So says ABC News:
7 pm ET: ABC IS CALLING THE RACE RIGHT AT POLL CLOSING TIME. From our decision desk: "Based on exit poll data, ABC News projects that Obama will win the South Carolina Democratic primary. We do not yet have enough information to project who will be second or third, but based on the exit polls Clinton is leading over Edwards in a race for second."
This would SUGGEST a large margin — networks don’t call races based only on exit polls unless it’s pretty convincing.
CNN has called it too. And their exit polls show Edwards narrowly winning the white vote, with Obama getting a “healthy” 25%.
Among black men: Obama 80%, Clinton 17%. Among black women: Obama 82%, Clinton 17%.
Edwards got almost zero black support, which is why Clinton will probably beat him overall despite narrowly losing the white vote to him.
The full CNN exit poll results will eventually be here, but they’re not yet.
UPDATE: CNN’s exit poll still isn’t online, but MSNBC’s is, and extrapolating from the gender numbers, it looks like a huge win for Obama, to the tune of Obama 55%, Clinton 27%, Edwards 18%. Which raises the question: would a 25-to-30-point margin of victory be enough to offset the potential P.R. damage from the bloc voting issue? Especially given that Obama got a quarter of the white vote?
UPDATE, 7:39 PM: CNN now projects that Clinton will beat Edwards for second.
If Edwards does end up below 20% in the state of his birth, which he won in 2004 with 45% of the vote — beating ascendant front-runner Kerry by 15 points — does he still keep his repeatedly promises to stay in the race all the way to the convention? I get the “kingmaker” thing, but where will the money come from? And won’t this charade become humiliating exercise at some point soon? And isn’t the media soon going to start totally ignoring him — leaving him out of debates, etc.? It’s completely obvious now (if it wasn’t after Nevada) that this is a two-way race. With the probable exception of North Carolina, I bet this is the last time Edwards polls in double digits.
UPDATE, 9:06 PM: CNN estimates the delegate count from South Carolina as Obama 8, Clinton 4, Edwards 2. All this for a four-delegate edge? Heh.