Obama Wins Big

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Exit polls today in South Carolina showed that Obama won 81% of the African American vote while still scoring a remarkably strong 24% of the white vote, following weeks of ugly anti-Obama tactics by the Clinton campaign, including the use of race-baiting tactics.

[National News]

Dealing a decisive blow against the so-called Clinton mystique, Senator Barack Obama today ran away with the Democratic primary elections in South Carolina.


With over 97% of the votes counted, Obama has a resounding lead, 55% to Hillary Clinton's 27%. Former senator John Edwards trails with 18%. Obama will boost his electoral delegates count significantly.

 

Obama beat senator Clinton by a margin of more than 2- to 1. The voting turnout shattered all records, with 530,000 people coming to the polls, an increase of 240,000 from 2004’s total of 290,000. Twice as many Black voters turned up to vote compared to 2004.


This is the first time that a candidate routed the others with more than 50% of the votes. Weeks ago former president Bill Clinton referred to Obama’s campaign as a “fairy tale.” The candidate, whose father was a Luo from Kenya, is now turning into the Clinton’s worst nightmare.

 

The next big test will be February 5th on so-called “super Tuesday” when 24 states will hold primary elections or caucuses.


Exit polls today in South Carolina showed that Obama won 81% of the African American vote while still scoring a remarkably strong 24% of the white vote, following weeks of ugly anti-Obama tactics by the Clinton campaign, including the use of race-baiting tactics.


Exit polls show that the second place winner is Senator Clinton while Edwards, at third place, is yet to win a primary or caucus. Edwards is originally from South Carolina.

In his victory speech tonight Obama did not mince words. “We are looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington,” Obama said.

 

He said even while Democrats should keep their eyes on Republicans, the real fight for change was against the status quo which he defined to include people that equate leadership with “proximity to the White House” or “longevity in Washington,” a clear reference to senator Clinton.

 

Obama condemned politicians “who demonize others.”

 

“It’s not about rich versus poor; young versus old; Black versus white,” Obama said. “It’s about the past and the future.” Obama said the agents of change were up against the “bitter” politics of “divide and distract us” that does not even allow one to say Republicans had a single idea “even when you don’t agree with the idea.”

 

Obama was referring to senator Clinton’s attempts in recent weeks to distort Obama’s remark about Ronald Reagan to make it sound as if he had supported Republican policies. He also took a swipe at Bill Clinton, who was willing to "say anything and do anything" in order to help his wife win the White House.


Obama said his campaign defies those who accused him of "peddling false hope" and that it was a campaign of "common sense and innovation" to herald a politics of hope and "shared sacrifices."

 

Obama spoke of the diverse movement his campaign wants to build across the United States. He pointed to a money order for $3 that his campaign had received from an elderly woman, as evidence that his supporters know small contributions from many ordinary people can add up to finance a formidable campaign.

 

Obama spoke of a former employee of Strom Thurmond who had crossed party lines and had gone door-to-door on behalf of his campaign in South Carolina.

 

Obama spoke of how he worked closely with Latinos in Chicago when he was a community organizer, clearly reaching out to voters in California, a state with the most delegates, and a huge Latino voting block.

 

“Yes, we can; yes, we can,” Obama declared, to a chorus of “Yes, we can” and “We want change,” from his supporters.




Obama throughout has said he wanted to create a multi-racial coalition to help transform the United States. He has also reached out to Republicans and independents.

 

As recently as October 2007, Clinton had led senator Obama by as much as 20% in South Carolina. After stunning Hillary Clinton by winning the Iowa caucuses, Obama survived narrow losses to Clinton in the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses.

 


With respect to Whites, Obama did very well with young voters, winning 50% of the votes of those under 30 years old; with Whites between the ages of 30 to 59, Obama was backed by 25% of the voters. He only got 15% of voters over age 60.




Obama has an opportunity to return to his campaign's original themes: change, inclusiveness, and diversity.







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