June 18th, 2007
01:26 PM ET
10 years ago

South Carolina Poll: Obama, Thompson lead fields

Watch Obama's comments about fatherhood while campaigning in South Carolina Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton continues to lead in national polls, but Illinois Sen. Barack Obama holds a strong lead over the New York Democrat in the early-voting state of South Carolina, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll.

Obama leads his Democratic presidential rival by 9 points, 34 percent to 25 percent, according to the poll for NBC News and the McClatchy Newspapers. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who won the Palmetto State's primary in 2004, came in third with 12 percent. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore, who so far has refused to rule out a presidential bid, polled at 2 percent. Nearly one quarter or 24 percent were undecided.

On the Republican side, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson holds a 4 point lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 25 percent to 21 percent. Rounding out the poll is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 12 percent; Arizona Sen. John McCain, 7 percent; and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, five percent. More than one quarter or 28 percent were undecided.

The poll also indicates Obama holds a significant lead, 41 percent to 18 percent, over Clinton among black voters. In South Carolina, black voters are the key voting block in the state’s Democratic primary.

The poll results come three days after Obama campaigned in Spartanburg, South Carolina, telling a largely black audience, "Let's admit to ourselves that there are a lot of men out there that need to stop acting liking boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise a child."

The Mason-Dixon poll, conducted June 13-15, interviewed 329 likely Democratic primary voters and 423 likely Republican voters. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points for the Democratic poll and 4.8 percentage points for the GOP poll.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Polls • Race to '08
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Sameer Barua, Clawson, MI

    I wonder how many of the 28% "undecided" Republicans support Ron Paul. I wonder how many of the Ron Paul supporters the pollsters didn't want to report. I wonder how many of those unreported Ron Paul supporters were mislabeled as "undecided". I wonder...

    June 18, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Jamie, New York, NY

    You're quote of Obama panders to several destructive misconceptions and ideas and I am severely offended by it:

    Perhaps Obama would have made this statement in any other community regardless of the audience, rendering false your biased inference that such instruction has particular relevance to the black community.

    Is this truly the most important thing he said of potential interest to the black community or even generally???–or is this just another bit of propaganda by the media to impress a certain negative stereotype iupon the public consciousness?

    You also apparently assume that black voters are not as concerned with broader, typical issues given the emphasis you have given this quote.

    June 18, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Providence, RI

    Polls mean nothing at this early period before primary. Remember Dean? He was the front runner, and then he faded. Media wants to make campaign interesting so people turn their tv on and watch CNN by posting this polls, but it denies the fact that Hillary's nomination is inevitable. Hillary is the nominee, and it is inevitable. Just accept it...Hillary is unbeatable. Obama is not experienced. Period.

    June 18, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Matt, Austin, Texas

    Howard Dean was, and still is, an idiot. Thus, he blew his chances late in the campaign.

    Hillary hasn't been in Congress much longer than Obama. Before that she was a First Lady (who cares? Nothing about being a First Lady can be counted as "experience").

    Indeed, polls are almost always inaccurate at this early stage in the campaign, which is why all these polls that show Hillary in front don't prove a thing about what's actually going to happen.

    Hillary winning the nomination is far from inevitable.

    June 18, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Miriam Breslauer, Farmington, MI

    CNN continues to show shallow versons of Presidential Candidates.

    Obama did a major Meet and Greet in Southern Carolina before that poll was taken. He walked around South Carolina with many of his supporters to boost his name recognition and share his viewpoints on the issues.

    He is not limiting his physical time with just the extreme rich. He is out there meeting with average people all over the US and finding out what they need from him as a President. That is what makes Obama great. How many other candidates are talking to the "little people".

    June 18, 2007 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Stephen, Tampa

    a Hillary nomination will lead to the downfall of the democratic party, and we will lose congress. We need a candidate to take the party forward and bring in more conservatives and independent voters. That candidate is Obama.

    June 18, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Tom, Philadelphia,pa

    Wonderful – Now we are voting for people based on their race or their sex. why is it not surpriding that this is how the democratic party sees things

    June 18, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Scott, St. Petersburg Florida

    This article is written as if this "Mason-Dixon poll" is definitive. I would like to know how they choose their small sample for this poll. I find it hard to give this artical or this poll much credibility. It seems like the media is telling us who we like. I would rather think for myself and influence others to do the same. Vote Ron Paul 2008.

    June 18, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Lorraine, Memphis TN

    Senator Obama is the President Ronald Reagan of the left. He has all the qualities President Reagan had when he ran for the Presidency and when he guided our Country for 8 years. He is strong, a visionary and will help us regain our respect around the World. I watched President Reagan consoled military families he was incredible. He was not a phony like Bill Clinton. He was real. I didn't agree with President Reagan's policies, specifically regarding South African but I believe him when he said it was Morning in America.

    This is what President Obama will have in common with President Reagan, you may not agree with him but you can believe and trust what he says.

    When people begin to focus on this very important race, "who do you trust, who do you like, who do you believe, who can you listen to for 4 maybe 8 years" will come into play.

    Senator Barack Obama, the change America needs to get back to Morning in America

    June 18, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. James, Atlanta GA

    "Senator Obama is the President Ronald Reagan of the left."

    Really now...don't you think that is a bit much for a junior one-term Senator who has really not been the principal proponent of any significant legislation. Reagan practically redefined US conservatism. His ideological platform became the winning strategy of the entire party, friend and critics alike. Whether you are on the left or the right, I would say that it is clear that it is way too early to be making that kind of generalization at this point and time.

    As for Thompson, yes he looks presidential. But, where’s the substance. Really, all those who are falling for the shy, “I’m not really ready to tell you what I am all about” routine, need to start being realistic. The one thing that I will agree with Senator Biden about is that the next person that fills the Oval Office will have a lot of work to do on day one. And, he/she will have little room for a learning curve. Thompson and, frankly, all of his GOP contenders need to put their cards on the table. The American people are tired of just trusting that the Executive Branch knows best.

    June 18, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  11. Tom, Mission viejo, CA

    Where's the substance for Thompson?

    He's running a great campaign so far, if you ask me. Has he spent money on comercials or other advertisement? Nope. Yet he's 1st or 2nd in nearly every poll I've seen thus far. And now he's going to be meeting privately with Thatcher and speaking in England.

    Whoever is directing is 'campaign' has played it brilliantly so far and that alone gives him a hint of credibility. Whether or not he can carry that momemtum once he begins to truly campaign is another story.

    Substance will come eventually, but when you can keep your lid fairly tight and let the other candidates drag each other down, what's to lose! Why waste money and effort in these early stages of the campaign when its all about cutting off the dead wood (no chance candidates).

    June 19, 2007 11:49 am at 11:49 am |