Thursday, December 06, 2007

Clinton Losing Lead in SC Polls

She's down to within the margin of error against Obama.

From Rasmussen Reports:

New York Senator Hillary Clinton’s lead over Illinois Senator Barack Obama in South Carolina’s Presidential Primary has disappeared. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of the race shows Clinton with 36% of the vote while Obama is the top choice for 34% of the state’s Likely Primary Voters.

... Obama’s showing has improved significantly among black voters. He now attracts 51% of the African-American vote in South Carolina while Clinton picks up just 27%. A month ago, the candidates were even in this important constituency (Obama 46%, Clinton 45%). There is virtually no movement among white voters in the state--Clinton now earns 43% of the white vote, Edwards 22%, and Obama 17%.

In the South Carolina survey, African-Americans constitute 49% of Likely Democratic Primary voters.

The poll also notes that Huckabee is in the lead on the GOP side. Not at all surprising given the state in question. Given that Obama has pulled nearly even with Clinton in all three of the early primary states one might wonder about the secret to his success. I think the electability question is being laid to rest. He's fared well enough in the debates, raised enough funds, and garnered a good enough base that those that originally passively supported other candidates due to fears about Obama's electability (particularly Hillary) have migrated back to his banner.

I think the electability question has given Obama the ability to gain more momentum than other candidates as the race progresses. My working theory is that if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire he'll beat Clinton is SC. However if he loses one it'll be a really close race. After SC the question mark for me is who will Edwards support after he drops out? If Obamania hits a stumbling block that may be the sixty four thousand dollar question and the election decider.