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Barack Bites Back in South Carolina

Posted on 1/29/2008 12:25:00 PM

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama managed to regain his footing in the presidential race by securing a critical win in the South Carolina primary. Obama beat his close rival Hillary Clinton by securing 55% votes; Clinton, on the other hand, was only able to manage 27% of the votes cast.

The win should help boost Obama’s campaign prior to the run up to February 5, Super Tuesday. Twenty-four states will vote for the candidates that they want to run for the US president on this day.

Having faced successive defeats at the hands of Cinton, the win proved to be a psychological boost for Obama who was seen greeting supporters at the victory rally enthusiastically.

Obama roused the crowd with a message that inspired both unity and hope. He stated that "The choice in this election is not about regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old and it is not about black versus white. This election is about the past versus the future." Obama’s focus was on driving change into the existing bureaucratic system. "In nine short days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business as usual in Washington, we are hungry for change, and we are ready to believe again," he said.

The reason for Obama’s success was his strong popularity amongst the African Americans in South Carolina. This section of the population represents more than half of this primary. Support for Clinton was, however, seen amongst the elderly and older voters of this primary, a trend that has been apparent in past elections as well. Clinton was able to secure more votes from older citizens and white women; Obama, on the other hand, drew almost 70% of the voters between the age groups of 25 and 29. However, he would need more white votes in order to ensure that his drive for the White House is successful.

Clinton did not seem to expect to win this primary; she spent part of the week before, campaigning outside South Carolina. It is a close match and one could expect the close rivalry between candidates to last long after Super Tuesday.


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