2008 South Carolina Democratic primary

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South Carolina Democratic primary, 2008

← 2004 January 26, 2008 (2008-01-26) 2016 →
  Barack Obama.jpg Hillary Rodham Clinton-cropped.jpg John Edwards, official Senate photo portrait.jpg
Nominee Barack Obama Hillary Clinton John Edwards
Home state Illinois New York North Carolina
Delegate count 25 12 8
Popular vote 295,214 141,217 93,576
Percentage 55.4% 26.5% 17.6%

SouthCarolinaPresidentialPrimaryResults2008.svg
Election results by county. Purple denotes counties won by Obama, gold denotes those won by Clinton, and orange denotes those won by Edwards.

The 2008 South Carolina Democratic presidential primary took place on January 26, 2008. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois won the primary's popular vote by a 28.9% margin.

For both parties in 2008, South Carolina's was the first primary in a Southern state and the first primary in a state in which African Americans make up a sizable percentage of the electorate. For Democrats, it was also the last primary before 22 states hosted their primaries or caucuses on February 5, 2008 (Super Tuesday).

South Carolina's 45 delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention were awarded proportionally based on the results of the primary. The state also sent nine superdelegates.[1]

Candidates[edit]

Remaining[edit]

Eliminated[edit]

Campaign Finances[edit]

On the day of the South Carolina primary, Senator John Edwards led in fund raising from the state of South Carolina, followed by Barack Obama and Bill Richardson.

Obtained from CNN as of January 26, 2008[7]

Candidate Money raised (US$)
John Edwards $316,319
Barack Obama $257,118
Bill Richardson $196,850
Hillary Clinton $131,950
Joe Biden $55,350
Chris Dodd $22,750
Dennis Kucinich $3,750

Polling leading up to primary[edit]

All monthly averages were retrieved from RealClearPolitics.[8]

Candidate November December January Final 3 Polls Averages
Hillary Clinton 40% 34% 27% 28%
Barack Obama 27% 33% 41% 48%
John Edwards 11% 15% 17% 23%
     Denotes Leader during Poll Average

Despite maintaining a major early lead in the polls, Senator Clinton rapidly fell after the Iowa Caucuses, as Barack Obama skyrocketed and John Edwards began to receive a gradual increase in the polling.

However, in the last three polls taken before the South Carolina Primary, Barack Obama took a commanding lead over both Edwards and Clinton. Also, Former Senator John Edwards had come into the margin of error with Senator Clinton for second place in the South Carolina Primary.

Final Campaigning[edit]

Obama Campaign[edit]

Presidential candidate Barack Obama addresses supporters the night before South Carolina's primary

Throughout the South Carolina campaign, most pundits had predicted Barack Obama the winner, primarily because of the state's large African-American population. For this reason, Obama was shown to be significantly ahead of his two rivals, John Edwards, who carried the state in 2004, and Hillary Clinton, whose husband was popular in the African-American community. In early polls taken in the weeks leading up to the primary, Clinton had a double-digit lead over both Edwards and Obama (see poll averages above).

During a majority of the final campaigning, the attacks between the Clinton campaign and the Obama campaign highly intensified by the candidates as well as the media coverage. Barack Obama began to attack former President Bill Clinton for his comments which were taken as racist. These comments are considered by analyst and historians alike as the turning point of the South Carolina primary and ultimately the cause of Clinton's loss of support from the black community.[citation needed]

Despite the increasing tensions between the Clinton and Obama camps, Obama continued to widely lead in the polls (despite a surge by Edwards). Into the final days of the campaign in South Carolina, it became apparent that Obama would win by a rather wide margin. The final tally had Obama winning by 28.9% over his closest rival, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton Campaign[edit]

In the early months of the campaign, Clinton enjoyed a steep lead over Senator Obama, and a 30-point lead over former Senator John Edwards. However, after Obama's win in Iowa, Clinton's campaign in South Carolina began to fall apart by the Obama political machine rolling into South Carolina with force.

For Clinton, despite winning the popular vote in Nevada, the fact that she had lost Nevada's National Delegates, receiving 12 compared to Obama's 13 still lingered in the media. This, combined with the fact of Bill Clinton's continuing negative publicity from "injecting race into the campaign" as several people called Bill Clinton's actions in his wife's campaign.

Between battling media scrutiny on Bill Clinton, constant attacks between the Obama and Clinton campaigns, and a surging John Edwards which threatened a Clinton second-place finish, poll number began to plunge, with a poll taken by Reuters-Cspan-Zogby showing Clinton in the margin of error for second place with Edwards, with Edwards at 21% and Clinton at 25%. This was also combined with the fact of Edwards's constant barrage of attacks claiming Clinton (and Obama's) big city politics were "too good for the people of South Carolina".

However, despite the attacks from opponents that Bill Clinton's attacks largely alienated African-Americans, Clinton was able to keep a 35% support amongst that key constituency, while losing the white vote to Edwards, In the end, Clinton's African-American support was able to place her in a clear second-place finish, finishing 9 points ahead of John Edwards despite losing to Obama by 29 points.

Edwards Campaign[edit]

After the terrible results for the Edwards Campaign during the Nevada caucuses, in which Edwards finished in third with 4% of the state delegation and received no national delegates, South Carolina began to look as a state where he needed a strong finish, after finishing in third in the last three primaries which took place, and trailing in the number of total national delegates.

South Carolina was the state in which Edwards was born and raised. In 2004, Edwards won the South Carolina Primary, with 45% of the vote to John Kerry's 30% and Al Sharpton's 10%. While entering South Carolina, it became apparent that he needed a first-place finish, which seemed impossible, or a second-place finish, which seemed more within grasp.

Before the CNN South Carolina Debate in Myrtle Beach on Monday, January 21, 2008, John Edwards was placing a distant third in a poll taken before the debates on January 19, in which he placed third with 15% compared to Hillary Clinton's second place with 27%.[9] However, after the South Carolina debates, the tone of the campaign severely shifted.

During the South Carolina Democratic Debate in Myrtle Beach, Edwards sought to distinguish himself from Senators Obama and Clinton, and criticized them for their attacks and "big city" politics. As soon as he began to question how the attacks helped, he was widely cheered by the audience for in what many people thought was what distinguished Edwards from negative campaigning. Saying "This kind of squabbling, how many children are going to get healthcare? How many people are going to get an education from this? How many kids are going to be able to go to college because of this? We have got to understand and I respect both of my fellow candidates, but we have got to understand that this is not about us personally, it is about what we are trying to do for this country and what we believe in", Edwards began to get applause from several members of the audience.[10]

After the debate, John Edwards began to see a major influx of money and in turn, poll numbers began to rise rapidly in Edwards's favor. Along with the debate performance, Bill Clinton's remarks began to alienate black supporters from Clinton, and white supporters from Obama. As a result, Edwards won amongst white voters ages 30 to 50, while receiving the same amount of support from white 60+ year olds as Hillary Clinton according to CNN Exit Polls [11]

However, Edwards was not able to get much support from non-whites, and according to Exit Polls, received only 2% of the non-white support, while receiving 40% of the white support.

Results[edit]

Barack Obama won the primary, taking 44 of the 46 counties; Edwards won in his native Oconee County, while Clinton won in Horry County, which contains Myrtle Beach.[12] Those in italics are candidates who have withdrawn from the race but still remained on the ballot.

South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary Results – 2008
Party Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates Projected national delegates
Democratic Barack Obama 295,214 55.44% 25 33
Democratic Hillary Clinton 141,217 26.52% 12 12
Democratic John Edwards 93,576 17.57% 8 0
Democratic Bill Richardson 727 0.14% 0 0
Democratic Joe Biden 694 0.13% 0 0
Democratic Dennis Kucinich 552 0.1% 0 0
Democratic Christopher Dodd 247 0.05% 0 0
Democratic Mike Gravel 241 0.05% 0 0
Totals 532,468 100.00% 45 45

Results by county[edit]

County Clinton Hillary% Edwards John% Obama Barack% Others Totals TEV TO% MV MV%
ABBEVILLE 738 20.74% 802 22.54% 2,006 56.38% 12 3,558 12,679 28.06% 1,204 33.84%
AIKEN 4,901 33.53% 1,866 12.77% 7,768 53.14% 83 14,618 81,695 17.89% 2,867 19.61%
ALLENDALE 392 27.07% 92 6.35% 951 65.68% 13 1,448 5,143 28.15% 559 38.60%
ANDERSON 5,485 31.43% 5,603 32.11% 6,315 36.18% 49 17,452 87,170 20.02% 712 4.08%
BAMBERG 751 27.57% 222 8.15% 1,720 63.14% 31 2,724 7,929 34.35% 969 35.57%
BARNWELL 820 29.93% 273 9.96% 1,632 59.56% 15 2,740 11,569 23.68% 812 29.64%
BEAUFORT 5,115 30.10% 2,239 13.18% 9,550 56.20% 90 16,994 79,056 21.50% 4,435 26.10%
BERKELEY 3,880 23.48% 2,676 16.19% 9,869 59.72% 101 16,526 74,907 22.06% 5,989 36.24%
CALHOUN 699 25.57% 413 15.11% 1,607 58.78% 15 2,734 8,883 30.78% 908 33.21%
CHARLESTON 11,287 23.49% 6,438 13.40% 30,073 62.59% 246 48,044 176,390 27.24% 18,786 39.10%
CHEROKEE 1,238 25.95% 1,495 31.34% 2,025 42.45% 12 4,770 25,362 18.81% 530 11.11%
CHESTER 1,089 25.19% 650 15.04% 2,558 59.17% 26 4,323 16,170 26.73% 1,469 33.98%
CHESTERFIELD 1,468 26.56% 1,290 23.34% 2,737 49.51% 33 5,528 19,174 28.83% 1,269 22.96%
CLARENDON 1,155 19.00% 803 13.21% 4,079 67.11% 41 6,078 19,018 31.96% 2,924 48.11%
COLLETON 1,119 22.46% 855 17.16% 2,979 59.78% 30 4,983 19,249 25.89% 1,860 37.33%
DARLINGTON 1,911 21.43% 1,282 14.37% 5,672 63.59% 54 8,919 34,298 26.00% 3,761 42.17%
DILLON 814 19.06% 692 16.20% 2,749 64.36% 16 4,271 15,073 28.34% 1,935 45.31%
DORCHESTER 3,231 25.03% 2,444 18.93% 7,165 55.51% 68 12,908 63,990 20.17% 3,934 30.48%
EDGEFIELD 754 25.81% 243 8.32% 1,908 65.32% 16 2,921 13,203 22.12% 1,154 39.51%
FAIRFIELD 996 20.04% 537 10.81% 3,410 68.63% 26 4,969 12,512 39.71% 2,414 48.58%
FLORENCE 3,700 22.09% 2,222 13.26% 10,768 64.28% 62 16,752 65,702 25.50% 7,068 42.19%
GEORGETOWN 1,951 21.90% 1,573 17.66% 5,334 59.87% 51 8,909 34,582 25.76% 3,383 37.97%
GREENVILLE 11,918 27.93% 9,047 21.20% 21,532 50.45% 180 42,677 222,320 19.20% 9,614 22.53%
GREENWOOD 1,528 20.68% 1,436 19.44% 4,373 59.19% 51 7,388 33,087 22.33% 2,845 38.51%
HAMPTON 726 21.73% 362 10.84% 2,232 66.81% 21 3,341 11,517 29.01% 1,506 45.08%
HORRY 9,983 38.57% 7,249 28.01% 8,541 33.00% 107 25,880 127,392 20.32% (1,442) -5.57%
JASPER 577 18.76% 190 6.18% 2,285 74.28% 24 3,076 10,150 30.31% 1,708 55.53%
KERSHAW 2,285 27.97% 1,505 18.42% 4,353 53.29% 26 8,169 31,680 25.79% 2,068 25.32%
LANCASTER 2,318 30.75% 1,678 22.26% 3,505 46.50% 37 7,538 34,008 22.17% 1,187 15.75%
LAURENS 1,599 22.91% 1,719 24.63% 3,639 52.14% 22 6,979 30,912 22.58% 1,920 27.51%
LEE 650 17.20% 427 11.30% 2,673 70.71% 30 3,780 10,166 37.18% 2,023 53.52%
LEXINGTON 7,887 34.50% 5,591 24.46% 9,303 40.69% 80 22,861 131,165 17.43% 1,416 6.19%
MARION 955 14.88% 786 12.25% 4,633 72.19% 44 6,418 18,677 34.36% 3,678 57.31%
MARLBORO 1,000 23.38% 760 17.77% 2,501 58.46% 17 4,278 13,783 31.04% 1,501 35.09%
MCCORMICK 382 21.52% 186 10.48% 1,195 67.32% 12 1,775 5,848 30.35% 813 45.80%
NEWBERRY 1,200 26.37% 1,120 24.61% 2,209 48.54% 22 4,551 18,168 25.05% 1,009 22.17%
OCONEE 2,106 28.99% 3,257 44.83% 1,884 25.93% 18 7,265 37,483 19.38% (1,373) -18.90%
ORANGEBURG 4,581 24.51% 1,634 8.74% 12,373 66.21% 99 18,687 52,047 35.90% 7,792 41.70%
PICKENS 2,521 30.47% 2,815 34.03% 2,904 35.10% 33 8,273 54,976 15.05% 89 1.08%
RICHLAND 14,888 23.46% 6,192 9.76% 42,146 66.41% 235 63,461 187,988 33.76% 27,258 42.95%
SALUDA 662 27.34% 465 19.21% 1,279 52.83% 15 2,421 9,963 24.30% 617 25.49%
SPARTANBURG 7,719 30.43% 6,326 24.94% 11,250 44.35% 74 25,369 130,510 19.44% 3,531 13.92%
SUMTER 2,870 19.16% 1,294 8.64% 10,765 71.87% 49 14,978 51,736 28.95% 7,895 52.71%
UNION 908 21.62% 1,224 29.15% 2,048 48.77% 19 4,199 14,721 28.52% 824 19.62%
WILLIAMSBURG 1,266 17.40% 578 7.95% 5,380 73.95% 51 7,275 18,409 39.52% 4,114 56.55%
YORK 6,967 36.02% 3,250 16.80% 9,020 46.63% 106 19,343 105,781 18.29% 2,053 10.61%
Totals 140,990 26.49% 93,801 17.63% 294,898 55.42% 2,462 532,151 2,246,241 23.69% 153,908 28.92%

Delegates: The South Carolina Democratic Party - State Election Results

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CNN Election Center 2008: Primary Results". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "Obama, Huckabee win Iowa".
  3. ^ "New Mexico Gov. Richardson drops out of '08 Race". CNN. January 10, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "Kucinich Drops Out". The Washington Post. January 25, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "SC Democrats reject Colbert's candidacy". CNN. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  6. ^ "Colbert on Democratic Rejection". CNN. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  7. ^ "CNN Map: Campaign money race-". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  8. ^ "RealClear Politics- Election 2008- South Carolina".
  9. ^ "Pollster.com". Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  10. ^ "John Edwards for President- South Carolina". Archived from the original on 2010-05-05. Retrieved 2008-02-17.
  11. ^ "CNN Election Center 2008: Primary Exit Poll". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  12. ^ "SC Dem. Party Election Results". Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2008-01-27.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]