January 26th, 2008
10:21 PM ET
14 years ago

Record turnout for Democrats in South Carolina

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – In a historical shift, South Carolina Democrats turned out in record numbers on Saturday, besting last week's underwhelming Republican vote, which was hampered by bad weather.

In an overwhelmingly red state, that's no small feat.

The state Democratic party estimates that more than 530,000 Democrats turned out for Saturday's primary, as compared with 445,000 voters who showed up to vote last weekend, a marked drop from the Republican record high in 2000.

State party chair Carol Fowler said in a statement that the vote is a "remarkable occurrence."

"Democrats have three excellent candidates who have inspired voters all over South Carolina and our country," she said. "This is a huge rejection of the Republican Party at both the federal and state level."

Fowler also congratulated Barack Obama on his victory and took a shot at the national press covering the race over the last week.

"While the national media focused all their attention on race and gender, an investment was made in the future of our state," she said.

Meanwhile, state Republican party chair Katon Dawson issued his own statement on Obama's victory, calling him "one of history’s most inexperienced presidential candidates."

He also emphasized that the chances of a Democrat winning South Carolina next November are likely small.

“Tonight, I am more confident than ever our party's nominee for president will be overwhelmingly supported in South Carolina no matter who wins over the liberal Democrat primary base,” Dawson said.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: South Carolina
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. TD

    Obama congratulated Hillary in New Hampshire as well as Nevada. In his own words in NH, he said " Congratulations Hillary for a hard earned victory." He graciously thanked his volunterees at all the times. Tracy, Becky, Veronica, please don't be too much hilarious, because that won't help you. She is gonna loose, anyway.

    January 27, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Chesco

    The first sentence of Obama's speech on the night of the New Hampshire primary was : "First of all, I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard fought victory here in New Hampshire"...

    Facts ! Ladies and Gentlemen, Facts ! ...

    January 27, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. carol

    VERONICA LYNNE, I remember him giving a speech after his NH loss and he topped it by saying the Clintons run a good campaign. People, please say and stand by the truth. Don't just sit and guess anything then write

    January 27, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. John, New York, NY

    This story has nothing to do with Clinton or Obama. It has to do with the incredibly rising tide of frustration that the American people have with the devisive and misleading politics of the Republicans. Its remarkable that 100,000 more voters turned out for the Democratic primary in South Carolina, as aopposed to the Republican primary last week. And this happened in one of THE MOST REPUBLICAN STATES IN THE COUNTRY!

    January 27, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  5. Ellie, Ca

    Sorry, TD, now you're rewriting recent history. Obama left Nevada without thanking his supporters or congratulating Hillary. We were watching for it and it never came.

    January 27, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  6. Leslie Somerville, Seattle, Washington

    Hillary congratulated Obama via telephone as so did Edwards-what are you people out of touch or something.
    In Nevada Obama never said anything to Hillary but, "she won, but I got more delegates) ya one more–let's all laugh, especially after Feb.5-–man, is Obama going to be crying.

    January 28, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  7. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Don, you are right, I would better have the past than raw, immatured, naive and unpracticed new change. Obama knew he is not ready for the President but he just rolls a dice. I wish media opened his record to the voters before too late.

    January 28, 2008 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  8. AJ - Montpelier

    "Democrats have three excellent candidates who have inspired voters all over South Carolina and our country," she said. "This is a huge rejection of the Republican Party at both the federal and state level."

    Oh please, it was no such thing. It was a reaction by black voters showing up to vote for a black presidential candidate. Anyone that says this election is not about race, is just being idiotic.

    January 28, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  9. Anonymous

    what about RON PAUL?

    January 28, 2008 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  10. Terry

    It's interesting...most of you making comments about who congratuated whom when the majority of you have no idea if they congraluated each other or not. Lets try and make comments on things that we have facts on and not make up things to get people on our side. We need to all rise above that and that includes the political establishment.

    January 28, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. Tom Wittmann

    Dem stress that they get more people into their primeries as the GOP

    Obviously !! By bringing race and Gender in, additional to a divisive.
    ex-president, which, as many comments in the blog show, will have as consequence that many of them will not vote or do it for the GOP at the presidential election.

    Therefore this issue is a typical pyrrhic achievement !

    January 28, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  12. Michiel

    Stop drinking the cool aid! So far, there have been 2 primaries and 2 caucuses. Don't know why anyone would want to hold a caucus, they are completely unfair to voters. If your candidate doesn't get 15% at each individual caucus you are required to give your vote to someone else, or go undecided. So much for every vote counting! There are still a vast number of votes to be cast in the next few weeks, and I would ask that everyone out there still to vote do the research on the candidates, not just listen to the media hype about the 2 "front runners". John Edwards has the best plan for the people of this country, but because he is not one of the media glamour candidates, he gets very little coverage. Read his Plan for America, which includes universal health care, the invasion of Iraq, jobs and the environment. It must be good because both Obama and Clinton have followed his lead. For me, John Edwards is the best candidate out there. He gets my vote! (And I am from Illinois)

    January 28, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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