January 26th, 2008
09:11 PM ET
6 years ago

South Carolina organization pays off for Obama

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Much has been written about the strength of Barack Obama's ground organization in South Carolina, largely driven by volunteers. Some observers considered it his best among the early-voting states.

It paid overwhelming dividends for Obama tonight in precincts across the state, some of which were largely ignored in the 2004 primary.

Take, for instance, the tiny town of Estill, located in Hampton County in the southern part of the state.

In the 2004 presidential primary, just 264 total votes were cast in Estill.

In this primary race, the Obama campaign made sure to send staff and volunteers to the town. Tonight, amid unprecedented Democratic turnout across the state, 575 votes were cast in Estill, with 459 of them going to Obama, 92 to Hillary Clinton and 24 to John Edwards.

soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. MM

    Obama is waking up naive young voters and AAs. What so impressive about that? Jackson won SC when he ran. This is no surprise, it WAS a racially based vote and they went out and hunted for minority (i.e., AA ) voters to make this win look like a bigger deal than it is.

    January 27, 2008 05:08 am at 5:08 am |
  2. rick

    okay i don't see what the big deal is here,, obviously black americans feel most comfortable with someone who looks more like them,, just like many white and latinos feel more comfortable with someone that looks like them,, that is not racial but personal preference,, it was not suprising that this would happen just as it was not suprising that it happened in N.H. and Nevada,, nor will it be any different when we look back after super tuesday

    January 27, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  3. charlotte

    Deana the only mention of black vote was from Michelle Opama, "ain't no blacks in Iowa" A man of the future who relys on the accomplishments of men of the past, JFK, MLK. A man who speaks of changing the old Washington while comparing himself to JFK a Washington insider at the time. HUMMM sounds like double speak to me.

    January 27, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  4. PJ, New York

    Obama will not win New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, etc.

    All we saw in South Carolina yesterday was that the blacks are for the black man, not the issues, period. This is very sad and ultimately, Hillary Clinton will gain from Obama's win.

    January 27, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  5. Lola

    Obama is biracial by birth. He is as much a "white" man as he is a "black" man. His skin color isn't an indication of the MAN!

    January 27, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. d

    this is obama, not the black candidate, the best candidate

    January 27, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Marcelo

    Liz,

    I think if you look back Obama's speeches from 2004 (which is free as an audio book through itunes), he was saying the same words. It was Edwards who has changed his message to align with Obama's. Don't get me wrong, I respect Senator Edwards very much and I think he would be a great leader for this country. I'm excited to see three very qualified candidates running for the democratic nomination who are pretty much identical on all the major issues. I just hope that when one is chosen, we can all set aside our prides and support the nominee for president in the general election.

    Take care

    January 27, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  8. Josh

    Bill Clinton was crowned the "1st Black President" and blacks overwhelmingly told Bill-ary "No, You Can't (have a third term)", when they said "Yes, You Can" to OBAMA. This loss was disastrous to the Clintons, no matter how much they try to play it off as brothers voting for a brother... the Clintons are trying to start a race war betweem white and black voters so they can come out on top – by tearing people down... Shame on you Bill-ary...

    OBAMA 08

    January 27, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. joe

    ARTICLE OUT TODAY ENTITLED "MARGINALIZING OBAMA"

    TWO QUOTES:

    "HOWEVER, IT WAS OBAMA CAMPAIGN THAT CHOSE TO CHARACTIZE THIS AS A RACE BASE ATTACK"

    "BUT BIGGEST OFFENDER, FAR MORE THAN CLINTON OR OBAMA CAMPAIGN, HAS BEEN THE MEDIA ITSELF"

    THANKS TO CNN/OBAMA NETWORK

    GO HILLARY GO HILLARY

    January 27, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. elaine

    I HAVE NOT BEEN THIS INSPIRED BY A CANDIDATE SINCE BOBBY KENNEDY...I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SEEN BILL CLINTONS FACE WHEN OBAMA WON SO BIG...BET HE DIDN'T HAVE THAT SMART LITTLE SMIRK ON HIS FACE NOW....YES WE CAN....GO OBAMA

    January 27, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. chris ojomon

    WE MUST GIVE OBAMA A CHANCE TO TAKE HIS MESSAGE OF UNITY TO THE
    WORLD. HE ALONE CAN NOT DO IT BUT TOGETHER WE CAN FOR THE LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY. GOD BLESS AMERICA, GOD BLESS US ALL.

    January 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Mrs.Leonard

    This is great!!!. White women also lifted Boarack Obama. Im a white southern women who vote for Borack. I also have two sister in SC and they voted for Obama. With that said he also took 29% percent of the over all white vote period. If you compare that 55% percent make the black democrat vote thats a huge percentage of white folks that voted for Borack. We know that people like to devide based on race and gender but the number speack for themselves. We need to stop thinking that we have to let people tell us who we need to vote for. My sister attended two Obama rallys and they both stated that the rooms were packed with white folks. She stated that she was amazed at the energy level it was just amazing...Lots of white college students were present..So it tells you that the new generation is looking away from race, we all need to embrace this. Im also so happy that Carolyn Kennedy endorse Obama, that speaks valume. Carolyn did not endorse Hillary based on gender, she endorse Obama based on character. Hillary is so out of touch with people..She continues to play dis-honest tactics. I hope in Florida were I live that we go out and vote for Borack and show the Clintons that we are tired of the dis hoensty and the games they continue to play.

    January 27, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Ella

    Yolanda we are heading to New York so BRING IT ON!!!!!!!
    Obama 08

    January 27, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Viki

    I don't think that Obama agent of change. He is agent of slogans.
    Media pushing him so hard. Obama praised for everything he does.
    He had good ground organization in one state – media and supporters: great work!!!
    Hillary has a good ground organization in any other state: Clinton political machine. What a double standard!
    I will (as many Americans) vote for Hillary!

    January 27, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. jp/michigan

    Organization consisted of the poor me, pick upon, by the Clintons, sympathy card.

    January 27, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Nikole

    Do the math again–He got black votes in SC and white votes in Iowa, who cares about all of that anyway? Let's quit breaking down votes based on race and move forward.

    January 27, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. pab

    To Math, he the more white vote than tha that in Iowa, NH and NV. Where do you get blacks are 12% anyway? John McCain will beat all the lies out of hrc. As for all those Hispanics you are counting on, I suppose you don't care if they are illegal as long as they vot your way. Get over it. White like Obama.

    January 27, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. lm

    yeah but all the Clinton Inc folks on this site fail to remember he kicked butt in Iowa when 95% of voters are white. He also would have won NH if Clinton Inc hadn't gone SO negative SO quickly and then cried as well...it caught the Obama folks off guard.
    In Nevada he scored big among rural voters – he has a coalition what does Clinton Inc. have? Fear and old white women.

    January 27, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Dude

    Lina: Caps Lock, babe. and Uniting America is not really what we need to focus on. there are real problems that need real solutions, not feel-good rhetoric. I want specifics, not platitudes.

    January 27, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Tom CA

    AJ IL: Can't wait for him to come to California. That's when we'll separate the men from the boys.
    GO HILLARY OR EDWARDS!!

    January 27, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. kinnick

    thank you, do the math!

    change. how about we change the media's reporting too

    January 27, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Jeff, Miami, Fl

    Do the MATH!
    you are dead on the point!
    Media and pundits tried to sell us Iowa in NH. did not work that way! the numbers are just not on his side.

    January 27, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Deleted User

    Organization? None. It was a race vote. You do not need to organize people already decided on whom to vote. Big turnout? It's because the blacks were moved by one and only one motive – get a Black man into the White House – now or never! They wanted to be sure by herding themselves out to vote. That's how much they were scared of Hillary's taking South Carolina.

    January 27, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  24. ChrisO

    "It's amazing that the media keeps emphasizing the number of African Americans that voted for Barack Obama in South Carolina. It's as if they are INTENTIONALLY trying to make this a race thing."

    This is just the kind of comment from Obama supporters that I think is so destructive to the process. Obama is the first viable black candidate. Do you really think that the only reason people are aware of his race is because the media talks about it? Don't be silly. Both Obama's race and Clinton's gender are issues in this campaign. You can't just wish it away. Yet Obama supporters want to control the conversation, by implying that anyone who even mentions race is a racist. This is scurrilous and shameful. It may work in South Carolina, but the black vote isn't as influential in the rest of the nation. Painting your opponent as a racist is much more disgusting than saying he liked Ronald Reagan. It's one of the most serious charges you can make against a politician, but Obama's supporters have turned it into a parlor game.

    Obama said last year that the black vote would increase by 30 percent if he was the candidate. What do you suppose he meant by that? I can only ask, because the Obama campaign has declared that as a white man, I'm not allowed to talk about it.

    Obama said in the last debate that he needs to see Bill Clinton dance before he can say if he's a brother. How interesting that on the eve of the South Carolina primary, where the black vote will be hugely influential in this campaign, that's the first time I've heard him use the term "brother". As concerend as Obama supporters are about "code words" and "injecting racism", I hope they'll be honest enough to acknowledge Obama making himself just a little bit blacker when it suits his needs.

    January 27, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. seaswell

    for every single person who is saying barack is only winning because of race, i have one word for you: IOWA. what was your excuse for that win?

    and the races he's lost have been very, very close.

    stop being negative and stop using excuses – let's drop the race discussion and talk about the issues.

    OBAMA 08

    January 27, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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