Senator Barak Obama pulled off the landslide over Hillary Clinton. Some pundits saw that coming. The often bitter campaign tactics of the former President, Bill Clinton, did not play well here in South Carolina.
I do not believe anyone, outside hardcore Democrats, saw the numbers coming. More Democrats than Republicans voted in the primary. Barak Obama got more votes than John McCain and Mike Huckabee combined.
What does that mean? It means several things. First, for the Democrats, it means the Clinton machine will have to rely heavily upon the Democratic Party establishment and even the votes of so called "super" delegates to win the nomination. I think the Clinton machine will win the the nod, but the damage to their own party in the process could be telling. It might be the best thing for the Republicans.
Second, the numbers give Barak Obama a boost that was not expected. His margin of victory, and his total votes can make him argue that if the nominee, he can fight for votes in places other Democrats could only dream of. A lot will be said about the black vote in South Carolina. But note, Obama got a chunk of the white vote, and from exit polling data, there were a good many first time Democratic primary voters.
For Republicans, the numbers mean something else. It is a wake up call for us. We have to realize that we can no longer take the South Carolina vote for granted. I know that is a shock to some of you. But, the numbers are there and they are what they are. South Carolina Republicans are going to have to work again to gain victory.
Congratulations to Senator Obama and the Democrats for the big numbers. You woke me up. You have my attention. Now, if only the rest of my party will wake us as well. I get the point. South Carolina Democrats think they are in a real fight, not an exhibition. We Republicans had better realize that as well.