South Carolina Spin Has Already Started

Retuning to the horserace for a moment, with the outcome of South Carolina appearing like a foregone conclusion, the Obama and Clinton camps are trying to set expectations on the result. Bill Clinton sets the tone for the Clinton campaign:


"As far as I can tell, neither Senator Obama nor Hillary have lost votes because of their race or gender," he said. "They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender - that's why people tell me Hillary doesn't have a chance of winning here."
In other words, when Obama wins South Carolina, it will be because of the large African-American population. This is an attempt to minimize the bounce Obama receives from South Carolina by arguing that Clinton never really had much of a chance in the state. However, there is a major problem with this line of reasoning: women will make up a larger percentage of the electorate in South Carolina than African-Americans. In 2004, according to the exit poll, African-Americans were 47% of the South Carolina Democratic primary electorate, while women were 57%. Given this, if Hillary is winning votes based on her gender, then why isn't she winning South Carolina?

For it's part, the Obama campaign is arguing that the Clinton campaign is doing whatever it can to win South Carolina, stating in a public memo that "Hillary Clinton's campaign is pulling out all the stops to win in South Carolina." The idea is to try and maximize the impact of an Obama win by making the contest in South Carolina seem like a knock-down, dragged out fight, rather than a state that Obama won because Clinton more or less ignored it. The problem with this line of reasoning is that only a couple days ago Obama said the following:
I think the South Carolina voters will have to make an assessment in terms of how seriously she's taking the state. She said last night that Bill Clinton wasn't the one running for President, but this is the next primary and he's the one who's staying behind.
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