July 20th, 2007
02:37 PM ET
11 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. T-Bone

    Presidential hopefuls and all people -PLEASE — go this website and sign the petition for Michael Vick’s suspension (not a release until he has had his day in court, but a suspension for sure!) The indictment states that he abused and slaughtered dogs and if we don’t stop him he’s going to get away with it! Let the NFL and other sport’s organizations know that this abuse will not be tolerated! Stop these million $ professional THUGS! Go here to sign with The Animal Humane Society https://community.hsus.org/campaign/US_2007_dogfighting_nfl2?qp_source=gaba6w

    July 20, 2007 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. John S. Chicago, Illinois


    I really wish Al Frickin Gore would quit being that annoying little puppy that keeps humping your leg for attention. If he draws votes away from O'Bama and costs us, I'm leaving the country for good. His wimpyness is what got us here in the first place..... Damn Floridians.

    Either ways, Hillary can take those backwards hillbillies, Hillary, bill clinton, hillbillies. thats funny. Anyways, we all know damn well that South Carolina would cut off its own nose before electing as *GASP!* BLACK REPRESENATIVE! Nice Flag. Welcome to 2007!

    July 20, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Stephen

    "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 ... Hillary will not win in South Carolina.

    July 20, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. James, Phoenix AZ

    I'm certain the good people of South Carolina love the CNN Headline, "Clinton in charge in South Carolina".

    An interesting comment made in the article – black voters tilt towards Hillary because 1) brand loyalty (Bill did so much for the African American community?) and 2) they don't think Obama is electable – WOW.

    Unfortunately I believe "race" is still an issue in our country today. Not because black constituents don't think Obama is electable... but that because if a segment of white voters made that statement I sense there would be outrage against the racist bigots.

    Am I wrong?

    July 20, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. BD

    This is total and 100 % BS. I'm sorry but this poll does not reflect the majority of polls on RCP. I can't wait till election day when all these "pollsters" who continue to define what's in the mind of Black Americans , are silenced when Barack Obama wins this thing.

    Totally pathetic. Any poll that makes assertions about an entire race of Americans is a BS poll. I for one , have had it as a Black American. I am starting to grow wearly of CNN's race baiting. It needs to stop.

    July 20, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. Rose Hillrose, Chicago, IL

    Headline: Rodham Beats Hussein for S.Carolina Primary. Like all sane Blacks, I side with the level-headed majority who believe Hillary Rodham Clinton understands and will do more for us and Africa than Barack Hussein Obama.

    July 20, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. Peter, Dayton, OH

    First problem with this poll: We don't know that the 1,052 are all registered voters. Second problem: Only 380 plan to vote in the Democratic primary, which puts the margin of error way up. Third problem: Al Gore isn't running for president, so his presence dilutes the meaning of the poll. Gore supporters should have been asked to name a second choice from the candidates who have actually declared.

    July 20, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Mary, Beaver, PA

    That's good news - to CNN!!! Good grief, can't you curb your enthusiasm for Shrillary at least a little?

    July 20, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Heather MCEwen, TN

    Wow! Such a problem today with this poll. As for Al Gore, his wimpiness did not cause us to be in this predicament. I'm hoping the 10% who want Gore, will vote Clinton, because of the top three, she is the only qualified one to put our country back on track and will help you when you call her office. Can't say the same for the junior senator from Illinois.

    July 20, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. Tom Dedham, Mass

    See, that fake southern accent is paying off. Y'all.

    July 20, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Elizabeth, Columbia South Carolina

    Good grief people, South Carolina is not as backwards as you may think. We do elect black politicians and are trying to get rid of that annoying flag. If people are so ready to disregard unflattering stereotypes concerning other communities, please do so with regards to South Carolina.

    July 20, 2007 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    CNN, what were the results for the 380 out of the 1052 adults polled, who just might show up to vote in the Democratic primary? Were these 380 adults even registered to vote in the Democratic primaries? Were the remaining 672 adults registered Democratic voters? Statistically, what are the odds that a white, Democratic, registered voter will vote versus a black, Democratic, registered voter versus a Hispanic, Democratic, registered voter? I'm sure the pollsters have this information. Please share. Otherwise, I find this poll to be rather meaningless other than to influence Americans who cannot think, reason, investigate, read, research, etc., for themselves.

    July 20, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Marti Morris, Columbia, South Carolina

    Hillary in charge in South Carolina? Surely you JEST, CNN. That is hilari-ously, UNTRUE. I am not trying to be mean but you have no IDEA how very untrue that is.

    July 20, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Shawn, Los Angeles, CA

    Haha. Typical CNN with no credibility. What CNN forgets to mention is that the polling compnay they use is owned by a HUGE Clinton fundraiser.

    From MSNBC:

    However, we've already had a few folks chime in to remind us that the owner of Opinion Research is none other than InfoUSA, which is owned by Clinton supporter Vinod Gupta. And the Obama campaign says they're laughing at these results. "Our grassroots effort in South Carolina is moving at a historic pace. We couldn’t feel better about the energy and enthusiasm for Obama in the Palmetto State," a spokesman tells First Read.

    July 20, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    There is so much anger and ignorance (as well as poor spelling and bad grammar) in some of these postings. It would behoove all of us to be a little more thoughtful and a lot less emotional about this electoral process that we are blessed with. It is apparent when someone in one state writes off the entire population of another state that they are either unbalanced or just stupid. Next time you post, try to write something you'd be proud of...not something that displays your worst side.

    In the meantime, this is a poll 15 months ahead of the election(hence, meaningless), so everybody get your panties out of a wad until the race actually means something.

    July 20, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Brian Cordell, Durham, NC

    Wow. If John Edwards doesn't have a much stronger showing than this in South Carolina, he has no chance whatsoever.

    July 20, 2007 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Aidyn, Ny, NY

    Good Job Hillary!!

    July 20, 2007 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. pat wilson, laguna beach CA

    Where's the coverage regarding the letter sent to Hillary Clinton from the Pentagon?

    July 20, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Lyn, silver Spring, MD

    How valid is a poll when they are polling for their own candidate. CNN why don't you call this a Clinton Internal Poll. We are on to you and we will not stop pointing this out.

    July 20, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Ernest Dickinson, North Truro, MA

    The use of the words "in charge" again show CNN's bias towards Hillary. There are several more months before – heaen forbid – she could be in charge anywhere. By the way,it was not Gore but Bill Clinton, with his sex scandal and lying, that lostt the election for the Democrats and put Bush in the White House. We have had enough of the Clintons. Let's go for change. Go Obama.

    July 20, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. H NY,NY

    Wow Bill is running again?

    This should dismiss Hillary as a serious candidate.

    She isn't being judged on her own merit. She is riding the coattails of her husband.

    It was a mistake to elect her in NY for the same reason.

    I am disappointed in SC and the American voter.

    July 20, 2007 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Harold Smith, Washington, DC

    So I guess you loyal right-wing neo-con Clinton bashers are really proud of the idiot you've put in the White House for two terms. If I had voted for George Bush, I think I would relegate myself to those who should never vote again, 'cause obviously you're a real sucker for lies and hypocrites. You guys obviously feel threatened when someone mentions the Clintons, but I guess if I were charmed by morons, I'd feel threatened, too. Hang it up, folks: Idiots should not vote, lest they elect idiots.

    July 20, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. South Carolina, the FIRST southern primary

    I agree with Stephen in the 3rd comment. Hillary won't win SC, not a chance.

    It will be Obama or even poss Edwards, but NOT Hillary. She's an icon's spouse, not an icon herself.

    I have lived in SC most of my 50 yrs, and I can honestly say... It simply won't happen here !!

    I honestly believe that the final Democratic Ticket will be Obama/Edwards, and there's not a Repub running that could beat that team.

    July 20, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. ALS, LA, California

    Yes Bill Clinotn did a lot for Blacks...no welfare, NAFTA (say good bye to your job at your local plant that you have worked for twenty years), Rwanda (need a reminder of what happened there). I am African American and educated enough to know that Obama is right this bitter politics needs to go. The government can't do anything because theya re stuck on donkeys and elephants. Anyone who thinks Hillary is going to cross the aisle please pass me what you smoking.

    July 20, 2007 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Mike, HI

    "I honestly believe that the final Democratic Ticket will be Obama/Edwards, and there’s not a Repub running that could beat that team."

    Paul/...well, I don't know who his VP would be. Paul/Paul?

    Let's get cloning!

    July 20, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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