Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Voters Spoke -- 2

By Carol Gee

Senator Barack Obama's win in the Democratic primary in South Carolina seems very significant. The stars seemed to be aligned right for a win for him this time. There are several reasons, it seems to me.

(Linked to major news sources on line):

  • Steady -- Though probably tempted to respond inappropriately to former President Clinton's earlier dismissive comment, Senator Obama stuck to his own more positive and coalition-building message.

  • Voters speak -- South Carolina voters, like New Hampshire voters before them, cherished their rights to make their own choices, and showed their displeasure with the Clinton campaign.

  • Lack of grace -- Senator Clinton's going into denial (into a "stump" speech, rather than a genuine concession speech) is a sign of the magnitude of her defeat. It was a bigger one than the campaign expected.

  • Turnout -- The voter turnout was very big, significant in this more Republican-leaning state. With 99% of votes counted the turnout was 532,227.

  • Youth vote -- Senator Obama's ability to win the younger crowd of voters remains very consistent. The generational difference is readily apparent as to how little this demographic pays any attention at all the Obama's race, for instance.

  • Delegate dispute looming -- The delegates from the Michigan and Florida campaigns are looking more important. I expect that there will be a big attempt to seat them at the convention, despite the party rules against it. The Florida primary is on January 28; Super-Duper Tuesday (24 states) is February 5.

  • Important supporters -- A number of Obama endorsements are emerging that are very impressive:s Senator Leahy, Senator McCaskill and Caroline Kennedy, are examples.

  • The future -- Senator Edwards' disappointing finish also indicates that voters are looking to the future, rather than the past. The Obama campaign is all about the future.

  • Delegate count -- According to MSNBC, Obama has the lead with 63. Clinton has 48, not counting the "Super Delegates," and Edwards has 26. The Washington Post has a count that includes the "super delegates:" Clinton has 246, Obama has 161 and Edwards has 52. The nominee will need 2,025.

A footnote -- Chris Matthews was missing from the MSNBC scene; it was a delight to watch Keith Olberman lead the discussion. Even then, I switched to CNN occasionally.

Others who agree:

Andrew Sullivan at Atlantic's Daily Dish is an unabashed Obama supporter and wrote several delighted posts. Here is his round-up, and his post about Caroline Kennedy's endorsement.

Steve Clemons at The Washington Note wrote (1/25) about the Florida primary non-campaign in "When not Campaigning in Florida Seems Like It Is"

Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report had some "Fun with Exit Polls." It is a great little piece.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo wonders how people feel about Hillary's leaving the state and about her speech last night in "The Speeches."

RealClearPolitics and Memeorandum have all the news that's fit to print, so to speak, in their richly aggregated and late news sites.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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