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POLL: PPP (D) South Carolina Dem Primary


A new Public Policy Polling (D) automated survey in South Carolina (conducted 1/21) finds:

  • 580 Likely Democratic Primary Voters (± 4.1%)

    44 Obama
    28 Clinton
    15 Edwards
    1 Kucinich
    12 Undecided

    Among a subsample of African-Americans, Obama leads Clinton 70% to 15%.

 

Comments
Anonymous:

I assume this was done before the [terribly moderated by those silly spectacle based CNN folks] Cong. Black Caucus CNN debate last night. If anything I'd think that debate would give a further bump to Obama, as he seemed to be focusing a bit more on the local crowd, while Clinton has obviously given up on SC (since it's hopeless for her there), in favor of betting all on Feb. 5.

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RS:

The racial divide is very sharp - 70% of African-American voters for Obama, but only 17% of whites! Isn't this bad for Obama - his candidacy being pushed to the mold of Jesse Jackson's campaign? Or is this just a reflection of the South?

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Adam:

If Obama completely dominates in SC, what bump, if any, does he receive nationally? He's about 7-8 behind nationally. Thoughts?

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Chantal:

The debate hurts Obama. His strength is that he claims he'll bring change to the political process. When he shows us that he's just as capable of sinking to the level of the Clintons, he loses. And last night, Clinton showed that Obama is just like all the other politicians: pretty on the outside but desperate on the inside.

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Scott Edwards:

I don't think they would have been calling people at 11 PM and getting a very good response so I am thinking this was done before the debate. I don't think CNN did much to provoke the stuff that was said last night. They asked a question about being fiscally responsible and the sparks flew.

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Adam:

I actually think the debate helped Obama. It's a fine line to walk, but there's a difference between running a positive campaign and allowing your opponents to criticize and misrepresent what you said without response. He needed to fight back, and IMO, he did so quite well, albeit not perfectly...

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RS:

I don't think the change that Obama is trying to bring is about "playing nice." It is about recognizing that Republicans, Democrats and Independents need to work together to achieve progress on the important issues.
Off the bat, Clinton says "right wing attack machine!" "I will fight them!" - which pisses off half the country. That's the game played by many partisan politicians, Dems as well as Reps, which is what Obama is trying to change.

If someone makes false accusations about the US, wouldn't you want your President to fight back?

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Chantal:

Obama isn't trying to change it. He's just saying he will change it because he thinks he will, but it's a lot like Ron Paul saying he'll get rid of the IRS.

It's a silly pipe dream to believe that the country will unite under important policies, when it's these policies that have divided our country.. If Obama decides to stay in Iraq, he'll piss off half the country, if he decides to withdraw, he'll piss off the other half. Uniting sounds great, and it's a real easy talking point if you want to believe it, but how many people promise this and then don't deliver. I believe Bush ran on being a uniter. Oh, but Obama is a Democrat so when he says it he MUST be telling the truth.

As for the debate. We expect Hillary to play politics as usual. Obama is running as the anti-Hillary to show that he will not play politics as usual, but the more he gets sucked into pissing contests with Bill, or even with Hillary, that coat of change he wears looks more and more invisible.

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Chantal:

Reagan provides the perfect rebuttal to your argument, which is precisely the point Obama was trying to make. Reagan actually got that "pipe dream" to become reality, despite what we might individually think of his policies. It happened before, and it can happen again.

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Adam:

Sorry, that was supposed to be "Posted by: Adam in response to Chantal"

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Joseph:

I think ultimately the votes will tell. There is still a considerable amount of racism and sexism in the south so I guess we'll just see which is more prevalent. I like Obama myself, as I've never seen Hilary as qualified as anything except a sellout in the cause of women having their self respect. She only stayed with Bill because her political boat would sink without being able to be towed by his political tug boat.

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Andrew:

Here's the bump Obama gets for winning SC: zero.
There is no such thing as a bump in the primaries.

Iowa didn't give Obama a NH bump.
Iowa didn't give Huckabee a NH bump.
NH didn't give McCain a Michigan bump.
Nevada won't give Clinton a SC bump, according to polls.

Why then, should Obama receive a "bump" from winning SC?

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Adam:

NH did give Hillary a bump, and IA did give Obama a bump (but not enough to beat Clinton), especially nationally...

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RS:

Andrew:
I agree that SC may not give Obama a bump in, say, NY or CA. But for a different reason.

See the NH polls pre- and post-Iowa. Obama was polling around 30% pre-Iowa, and his support shot up after that to 37-39%. The polls got Obama's support dead-right - this was discussed elsewhere on pollster - but they likely missed a surge in Clinton support (maybe previously less-enthusiastic supporters - screened out as unlikely voters - got a fresh boost - "save our gal!")

Huckabee likely didn't stand a chance in NH without a large social-conservative block. He received some bump, but not enough to win.

Michigan - independents and Democrats, who apparently fueled McCain's 2000 victory, didn't turn out much this year, and native son Romney won.

For better or for worse, Nevada and SC have different ethnic mixes. The African-American support for Obama in SC mirrors that in NV (and MIchigan). Guess who's the dominant voting bloc in SC? [By the way, Nevada/the acrimony does seem to have helped Clinton - among whites :-( ]

And the last point is why I am not sure that SC will give Obama a bump in NYC/CA/etc. But if he were to win like 70-20-10 or better...

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dawgboy:

I read the concern for the black vote in SC. From what I gather the white vote will be 50% for Obama? I don't think so. The white vote will go mostly to Mrs. Bill Clinton and John Edwards. So why so much emphasis on the color of the voting public in SC. What a bunch of hippocrites we are.

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Anonymous:

Adam, you are assuming that it was Iowa, and not the media ganging up on Hillary when she got emotional, that gave her a bump in NH.

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Andrew:

RS, I agree with you in most of your points.

I believe that the fact that these reverends and black leaders are passionately coming forward in their support for Obama is bringing the inner racist out of many Whites. In my very particular opinion, Whites instinctively move away from radical rhetoric such as those expressed by a black congressman (or was it a reverend?) that told Clinton to "chill" with Obama.

Whites don't see the Obama that transcends race. They see the black candidate.

I also believe that in states such as NY, California and Florida, Latinos will serve as a pro-Clinton neutralizer that will check Obama's boost received from extraordinary black support.

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jjcoop:

I won't agree with the racially motivated vote idea until after the votes are all in, and by that I mean CA, NY,CO, MO, etc.
Just because the Clintons have made an effort at making Obama the black candidate doesn't mean it's necessarily been a success. How was Obama polling with whites before his AA support surged? How many whites, especially outside of the south, are really going to be turned off by Obama's AA support? His rhetoric hasn't changed to reflect what the Clinton's are trying to cast him as.

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Adam:

All very interesting points and good discussion. We shall see...

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Andrew:

What is it, jjcoop, that the Clintons are trying to cast Obama as?

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dawgboy:

JJcoop, I you have made the most salient point about the vote in SC. I think we all are bringing our own biases into this forum,Until the vote do not make inferences,

Thank You, JJ

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Henry:

(I wrote the original comment here but forgot to write my name.)

Let's talk about the national situation. This in realistic terms means Feb. 5 voters.

Obama has received not only a bump but more like a steady upward rise since his Iowa win. The closer we get to Feb. 5, the more people there are nationally reading the winning headlines (since the majority of people's votes nationally in CA, NY, etc. are getting closer). So given how close the race has been to date [between Obama and Clinton], this places greater import on results as we get closer to Super Tuesday.

If Obama comes away with a really big win in SC, say by 15 or 20 points, which looks to be a very real possibility now, that huge win will give him a lot of positive press nationally for the following ten days until Super Tuesday. As shown by Obama's relative surprise big win in Iowa against Clinton (by 9 points, and 8 over Edwards), and Obama's consistent slow rise in the national polls since the primaries began, it would seem that much of Clinton's voter base is composed of less [politically] educated folks who are supporting her because, to grossly over-summarize, they recognize the name the most and remember Bill Clinton with some relative fondness.

On the other hand, it seems that as people become more knowledgeable of who Obama is as a candidate and a person (or the same for Edwards), they see him as more relatively attractive compared with Clinton.

If you analyze the California polls, for example (where I live), you'll see a steady decrease in the margin of Clinton's lead over Obama over the last couple months.

I don't know how much of this analysis is affected by my own personal perspective and stake (I happen to be a Kucinich supporter, but I'm still open to possibly voting for Obama or Edwards), but for all of the above reasons, I see this race as far from over.

It's going to be an interesting next couple weeks. Thanks to this site for keeping the info coming!

Peace
Henry

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Ciccina:

Sorry this comment is not specific to polling, but I'd like to take advantage of this very civil forum to make a side point....

To Joseph, who wrote: "I like Obama myself, as I've never seen Hilary as qualified as anything except a sellout in the cause of women having their self respect. She only stayed with Bill because her political boat would sink without being able to be towed by his political tug boat."

It sounds as though you think any woman - or man, I presume - who sticks with a spouse after infidelity has no self respect. That's very insulting to an awful lot of people who have gone through a wrenching situation not (generally) of their own making. Just fyi, keep this in mind the next time you say this. I'm sure you don't mean to be insulting, but people can take this sort of thing awfully personally - particularly older women, for whom divorce was greatly stigmatized, especially if there were children, and who might have had limited employment opportunities, less ability to borrow money or get credit, etc.

Also, its really a pretty bad thing to define a woman solely or primarily by her marriage. Are we saying Giuliani, McCain, etc. have sold out men with their marital behavior? Are we saying they shouldn't be president primarily because of their marital conduct? Of course not. We recognize them as multifaceted individuals, even if we disagree with their politics.

Well, same goes for women, my friend. Each of us is defined by more than just our relationship to a man. As it happens, Hillary is a US Senator, which makes her at least as qualified for the office of President as Barack.

Last, I'd like to suggest that you shouldn't purport to know the interior motives of anyone who is part of such a long term relationship. Especially someone you don't personally know.

I hope you take these comments as no more than an attempt to share a different perspective.

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Cynic:

...And this morning's Zogby poll confirms the PPP result, with Obama-Hillary-Edwards at 43-25-15. The difference seems to be among black voters (PPP: 70-15, Zogby: 65-16). That's bad news for Hillary, because they agree on her low levels of support, and mostly split on just how many blacks are firmly committed to Obama - usually a function of how aggressively the question is phrased.

It's also worth noting that Zogby has Edwards in a statistical tie with Hillary among white voters, largely as a result of his debate performance. If Hillary can't even place first among white voters, she's got a serious electability issue on her hands.

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Joseph:

To reply to Ciccina, I didn't really find it necessary to expand my point, but Hilary isn't one of these classic examples of a woman who would face shame and social dismissal because of divorce. She seems to me to be a woman who continues with a marriage of political convenience for the sake of her own political career. Their child, Chelsea, is grown and has her own life now so I don't think she's staying with Bill for her sake.

It may be that they have this undying love for each other, speaking about Bill and Hilary, but I don't think this is the case. Certainly, a respect and a truce of sorts, but that would be the majority.

I wouldn't presume to make assumptions about other peoples reasons for staying with someone who cheats on them. I've stuck it out myself once so would not be inclined to pass judgement on someone for doing so.

A question to ask yourself though, would a divorced wife of the former President Bill Clinton have suceeded in her bid for office in the New York senatorial race? Not to say that she wasn't qualified as she would seem to be at least well qualified for a senators position if judged by the character and intelligence of her counterparts. I simply don't like people who stay together out of political expedience and use their relationship as a mechanism by which to attempt to win elections.

As for the other candidates, I think each individual can vote or not vote for who they choose for whatever reasons they have. Guilianini was a bit of a disgrace to office pre-9/11, but came out of it all dipped in gold. Would I vote for him? Unlikely, unless he was facing Hilary. Then it's the lesser of evils.

Character assasinations don't work if everyone whose voting only voted based on a person's political merits. We already know how effective these types of tactics can be though.

I personally, find that the character a person displays in their personal life "almost" inevitably leads to the character with which they will conduct themselves in their business or political life be it in the open or behind closed doors.

I recognize your response as a diffrent opinion and only offer this as an expansion of my own original cliff noted opinion. :)

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Joseph:

I have to apologize for not responding to all the points Ciccina raised, but I didn't want a longer novel then I'd already written. I responded to the main point and was disinclined to respond to those points I felt were constructed from reactive imagination as it regards the character/tone of my original very short post.

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Paula di Lauro:

So, in a post about the lastest poll numbers, we get the following remarks:

"I like Obama myself, as I've never seen Hilary as qualified as anything except a sellout in the cause of women having their self respect. She only stayed with Bill because her political boat would sink without being able to be towed by his political tug boat."

"I simply don't like people who stay together out of political expedience and use their relationship as a mechanism by which to attempt to win elections."

"Would I vote for him (Guiliani)? Unlikely, unless he was facing Hilary. Then it's the lesser of evils."

And, of course, the writer goes to some lengths to persuade us that he's neither a lame sexist, a Republican shill, or a pathological Clinton-hater. No, just another of those terribly virtuous folk who live to tear the scales from our eyes when it comes to the Clintons, especially Mrs. Clinton.

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Henry:

First, Re: Paula di Lauro (above),

Yes, and we also get comments actually analyzing the poll numbers, such as mine above. But apparently it's more important for you to highlight these comments that you deride than those which you purport by inference to prefer. Then you proceed to make broad cynical assumptions about what you feel are someone's intentions.

How unfortunate all of this is for the relevant discussion at hand.

On the other hand, thanks go to (ironically) "Cynic", for his new numbers and relevant commentary.

If these numbers prove correct on Saturday, we're going to have a really interesting discussion leading to Feb. 5. If the debate performance Monday (supposedly the most watched primary debate ever, I think I read) resulted in more voters moving from Clinton to Edwards, than from Obama to Edwards, will this trend continue to some degree on Feb 5?

Watching the debate my theory was that Clinton's strategy in SC and for now is to be good to Edwards ("son of the South", etc.), thus subtly making Obama seem less attractive, and thus try to split the anti-Clinton vote more to Edwards (taking some from Obama) nationally. If the above numbers are correct (43-25-15, O-C-E), and pan out _at least somewhat_ nationally rather than just in SC, that will prove this strategy a mistake. Of course, I can't say for sure this was Clinton's intent. She does seem quite prepared to lose SC (where, admittedly, the "white vote" is probably quite a bit different constituency than say, the "white vote" in NY or here in CA), instead betting all on Super Tuesday.

But if Edwards shows well in SC, stays in the race, and then ends up "taking" more votes from Clinton than from Obama on the 5th, this supposed strategy of "giving up" to Obama the black vote and thus SC will have backfired on her. We shall see..

Peace
Henry

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Ciccina:

Dear Henry,

I thought your post was intriguing, but I didn't feel I had anything to add to it. But this would have been (and now is) my response.

With regard to: "it would seem that much of Clinton's voter base is composed of less [politically] educated folks who are supporting her because, to grossly over-summarize, they recognize the name the most and remember Bill Clinton with some relative fondness."

As surveys of likely voters go, my guess is that voters over "a certain age" can compare the regimes of Reagan / Bush I to Clinton and know what a difference the Clintons made. Even though you acknowledge this as a gross oversimplification, I still think its way too reductive to call this name recognition + relative fondness. In my case, this is a politically informed, considered (albeit disagreeable to many) position. By contrast, the twenty-something Obama supporters, who became sentient (as I like to say) in their teens, can't compare the Clinton years to the economic depravity and asocial zeitgeist of the 80s (IMHO, of course). To them the Clintons are year zero, the pre-existing status quo. So in that sense one might say that they are less politically educated than older Clinton supporters.

Further, Obama's supporters skew upper income, so you could hypothesize that they are more insulated from the impact of income inequality, lack of health care, loss of jobs - hell, even on reproductive rights, its lower income women who pay the price of the anti-abortion "chipping away" strategy (24 hour waiting periods, driving rural providers out of business, defunding Planned Parenthood); for upper income women who periodically publish their anti-Hillary opinions in Slate, for example, its more of an esoteric issue. So one might say that upper income voters are *less* politically educated in terms of the true impact of policy positions; the evidence for this would be their failure to assign the appropriate value to pragmatic, if prosaic, policy solutions (again, IMHO).

Which is just to say that there are a lot of ways to interpret the numbers.

re: "On the other hand, it seems that as people become more knowledgeable of who Obama is as a candidate and a person (or the same for Edwards), they see him as more relatively attractive compared with Clinton."

Again, I differ. I don't want to harp on Obama here but I'll point to two items making the media rounds right now, post debate: his statement about supporting universal health coverage paired with the video clip of his 2003 AFL speech, and the meme that *both* candidates are now mudslinging (which undermines the message that his is a "different" kind of politics). The latter puts Obama in a real bind - as every errant child knows, "she started it" will only take you so far, and "I have to stoop to their level to win" isn't a great message either.

The complaints his campaign has made to the Nev. democratic party will keep alive in the press counter-examples of inappropriate behavior by overly enthusiastic Obama supporters (they must be 'fair and balanced,' after all). Also Rezko is being covered more, paired with the news that Obama's camp held on to some of that money until relatively recently. At a minimum this mishegas steps on Obama's message that contributions, subsequently returned, from Hsu or other nefarious evil-doers are evidence of Clinton's corruption / poor character.

Clinton's decision to walk away from SC is the ultimate in lowballing expectations. And Obama, by leaning so hard on imagery that implies he is the inheritor of Dr. King's legacy, he has paved the way for a media storyline that says SC black voters "only voted for him because he was black" (which is just as insulting and demeaning as the "NH women only voted for Hillary because she cried" BS). But I guess the press would have gone there anyway, eventually. Either way, its wrong, but some people will hear it and that's not a positive development (for anyone).

Of course I can point to no data to back any of this up, thus defeating the purpose of posting these overly long comments in a blog dedicated to polling.

But while I'm at it...

Joseph:

Surely you can see Paula's point about the double standard?

No one says that McCain's decision to cheat on his first wife, a former model who suffered a disfiguring accident while he was in Vietnam, with a beautiful 17-years younger millionairess, whom he subsequently married with the knowledge that her socially prominent father would bankroll his political career, reflects poor character that proves he is unqualified to be anything but a spokesperson for selfish male behavior.

Further, no one even says that this is a major blemish to his character. Nor does anyone ever say that McCain got to the position he's in now because of his wife, though we all know how important early money is to a novice candidate. It wouldn't be out of line to say that without that early money and social support - because of the person he married - McCain wouldn't be where he is today - but no one ever says that about him, do they?

Almost no one says that Giuliani's appalling performance as a husband - the cousin-marriage, the tele-divorce, the galavanting around town like a priapic - dare I say it - ferret, proves he's unqualified to be anything other than the poster child for a freakshow. You yourself say you'd vote for him over Hillary because of her character - and Hillary isn't even the one who cheated!

Even Dr. King is said, by sources including David Garrow, to have cheated. No one says this invalidates his status as a paragon of morality - because that, after all, only concerns his marriage, not his public life. And lord knows that among those who believe this, no one, but no one, says Coretta Scott King lacked self respect because she stayed with him. What really matters are his civic contributions, his leadership, his ideas - not the alleged personal misbehavior.

Your claim to know Hillary's inner motivations doesn't wash. This isn't about your special insights into her psychology; its about the different value placed on the personal behavior of women relative to men.

This is what I mean by defining a woman - even a woman as accomplished as Hillary Clinton - first and foremost by how she relates to a man, while simultaneously defining a man by his achievements, not by his relationship with his wife / girlfriend / 2nd cousin. Which is patently sexist, and, in case it needs to be said, wrong.

This goes right along with all those disingenous folk who claim Hillary has no real experience other than her time in the Senate. Because of course before then she was "just a wife," right? And wives never do anything important - they just fritter away their time pouring tea, right? Never mind her legal work in the area of children's rights. Never mind her accomplishments reforming education in Arkansas. Never mind everything she delivered for women as first lady, nor her work in establishing S-Chip. That doesn't count because she was "just a wife" and not an elected office holder.

Meanwhile, its okay to crow about Obama's time as a community organizer and "civil rights lawyer"; Edwards is praised for his prowess as a trial lawyer standing up to the big corporations; Romney is praised for his business acumen, or his executive hair, I'm not sure. None of which, except possibly the hair, happened while they held elected office.

That's the double standard in action; a pristine example of sexism.

Sorry to go on about this, but like homophobia, anti-semitism, racism, etc., I think there is value in confronting this sort of thing in situ.

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Jeff:

Everyone, this is a poll blog. We talk about polls. Take your campaigning, rhetoric, and partisanship to another blog like the Kos.

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Adam:

Jeff -- I'd rather not see it, but to be honest, why can't you just skip their posts? They have just as much right to post here as we do...

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Daniel T:

Jeff. I don't see anything wrong with discussing the way that polls should be intepreted on a poll blog; that means bringing in some outside information to give context.

I agree with the person who said that Obama risks being seen as a black candidate. It's odd because over the summer I was reading articles entitled "Obama is not black like me" and now he's at risk of the other extreme. I think a big win in SC could actually hurt Obama nationally if the exit poll results are spun (faily or not) as indicators of racism. Indeed, I think that Hillary's decision to abandon SC is a set up for just that claim ("Pssst. How could a white woman win down there.") I hope I am wrong on that score but we will see how it plays out.

Ciccina. I don't know if you are just naive or simply chose to misunderstood a point that Joe was trying to make. There is a difference between sticking by your wandering man for selfless reasons (kids, family etc) and sticking by your man for selfish reasons. I refuse to attempt to read Hillary's mind on such a personal question but it is certainly a plausable claim (given her own statements) that she only stood by her man because of the political benefits the relationship entailed. *If* Joe's opinion is correct, that certainly says a great deal about her personal character and it is something I would not want in a President. Having said that, there are plenty of reasons to be opposed to Hillary besides her relational motivations and so Joe can be faulted for bringing up an issue that perhaps is unimportant.

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RS:

Ciccina:
I wonder if you intentionally described Senator Clinton's and Senator Obama's legal work thusly:

Never mind [Senator Clinton's] legal work in the area of children's rights..... Its okay to crow about Obama's time as a community organizer and "civil rights lawyer"...

That suggests you are dissing Obama's legal work. Isn't that sort of a double standard?

Further, the double standard you speak of has been applied in reverse by Senator Clinton and her campaign - that Clinton has "35 years experience" but Obama has (practically) zilch. I mean, it's not like Obama was lost for 20 years like GWB!

If anything, most people might actually hold Senator Edwards' work as a trial lawyer against him (2004 Republicans - "bring on the ambulance chaser!")

Being completely off-topic, here's my take: Senator Clinton might have done a lot as a lawyer and as First Lady, but Senator Obama has a longer history of the accountability that comes through running for political office. Obama has won more elections than Senator Clinton (he has even lost). The Clintons can claim all they want that they are two Presidents for the price of one, but eventually and unequivocally the buck stops with one person - till 2000, that was President Clinton.

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Adam:

On that experience note, one thing I don't quite understand is why the Obama camp has let Hillary and co. have their way with that argument.

If you actually look at the numbers, Obama has more experience as an elected official than Hillary does. I suppose that the argument is that she has experience as a result of being first lady. But with all due respect to the Clintons and first ladies in general, umm, what? I'm sorry, but in my book, being first lady just doesn't qualify as relevant experience, at least for policy and political leadership. Perhaps there's something to be said for her experience in terms of having first-hand knowledge of the rigors of the presidency, but this is something I doubt Edwards and Obama don't know comes with the position...

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Adam:

On the "race-based vote" topic, by what percentage of the white vote must Obama be within Clinton's numbers to prevent from the inevitable spin? If Obama draws within 10 points of Clinton on the white, I'd say Obama stays out of trouble...

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Daniel T:

How sad. No sooner than the words are out of my mouth than:

"DILLON, S.C. - Bill Clinton said Wednesday he expects blacks to vote for Barack Obama and women to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, and the dynamic may cause his wife to lose the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary Saturday"

from the AP.

It makes me sick to my stomach and makes me wonder if I won't vote for the Republicans in Nov. if the Hillary is the nominee. The *way* you win matters and this is just ****.

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Joseph:

*sigh* :) Since it seems I'm forced to give commentary on people I wouldn't dream of voting for Ciccina, I will.

I didn't go into depths with the other republican candidates because I just wouldn't vote for them in part because of many of the same points you raised. I hardly think that qualifies me a sexist. The two candidates in particular I was faced with politically speaking were Obama and Clinton, since I'm a Democrat. I only pointed to Guiliani in the above point to say at least I preferred his open, what I consider, immoral behavior over the blantantly politicizing Clinton made of her marriage. If the roles were reversed so would my vote be. Like I said lesser of evils to my mind anyway.


I don't think Clinton deserves special treatment because she's a woman and a candidate. Just like I don't think Obama deserves special consideration as a candidate because he's black. I think people should just vote for who they think will do the best job.

Ciccina, I can honestly say I wouldn't vote for Obama if I thought he only staying with his wife for political reasons. You drag up a wash of dialogue which I agree with in principal, but we're talking about candidates and they can be judged on any critiria we as voters choose. Nobody is talking about the other candidates moral dilemmas because of two things in the majority: 1.) They are not at present seen as front runners in the election. 2.) Most of their indescretions are in the past and in some cases the distant past versus my perception of Hilary which is in the ever present aka she's still married to Bill.

Paula di Lauro if your not going to say something yourself, don't just quote me and expect someone to respond. Thanks for opening my eyes to my sexism, despite my years of voting to the contrary and financial support to women's causes. I was a guest for Lifetime's Women Rock event a couple years ago and sat down to dinner with pioneers in the field of breast cancer research and movers and shakers in the realm of women in politics.

You know sexism runs both ways right? I mean if u like Hiliary because of her politics that's fine, but if your just voting for her because she's a woman I don't know if I could agree with the principal. I love the idea of a woman president, but I'd prefer the first one to not be so tainted by the politics I find A-typical of the male politicians I don't vote for. As for Clinton hating, I voted for Bill, but he can't make me vote for his wife.

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Adam:

Daniel T -- I'm in the same boat as you. Good read on this matter at:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/101173

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Henry:

Ciccina,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

In the interests of keeping somewhat to the topic at hand, I will ignore your irrelevant rantings on about a number of things which you say yourself you "can point to no date to back up any of".

But I do see some of your hypothesis as incorrect, so I'll reply to a couple things.

"Obama's supporters skew upper income, so you could hypothesize that they are more insulated from the impact of income inequality, lack of health care, loss of jobs - hell, even on reproductive rights, its lower income women who pay the price"..

You could, but you'd be wrong.

On a personal note, I live in a small town in northern California. I do not personally know anybody with an "upper income" who is supporting Obama. My own income, as an example, would qualify me by the United States Dept. of Health and Human Services as right around the "poverty threshold". I take pride in this, but that's beside the point. So I'm sure there are plenty of well off Obama supporters, but I don't know personally know of any. Meanwhile, on the Clinton side, I have only physically met one person ever who claimed to actually like and is planning on voting for H.Clinton. This person also went on to say that they liked her because they wanted a woman president, and, I'll paraphrase, they figured they would get more girls if they voted for a woman president. Talk about taking the sexist stance and flipping it on its head.. Anyway, I will spare us all other details about this certain individuals lack of morals at this time. I'm not ignorant enough to assume that all Clinton supporters (I guess they must be out there somewhere and I'd love to meet more), are as ignorant as this young man. Just as I'm sure there are plenty of higher income Obama supporters who may be as you say, more insulated from the impact of income inequality.

But here is where I have a problem. On the issue of income equality, it's known that the Republicans for example, have for years used dirty tricks and prejudice in subtle and not so subtle ways to win the support of much of the south in particular and across the country. These supporters are people who, in terms of actual economic and other policy, are duped in one way or another into voting directly against their own economic interests. The real Republican party 'base' is not Evangelicals or "close the borders" racists or any other media-spun sub-group, it is those with a lot of wealth, wanting to protect that wealth. This is actually a very small percentage of the voting population, not only in the country as a whole, but within those who vote Republican (this is why they have to lie and spin in order to get others besides their own 1% into voting with them). ..But I'm sure you know all of this.

H.Clinton and her husband, and much of the Democratic Party, from the Democratic Leadership Council on down, meanwhile have been trying their best to emulate the Republicans great success at this tactic, with some limited success of their own. This is why we're told, election after election, to settle for the lesser of evils, because after all, better to have the lesser of [two for-profit corporate media chosen] evils, just so as we actually get someone elected, right?

Unfortunately the result of this has been the Democratic Party's moving further to the right (giving the Republicans further ammo, rightfully so, regarding the Democrats' lacking of spines, etc.), and oh yeah, almost forgot the most important part, also their losing of election after election. To the point that now, the Democratically controlled Congress, after being elected on the promise of getting us out of Iraq, has managed to do nothing of the sort, and thereby garnish a lower approval rating than even our current sitting President.

So in short, it turns out that voting against our own interests, be it on the promise of getting rid of immigrants, or of getting the "least worst" option into power, whether it be a poor uninformed southerner voting Republican, or a poor uninformed east or west coaster voting for Clinton (whichever of the two they think they're voting for), it is not a very good idea.

[Notice I've not even gone into specifics as to why voting for Clinton is against our interests, as to me it's obvious. But her work for and until recently stock holding of the notoriously anti-labor Wal-Mart exemplifies this.]

So I don't like the Clinton's for their complete untrustworthiness. Even H.Clinton endorsing, "'Muslim', 'madrassa', 'Hussein', 'Obama'" spouting Bob Kerrey famously referred to Bill Clinton as "an unusually good liar."

And unfortunately Obama doesn't actually differ very much policy-wise from Clinton. There are subtle foreign policy differences.. Clinton seems all ready to bomb Iran, Obama is slightly more reserved. But they both meanwhile have professed they are ready to invade or bomb Pakistan if they feel like it. These are things I personally strongly dislike about all the current "front runners".

But where it seems Obama does differ, in a substantial way, is on the aforementioned quality: Trustworthiness. I do not give my vote to someone without a lot of research and reservation, but Obama seems to have a quality of character that is unique and needed in this country considering where we're at after sixteen years of Bush or Clinton. So much so that I may actually vote for him despite a lot of policy disagreements. If we got Bush 2 as a result of Clinton's faults, do we want to resign ourselves to another Clinton as a result of Bush's faults?

I think we're ready for someone who works implicitly as a uniter, who might actually be able to get things moving subtly in the right direction. Not as far as I'd like to see, but in Obama's case I think he might actually be able to get some things done. A first step. So yeah, Obama has the intelligence to see that a single payer health plan (as proposed by Kucinich and others) would be best were we starting from scratch, but he knows we aren't there, and so he's trying to take the first step, do what can actually be done now.

I want to make it clear that I am not at this point for sure voting for Obama. I'm leaning towards him, especially if Kucinich comes out endorsing him tomorrow as I think he's likely to, but I'm still undecided. I like Edwards as well.. I will be following things down to the wire.

And that's why I'm here following the polls every day.

Sorry this got so far off topic, but I felt it necessary to respond to some of this to some degree. Let's get back to analyzing the info.

Peace
Henry

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Henry,

I don't understand what point you're trying to make. You wrote that Clinton's supporters are less "politically" educated; I assumed you were basing this on the correlation between greater formal education and higher income, since its been thoroughly demonstrated that Obama's supporters tend to have both. Since you emphasized "political" education, I was simply trying to say that it does not necessarily follow that higher income / greater formal education equals greater "political" education in the sense of understanding the conditions that must inform and prioritize certain policy positions. Let me be more specific. I've heard some very progressive, very wealthy, very politically active and well-meaning Dems say utterly insipid things about health care reform because they simply could not fathom that some people can't afford to see a doctor. Anyway, it appears I was way off track. My bad.

With regard to your statement, "I guess [Clinton supporters] must be out there somewhere and I'd love to meet more" - no need to pine away. According to the good Dr. Field, plenty will be showing up at polling places in California on Feb 5.

I could say the rest of your post didn't have much to do with polling, but since I'm currently holding a smokin' black kettle in the middle of my big fat shiny glass house, I'll refrain from throwing you any stones.

____________________

RS, I did put "civil rights lawyer" in quotation marks on purpose. It was because I was struck by Obama's use of the title in the SC debate, juxtaposed with his reference to Clinton as a "corporate lawyer for Wal-Mart."

Everyone knows Sen. Clinton's area of legal expertise is children's rights and family law. She did groundbreaking work in this area; spent considerable time working with the Children's Defense Fund, and she continued to handle cases on a pro-bono basis with the Rose law firm. Personally, I wouldn't call her a "Children's Rights Lawyer" because she also did other legal work - it wasn't her exclusive focus. Likewise I would say Obama has expertise and experience in an area of civil rights, but it clearly wasn't his exclusive focus. Call me old school, but when I hear "Civil Rights Lawyer" I think NAACP, ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, the Innocence Project, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I know that despite her considerable efforts in this area, if Sen. Clinton referred to herself as a Children's Rights Lawyer we all would have felt the earth jolt beneath our feet as a hundred thousand Obamaists simultaneously lunged for their keyboards.

So I don't consider this "dissing" his experience; rather, I see it as a dose of good for the goose / good for the gander.

Further, Obama parlayed his experience with Chicago's ballot access laws into a maneuver that enabled him to run unopposed for his state senate seat - after the filing deadline passed, he went through the other candidates' qualifying petitions and found enough errors to have them all thrown off the ballot.

If Clinton had done something like that, Obama supporters would say the only reason she practiced civil rights law was to serve her own ruthless ambition.

I don't deny Obama has expertise in a certain area of civil rights law, which is very important and very worthwhile. But he's no Thurgood Marshall, he's no Janet Benshoof, he's no Ira Glasser and he's no Morris Dees.

Clinton never said Obama has zero experience. But if you've got it, quote it.

As for winning elections, he lost his first race when he thought he could challenge Bobby Rush; he "won" his second unopposed after having the other candidates disqualified; he won his US Senate primary when the Dem frontrunner self destructed due to revelations about his personal life; and he won his US Senate general because Ryan imploded over his divorce and Obama wound up facing Alan Keyes. That's not a track record; its a cake walk.

I can't find the link but the reference for this is a Chicago Tribune article, "Obama knows his way around a ballot" by David Jackson and Ray Long, published April 3, 2007.

With regard to accountability, he ducked that series of abortion votes in Illinois precisely because he didn't want to be held accountable by disagreeable voters later on (and please don't quote Pam Sutherland at me; I'm very familiar with what the strategy was there).

____________________

RS - I stupidly brought up the "present" thing without providing a reference - this is actually from the Obama website -

"'We at Planned Parenthood view those as leadership votes,' Pam Sutherland, the president and CEO of the Illinois Planned Parenthood Council, told ABC News. 'We worked with him specifically on his strategy. The Republicans were in control of the Illinois Senate at the time. They loved to hold votes on 'partial birth' and 'born alive'. They put these bills out all the time . . . because they wanted to pigeonhole Democrats...Sutherland said Obama approached her in the late 1990s and worked with her and others in crafting the strategy of voting 'present.' She remembers meeting with Obama outside of the Illinois Senate chambers on the Democratic side of the aisle. She and Obama finished their conversation in his office. 'He came to me and said: 'My members are being attacked. We need to figure out a way to protect members and to protect women,' said Sutherland in recounting her conversation with Obama. 'A present vote was hard to pigeonhole which is exactly what Obama wanted.' [ABC, 7/17/07]

http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/01/08/fact_check_obamas_strong_proch.php

In other words, he said he wanted to vote a certain way, but not have to take flak for it from political opponents later, so he used a political maneuver to have it both ways. I'd give that a "B+" for strategy, a "D" for accountability.


____________________

Joseph, your logic fails completely on the following points:

"I only pointed to Guiliani in the above point to say at least I preferred his open, what I consider, immoral behavior over the blantantly politicizing Clinton made of her marriage. If the roles were reversed so would my vote be. Like I said lesser of evils to my mind anyway."

Immoral behavior becomes less so if it is done openly?

You seem to think its clear as day that Hillary is engaging in immoral behavior. Doesn't this mean her behavior is just as "open" as Giuliani's?

Or is your point simply that staying married to a cheater for a reason you disagree with is morally worse than the cheating itself?

"Nobody is talking about the other candidates moral dilemmas because of two things in the majority: 1.) They are not at present seen as front runners in the election. 2.) Most of their indescretions are in the past and in some cases the distant past versus my perception of Hilary which is in the ever present aka she's still married to Bill."

(1) McCain is considered, by the press at least, to be the frontrunner Republican.

(2) A lot of bad behavior could be described as being "in the past." Most criminals are convicted for crimes that are "in the past." An arsonist doesn't spend 24/7 lighting things on fire, but during his downtime he's still an arsonist. Your original point was that the immoral behavior spoke to the person's character. Unless you think character changes for the better the moment a bad behavior ceases, the fact that its "in the past" is irrelevent.

Also...

I thought Paula's comment was right on the money. The statement you made - that Hillary is unqualified for anything other than being a spokesperson for having no self-respect - made zero sense and is self-evidently sexist in the context of her track record. I think you just don't like hearing your own words quoted back at you, because they are so hard to defend.

To borrow your construct, you're free to support or not support any candidate for whatever reason(s) you choose. But that doesn't mean your motives for doing don't reflect negatively upon your character.

____________________

george:

the race issue is alive and well in the south so what else is new?. the clintons are racist they can't help it. Bill clinton uses people so does hillary, they are a pair made for each other personnel gain at any cost. for those of you that think it hurts obama to have so many black votes, why is it that hillary isn't hurt by the womens vote? out side of the south obama will do fine, he has already proved it winning so big in a state like iowa with almost no blacks at all. it is all clinton spin,trying to explain how they are going to lose south carolina. most people are not racist and see in obama real hope for change and growth as a nation, the clintons will only divide us more . for the good of the nation keep hillary and bill out of the oval office, it will save our nation . god help us if she wins!

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Lawrence Ames:

Between Bill's NAFTA, her voting Yes to the CREDIT CARD ACT, and voting Yes to WAR - she really doesn't have much of a chance in the general election anyways.

____________________

sub:

i know there are plenty of them, but i am still amazed when i read the words of a hillary clinton supporter. fascinating.... is there a psychoanalyst in the house?

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Joseph:

Ciccina,

I don't like explaining myself so thoroughly, but since you like challenging me on small points I'll respond.

Let me first say, that yes Mccain is a front runner on the Republican ballot, but he's got the most distant past to which your referring as it concerns his moral behavior and at the outset was not really considered a favorite. How is that you make the jump from marital cheating to arson and murder? I think I'd be more likely to trust that someone could make a turn around from cheating on someone 20 years ago then murdering someone in the same time frame. Again, you miss the point. If I wanted to dramatize the issue as with your escalation of the nature of the immoral behavior, lets call Clinton a serial killer who has yet to put up her knives. This being a reference of course to her still being married to Bill.

If Hiliary's behavior is as open and transparent as you seem to think I'm inferring then I don't think we'd be having this discussion.

Clinton strikes me as someone whose willing to use a current facade of a relationship to get herself in office. Even after being publicly humiliated by her husband in perhaps the worst way possible. If you want to support someone who sells out the essence of the feminist movement let that be your concern. I guess if your most important goal is getting a woman in office because she'll automatically be better then any male candidate, you'll be doing the right thing. Don't try to sell me your own insecurities as it concerns sexism. I've been standing on the same line pushing back chauvinism and good old boy politics for years, but I do get discourage when I see such blind enthusiasm making up the negative counterpoint to what most us are trying to accomplish. Namely, equality and the right to have the better woman or man win not because of gender, race, or religion, but because we know they will do best by the country we so love.

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Joseph:

I should add that to agree with Paula di Lauro of all the people posting....who made no points of her own and only takes selected quotes sometimes out of context....and then jumps to an statement about my character....at least previously I had thought you were arguing on political points and from intelligence.

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