesday.

    I think the numbers point to Edwards taking votes from Obama. And he's staying in the race.

    Taking into consideration (none / 0) (#4)
    by andreww on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:20:51 AM EST
    the victor's numbers versus the rest of the field we have:

    Iowa - Obama 37, rest of field 63
    NH - Hillary 36 - rest of field 60 something
    VN - Hillary 51, rest of filed 49
    SC - Obama 55, rest of field 45

    That seems like a landslide to me when compared to the other states.  

    I agree Edwards staying in the race certainly has an effect on Super Tuesday - but I didn't get that as the point of your first point.


    Do you really think he's taking numbers (none / 0) (#5)
    by Teresa on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:34:56 AM EST
    from Obama? I think he's taking Hillary voters. Or at worst a split. My reasoning is that the people who vote for Obama absolutely love him. The Edwards voters are more typical Democrats and would seem likely to switch to Clinton. I think the caucus in Nevada showed that from what I read.

    I may just be projecting from the Edwards supporters I know in Tennessee.


    I don't know... (none / 0) (#6)
    by andreww on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:38:39 AM EST
    It's a tough thing to tell.  If I had to bet though I think there are those who like Hillary and those who want someone else.  It's a tough one to read.

    Try 28 (none / 0) (#34)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 11:06:39 AM EST
    Obama scored a big win over Hillary. I'm just pointing out that when you consider his total against the others, it's a 10 point margin, not a landslide

    But against Hillary it was a 28 point margin.


    a salon article on the subject (none / 0) (#7)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 12:58:07 AM EST
    good short little article on details....

    Did you read this article on (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 01:19:38 AM EST

    "Clinton goes straight back to stumping after loss


    Oconee County (none / 0) (#8)
    by kid oakland on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 01:16:19 AM EST
    is 89% white.

    Horry County, home to Myrtle Beach, is 81% white.

    Barack Obama (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kid oakland on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 01:42:02 AM EST
    in CNN exit polls:

    52% of Non-Black vote 18-29
    25% of Non-Black vote 30-44 (Edw: 41%)
    25% of Non-Black vote 45-59 (Edw: 40%)
    15% of Non-Black vote 60+ (Edw/Cl: 42%)

    When you write "but not so big among all Democrats" what you are really talking about is Barack Obama's weakness with White South Carolina Democrats over 60.


    What do you predict this win will (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 01:56:16 AM EST
    do for Obama besides give him these SC delegates?

    Your entire premise (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by kid oakland on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:50:15 AM EST
    is that Obama hasn't been doing well.

    I don't agree. Barack Obama has two big wins, and two close contests that were, nevertheless, widely perceived as bigger Clinton wins than they actually were. Obama leads on votes, on delegates and on numerous diversity measures coming out of Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    I mean, lost in the shock of the NH tally was the fact that Obama got 30,000 more votes in NH than either Gore or Bradley did in 2000 and trailed Clinton by only 3%.

    Not bad for the Senator from Illinois.

    Suggesting that a Black candidate who just won 52% of non-Blacks under 30 in SC is "weak with Whites" doesn't make sense to me. It's a nice try but it's a misuse of South Carolina...Democrats over 60 in South Carolina are a particular demographic and Edwards is a native son.

    Imo, suggesting that a candidate who just won 80% of the Af-Am vote against the Clinton campaign in a record-setting turnout primary needs some other "boost" is ignoring the reality that up until two months ago Clinton was extraordinarily strong with Af-Am voters in the polls and I'm sure was counting on Af-Am support for Fat Tuesday.

    Why would Barack Obama NOT be ready to challenge Clinton in New York State and California coming off this win?  Youth plus energized liberals plus Af-Am voters in RECORD turn out is not a bad base and is going to get him delegates all over.

    I think it's pretty clear Obama will fight hard for all of these states and has always planned to do so.

    I look forward to it.


    Insurgents don't win the Democratic primary (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Molly Bloom on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 09:23:05 AM EST
    not since 1976.

    Viewed in the at light, Obama is doing very well so far.

    I still wish he would spend more time pointing out we are seeing the inevitable result of Republican philosphy. Or say it more openly.


    We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize their opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner; ...
    It's about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today

    may  be a veiled way of saying so.

    Others have pointed out this sounds like campaigning against "the brain dead politics of the past"  which did well for that candidate- carried him to the White House- until gays in the military became the rallying point for defeated republicans and blue dogs.

    The leopard will not change its spots. I hope Obama doesn't seriously thing the GOP will compromise. On anything.  


    Energized liberals (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by magster on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 09:58:50 AM EST
    will be much more energized if Obama stands up on FISA.

    Give him (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jgarza on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:15:22 AM EST
    money for one. his campaign said they are raising about a half million dollars and hour from their website.

    The solidified fact that he is getting 80 percent of black vote, gives him a nice floor to work from as well.

    It is too early to tell but my guess sis he will get some MO out of this.

    Changes the media narrative.  


    the media narrative (none / 0) (#15)
    by diplomatic on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:38:12 AM EST
    for the past week or more the media narrative has been how bad and ruthless and racists the Clintons are.  Why would changing the media narrative really help at this point.  Just saying...  This win pretty much puts this race back at even, or I'd even say Obama is the frontrunner now.

    if it changes the narrative then (none / 0) (#16)
    by athyrio on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:40:51 AM EST
    I guess they won't be criticising the Clintons as much......LOL.....

    Here's input from lots of academic (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:24:20 AM EST
    Emotional voting. (none / 0) (#20)
    by ding7777 on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 04:43:15 AM EST
    UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck speculated on some interesting possible interpretations of exit poll data showing that a substantial 21 percent of those who believe Clinton would be the best nominee in November voted for Obama, while only 4 percent of those who believe Obama would be the strongest nominee voted for Clinton.

    55% is an absolute butt-kicking considering (none / 0) (#17)
    by Geekesque on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:41:46 AM EST
    he's up against the most famous woman in the world and a native son who was the VP nominee from 2004 and who won the state with 45% in 2004.

    Doubling up your nearest competitor is a massacre.  This is without a doubt the worst thrashing either Clinton has seen in decades.

    The Saddest Statistician (none / 0) (#21)
    by Addison on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 06:16:16 AM EST
    The reason you didn't hear any of these numbers last night is that they're absolutely meaningless and only a total partisan would bother investing them with any importance whatsoever. Much less the "silver lining" quality you attempt to imbue.

    Barack Obama only won Democrats by 10%? That was we all thought he'd win the state by on a good night. Hillary and Edwards combined to beat him in a few counties. Only a few? That merely highlights how he beat their combined totals statewide, which is astonishing.

    Bizarre selectivity -- and an ineffective selectivity at that -- of numbers to analyze does not do a candidate any service in a blowout like this. It merely sharpens the focus on the victor's feat.

    BTD, total partisan? (none / 0) (#23)
    by AscotMan on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 08:49:01 AM EST
    ..you do know [he says] he supports Obama, right?

    I know, I know; with friends like these.....


    The blogs need a reasonable (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by magster on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:02:52 AM EST
    Clinton perspective. Talk Left fits the bill better than the MyDD diaries or Taylor Marsh.

    Given the Propensity of SC Blacks (none / 0) (#22)
    by bob h on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 08:11:50 AM EST
    to vote their race, and Edwards' being a homeboy and culturally acceptable Southerner, I don't think Clinton's 27% is any great disaster.

    Obama will never beat McCain (none / 0) (#24)
    by LadyDiofCT on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 09:07:19 AM EST

    thanks... (none / 0) (#35)
    by mindfulmission on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:08:56 PM EST
    ... for the brilliant analysis.

    Jeralyn's favourite candidate (none / 0) (#25)
    by canader goose on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 09:21:47 AM EST
    Jeralyn, in your world, can Ms. Clinton do any wrong and Mr. Obama any good?

    You seem to be skewing pretty hard towards HRC, or am I just reading too much into things?

    They are pretty much the same on issues (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:56:13 AM EST
    and neither one matches my position on issues. No candidate would. (Kucinich came closest.)

    So yes, it's incorrect to say in my view Hillary can do no wrong and that I haven't praised Obama. I've done both. (Example: I've criticized Hillary for her statement that she had concerns in principle with retroactivity of the crack-powder sentencing guideline changes and I've praised Obama for his work to protect the wrongfully accused in Illinois.)

    That said, what I object to most is the "change" meme. I don't buy it for a second. It's a tired, generic phrase used by every politician who ever tried to get into office or unseat an incumbant.

    I don't want to buy a pig in a poke. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't. I want a President with experience who can get things done in Washington, not just complain about how Washington has to change. It's Congress that enacts and repeals laws and the President needs clout there.

    I don't want someone who will compromise on my issues and claim a bi-partisan win. I don't want one who goes into the White House seeking "a working majority" which is a code word for "working with Republicans."

    I could go on   and on, but for me, it's Clinton or Edwards, and I'd be happy with either one. I'll support Obama if he gets the nomination, but I hope he doesn't get it.  He might be the right candidate in 2016, but he isn't ready now. I think he knows it and that's why as recently as last night in his speech, he's warning people not to expect change overnight and says it will take years. He knows he can't make it happen.


    great post! (none / 0) (#36)
    by Judith on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 02:58:07 PM EST
    The even sadder part... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Dadler on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 10:49:09 AM EST
    ...is we have allowed a ridiculous and utterly skewed, unrepresentative primary system to spread and infest the election process even further -- every time we accept it, we give it more legitimacy.  Super Tuesday should be the FIRST primary day, or some monster primary very much like it.  Period.  The obviousness and logic of this isn't just right in front of our faces, it IS our faces.  What we have now is nonsense and should be completely ignored or ripped to shreds as a process by those who want a fair and equitable and REPRESENTATIVE slice of America to have such an influence in the primaries.

    Same on the issues (none / 0) (#37)
    by call me Ishmael on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 06:18:02 PM EST
    I agree with you on the change meme but I really have to wonder about the experience one.  What controversial and progressive thing has Clinton ever actually gotten through Congress?  Sure the Clinton administration got some controversial things through (NAFTA, ending welfare as we know it in the most punitive way possible, the 1996 anti-terrorism and death penalty act) and the DLC has changed the tenor of the party but hardly in progressive ways.  How do these give you any confidence that Clinton won't simply continue with business as usual in deferring to the Republicans (okay, say we don't continue to hold the Iraq vote against her but Iran??  The recent joining with Lieberman to attack video games?  We are lucky she isn't a governor to rush home and condemn some death row inmate).  I would like to see Edwards have a chance--although the media seems to have killed that.  But I really don't see any evidence (outside of her many years ago work for the Children's Defense Fund which she hardly ever mentions) to give you the confidence that she would actually do anything effective to challenge the republicans.  I would think that she has already shown that she is happy to agree with republicans and claim a "bi-partisan" win.

    The point about Horry County colleges... (none / 0) (#38)
    by cannondaddy on Sun Jan 27, 2008 at 08:37:30 PM EST
    is pointless.  Charleston County has three colleges and two universites.  While SC may not be a Mecca for higher education, Horry County is not a considered it's center.  Horry County did not go for Clinton because of it's colleges.  Looking at national tends Clinton is trailing with those working on degrees as well as those who already have them.