South Carolina
TruthIsAll
 

 

Even though he finished third in the South Carolina primary (Obama had 55%, Clinton 26%, Edwards 19%), an analysis shows that Edwards would have done better in the general election than either Clinton or Obama.

 

Obama swept the black vote with 80%. Clinton had 18% and Edwards just 2%. But 55% of the voters were black.

In the general election, blacks represent just 12-15% of the electorate. Edwards won 40% of white voters while Clinton had 36% and Obama just 24%.

 

At least 90% of blacks vote Democratic in every general election as well as 60% of Hispanics. Approximately 75% of non-whites will vote for the Democrat. Given that solid base of support, 43% of white voters are needed to gain a majority. Democrats need to overcome the GOP electronic voting advantage as well as the disenfranchisement of minorities. Edwards was the best bet to win 43%.  No wonder that he was the only candidate who defeated all Republicans in the general election matchups.

 

South Carolina Exit Poll                                                    
Race           Mix     JE      HRC     BO
White           44     40      36      24
Non-white      56      2       18      80
 
Total          100     18.7    25.9    55.4
 

Assuming the 2004 racial mix (77% white, 23% non-white) and applying the SC result, the national shares are: Obama 37%, Clinton 32%, Edwards 31%.

 

National Equivalent                                                           
Race           Mix     JE     HRC     BO
White           77     40      36      24
Non-white      23      2       18      80
 
Total           100    31.3    31.9    36.9
 
 

Let's view a sensitivity analysis for various scenario combinations of Edwards and Clinton vote shares.

Assume:

1) Edwards vote shares ranged from 2-10% for non-whites and 40-45% for whites

2) Obama’s 36.9% national vote share remains constant.

 

If Edwards would have won 3% of white (and 4% of non-white) Clinton voters, he would have defeated Clinton by 35-29%.

If Edwards would have won 5% of white (and 8% of non-white) Clinton voters, he would have tied Obama at 37%.

But he could have conceivably picked off some of Obama's supporters as well.

 

Sensitivity Analysis
 
JE %     Edwards % of non-white voters
white    2      4       6       8       10
 
        Edwards National % share
45      35.1    35.6    36.0    36.5    37.0
44      34.3    34.8    35.3    35.7    36.2
43      33.6    34.0    34.5    35.0    35.4
42      32.8    33.3    33.7    34.2    34.6
41      32.0    32.5    33.0    33.4    33.9
40      31.3    31.7    32.2    32.6    33.1
 
        Clinton National % share                                     
45      28.0    27.6    27.1    26.6    26.2
44      28.8    28.3    27.9    27.4    26.9
43      29.6    29.1    28.6    28.2    27.7
42      30.3    29.9    29.4    28.9    28.5
41      31.1    30.6    30.2    29.7    29.3
40      31.9    31.4    30.9    30.5    30.0
 
        
        Edwards Margin vs. Clinton
45      7.1     8.0     8.9     9.9     10.8 
44      5.6     6.5     7.4     8.3     9.2 
43      4.0     4.9     5.9     6.8     7.7 
42      2.5     3.4     4.3     5.2     6.2 
41      0.9     1.9     2.8     3.7     4.6 
40      (0.6)   0.3     1.2     2.2     3.1 
 
 
        Edwards Margin vs. Obama
45      (1.8)   (1.3)   (0.9)   (0.4)   0.1 
44      (2.5)   (2.1)   (1.6)   (1.2)   (0.7)
43      (3.3)   (2.9)   (2.4)   (1.9)   (1.5)
42      (4.1)   (3.6)   (3.2)   (2.7)   (2.2)
41      (4.9)   (4.4)   (3.9)   (3.5)   (3.0)
40      (5.6)   (5.2)   (4.7)   (4.2)   (3.8)