July 20th, 2007
02:37 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton in charge in South Carolina

Clinton holds a strong lead over her Democratic rivals in South Carolina, a new poll indicates.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton holds a 14 point lead over her closest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, in the crucial primary state of South Carolina, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Friday.

The New York Democrat registers 39 percent in the latest poll out of the Palmetto State, followed by Obama, a senator from Illinois, at 25 percent. John Edwards, a former senator from neighboring North Carolina who is a native of the Palmetto State, comes in third with 15 percent. (Read full poll results [PDF])

Former Vice President Al Gore, who has repeatedly said he has no plans to run for president, draws 10 percent in the poll. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden were the only other two candidates to register support in the poll, drawing 2 percent, and 1 percent respectively.

The poll, conducted on July 16-18, interviewed 1,052 adults in South Carolina, including 380 who say they will vote in the 2008 Democratic primary. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

The poll also indicates race plays a large roll in how South Carolina Democrats plan to vote. Among whites, Clinton has a thin 3 point lead over Edwards, 30 percent to 27 percent, with Obama coming in third at 18 percent. Meanwhile, among blacks, Clinton holds a 16 point lead over Obama, 47 percent to 31 percent, with Edwards drawing a paltry 4 percent. This breakdown carries a margin of error of plus or minus 8 percentage points.

Why does Clinton appear to have an edge over Obama among blacks? According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, one reason may be the "brand loyalty" many blacks feel toward the name Clinton - most black primary voters in South Carolina say that Clinton understands their problems better than Obama does.

But another may be the “electability” factor, Holland said. Black primary voters by a wide margin think that Clinton has a better chance than Obama of beating the GOP nominee in November. If blacks want a Democrat in the White House and don't think Obama is electable, they may see Clinton as the better choice for blacks regardless of the racial background of the candidates.

All eight Democratic presidential contenders are set to square off in the CNN/You Tube Debate in Charleston South Carolina on Monday.

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Chris in Thorofare, NJ

    How many of the readers/posters on these threads are voting for Obama because they are black or Hillary because they are women?

    Don't you think that's foolish? Why not vote for someone on thier merits and ideas instead of some cosmetic similiarity?

    This caste based race/gender politics is killing America.

    July 21, 2007 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Ron Paul in 08!

    July 22, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. It's true

    Look closely at Edwards and Hillary. dadgum if he isn't prettier than she is.

    July 22, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. John, Pittsburgh, PA

    Stephen writes

    “I am going to vote for someone because I liked how their husband works" thats like saying I am going to vote for Thompson because he has a trophy wife

    That's a horrible analogy. If they like how her husband works, there's a pretty good chance she will be the same, especially since Bill will be with her in the White House. How is that the same as voting for someone because they have a trophy wife? It makes no sense at all. Get your head out of your butt, Stephen.

    July 22, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. Edward Acevedo, Long Beach CA

    Remember what Jesse Jackson said to us not so many years ago: In this election process – competition should make us better, not bitter.

    July 23, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. H NY,NY

    To Harold Smith from DC:

    No I am not a neo-con or proud of George Bush. But I do live in NY, and know that Hillary has done little over zip or zero for us residents.

    What, exactly are you comparing your affection for Hillary to?

    I would prefer someone who is self made and has not been in politics their entire career. Hillary has done just that.

    Its disheartening to feel that she is just using her position to represent this state to apply for another job instead of focusing on doing it.

    What is she running on other than Bill nostalgia? I haven't heard a thing of substance.

    The problem with the American voter is we are a culture that loves celebrity and that is why Hillary is currently the front runner.

    If you look at the blank piece of paper with her list of accomplishments for NY state, you would have a different opinion.

    Bill is not running for president. She is. Try to remember that.

    July 23, 2007 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. Scott, Charleston SC

    Get over the typical Southern stereotypes real quick...SC is going to be the trendsetter for Edwards in '08 the same way it was for Bush in '00.

    July 23, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Marty Canova, Cary, NC

    How does Elizabeth Edwards rank in the poll?

    July 23, 2007 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Louise Johnson, Norcross, GA

    Hillary's CAMPAIGN KNOWS how to Campaign. They know how to shape her image and when she has to make modifications and adaptations to some valid criticm.

    She however, still faces one of the TWO elephants in the room....SEXISM and CHAUVINISM Elephant...she MUST address this upfront. She has NO PROBLEM in targeting both WOMEN & AFRICAN AMERICAN MINORITIES, which is why she is AHEAD in the POLLS.

    However, POLLS DO NOT EQUATE to VOTES,

    Barack, while he is the $ FRONT Runner has a campaign STRATEGY DEVELOPED by WHITE MALES who do NOT want him to either IDENTIFY as a BLACK MAN and DO NOT WANT HIM to Target the AFRICAN AMERICAN Voter. This is a BIG MISTAKE.

    Hillary has NO QUAMS in either identifying and TARGETING BOTH WOMEN and AFRICAN AMERICANS. The AFRICAN AMERICAN BLOCK is the most LOYAL BLOCK of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Hillary knows if she gets 33/1/3% of AA's and 60% of WOMEN she will be the DEMOCRATIC Nominee.

    Barack's campaign DOES NOT KNOW how to determine a NUMBERS strategy. $'s DO NOT equate to votes or to a GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION.

    Did Barack get Debate Training. He also MUST learn to answer questions directly and clearly within 30, 60 or 90 seconds. I hope that he has come to understand that people VOTE FROM their GUT and EMOTIONS and NOT from their INTELLECT. He too must face the second elephant in the room and that is RACISM.......

    July 23, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. James St. John, Charleston, SC

    The campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson are FIRST RATE. These are two highly-intelligent people who have surrounded themselves with the best and brightest in staff and supporters. Biden and Dodd have good people, but the John Edwards campaign (e.g., supporters contributing on his weblog) has very sadly become one of the more immature and snidely malicious campaigns I've seen in my 70+ years on this planet. This saddens me because Sam Myers, a key Edwards staffer, is one of the best in the business. Although HE stays above the fray where the maliciousness is concerned, I'm afraid his hard work and professionalism will be for nothing when the primary season plays out. It's an unfortunate situation.

    July 23, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Cheryl, Dallas, Tx

    The youtube "debate" was mostly a joke. This media can be entertaining but in this case it mostly allowed the showcasing or ridiculous questions and images. Fortunately even in this forum Obama projected the person of substance he is and Hillary projected the carefully crafted manipulated image she is so good at. If Obama doesn't make it I hope he has the wisdom to stay away from the Clintons so that it won't taint the true leadership potential he has...hopefully he'll be able to provide this leadership this time around.

    July 23, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Melissa

    Enough with the hyperbole, thanks.

    July 23, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  13. Tony Martin

    As a South Carolinian...Yes we like Clinton, the problem is I like ALL of the top 4 Democrates,. they all are MUCH BETTER than what we have now. We in SC know that what we all had under Bill Clinton is a whole lot better than what we had with any Bush.

    July 23, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Matt, Wilmington, NC

    These polls might be good and great, but you know what happened last year...Obama will be last year's Howard Dean, beginning with Iowa... Edwards is obviously going to take the Hawkeye State, and in SC, when it really comes down to it, those who are going to vote for Obama will not vote for him because they know he's not electable. They'll go to their native son... Kerry was also up in SC and Dean and Kerry were killing Edwards in Iowa before the caucuses actually happened. Don't be surprised if Edwards win Iowa big, and carries SC with the switch over votes when people actually get to the polls. Sure, blacks are 50% of SC's vote, but people are mad and want someone who will beat the Republicans...a Yankee winning down here?? NO WAY! hahaha...goes to show you that y'all really don't know the South after all.....you all also need to keep in mind that NC moved their primaries up to Feb 5th with all the other big states. This will get interesting....trust me yankees, Hillary will not win down here. If the Dems were smart, they'd nominate Edwards and put Clinton on the ticket as #2. That will ensure they'll get all the southern votes they can, and Blacks will still vote because of how much they like the Clintons.

    July 23, 2007 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  15. Donna, LeClaire, Iowa

    I was very impressed with all but (1) Candidate, Mike Gravel. I actually think that all candidates are very intelligent and all could be president.
    The people who lead the pack tonight for me were, Joe Biden, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. To me these (3) seemed to be very knowledgeable about all issues. Edwards and Biden seemed to have plans for most all issues and these (3) seem to be the ones who I think could get use out of all the holes we are trapped in.
    I really liked Obama, Dodd and Richardson too. All very well versed in all issues. dennis kucinich is very intelligent. I love the way he sticks to his views. All are amazing candidates.

    July 24, 2007 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  16. Robert Cadalso, NYC, Miami

    Hillary 100%.

    July 24, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  17. CB, Minneapolis, Minnesota

    To ALS in LA, California: The Clintons did a lot for African Americans or at least tired. To say that they stop walfare for blacks( oh, if you are so educated you should know most white are on public assitance), Made NAFTA (again most African Americans dont even work those jobs, again check your education), and as of Rawanda, Im a American not a African first. True I wish we could have done more but what does that have to do with African Americans in this country. Maybe you should read about African Americans more and see what the Clintons have done, Like more job growth and less taxes, If you are so educated as you claim then you should read about it.

    July 25, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Mary Lewis, Muncy, Pa.

    With the south being covered in illegal aliens, its hard to believe that voters would even consider a democrat for president. EVERY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE IS FOR AMNESTY, BAR NONE! If a dem gets in, the 20-30 million illegals will get their path to citizenship within 2 weeks of Jan 20, 09/

    July 26, 2007 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  19. Rob, Nashville, TN

    As an AA from SC, the article correctly articulates black apprehension about Obama's electability. Give blacks some credit, we are a pragmatic people. We embrace Obama, but we also know that the Solid South has controlled every presidential election since Carter. We simply don't trust that white Southerners will will choose Obama over any republican candidate. So, yes Hillary takes much of the AA vote.

    July 27, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Hillary is a "take-charge" woman! She is highly intelligent (of course, an asset which Bush would know nothing about!) and self-confident. She will become our next First Female President of the United States where the Repubs like it or not! (Bush was cheerleading when Hillary was excelling in Law School; what a dumb-ass!)

    August 3, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. West Columbia resident

    As a 50yr resident of SC (20yrs in Charleston, 30yrs in Columbia), its easy to see the writing on the SC walls. Hillary will -never- take SC, in the Jan.09 primary.

    I have yet to find a single Democrat, or Independent, in Columbia (state capitol, largest city) that likes Hillary. The names I hear most often are: Obama, Edwards, and RonPaul. [Yes Dr.Paul is an x-Libertarian, turned republican, for this election at least, and he is popular with many Independents here in SC.]

    This “poll” of SC voters that is touting Clinton’s supremacy, must have a margin of error of +/-105%, laughing out loud.

    Although personally I prefer Edwards, I think that Obama will take SC in the primary. (Obama would make a -fine- VP, methinks.)

    There is NO WAY Clinton will take SC. It simply won’t happen.

    August 8, 2007 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  22. Anonymous

    what joke this turned out to be :) Go Obama!!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
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