Exit Polls in South Carolina Point to Importance of Economy, Dirty Politics

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The AP has some exit polling out. Let’s take a look at what it says about the South Carolina electorate.

Half of voters cited the economy as the most important issue. Twenty-five percent said health care and 20 percent said Iraq. Those were the only choices, however, which skews the numbers pretty badly. When Mother Jones runs its own exit polls, we’ll do it better.

One out of four exit poll respondents said America is not ready for a black president. The same number said America is not ready for a woman president. So… South Carolina isn’t completely on board the diversity train yet.

People were really not happy with the candidates. According to exit polls from MSNBC, 70 percent of all voters thought Hillary Clinton unfairly attacked Barack Obama. Fifty-six percent thought Barack Obama unfairly attacked Hillary Clinton. And voters of all stripes were unhappy with the Clintons: 75 percent of black voters thought they played dirty, 68 percent of white voters said the same.

Many pundits are assuming Barack Obama will win this handily—the only question is by how much. Have we learned nothing from New Hampshire? No assumptions. Anyone could win this primary tonight. Besides, will it kill us to wait another few hours to find out for sure?

Here’s a more worthwhile question: how much of the white vote can Barack Obama win? He won very, very substantial portions of the white vote in Iowa and New Hampshire. Some polls in SC show him winning just 10 percent. If that’s actually the case, Clinton’s strategy of, well, reminding everyone that Obama is black (over and over) has worked.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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