Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina: Independents, turnout and the Democratic Party

Exit polling data showing a higher than expected vote by independents could benefit Obama and the Democratic Party, which is trying to claim the independent vote. (The State)

Bob Herbert's column in the New York Times this morning has some choice words about the Clinton surrogates, and the endorsement of Obama by Charleston SC mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr.

In 2004, the makeup of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina was 51% white and 47% black. In that contest, Edwards won over 50% of the white vote and narrowly won the black vote over Kerry, 37%-34% with Sharpton getting 17%. Overall, Edwards beat Kerry, 45%-30%, followed by Sharpton at 10%. Turnout was just under 300,000 in 2004. Also of note, 24% of the 2004 Dem electorate was independent. What does that mean for today? Well, the most recent MSNBC/McClatchy/Mason-Dixon poll anticipates an electorate that's 55% African-American and 42% white. (MSNBC's First Thoughts)

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