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February 3, 2004
Edwards Wins South Carolina, MS-NBC Suggests Kerry Withdraw

As expected, Senator John Edwards has won South Carolina, by a good 15-point margin, 45%-30% for Kerry. With 48% of the precincts reporting, Howard Dean only received 5% of the overall vote in South Carolina, finishing fifth behind Al Sharpton and Wesley Clark. Dean is now on TV explaining that he will not withdraw, although he acknowledges that his supporters are going to have a "tough night" tonight. Right at the moment, he's saying that in order to keep jobs in America, we have to stop giving tax breaks to companies that move offshore -- even though he himself set up a crucial tax break in Vermont for those very same corporations. The energy and enthusiasm of his supporters, is way down, and it sure seems that regardless of Dean's message, it will be very difficult to light the spark again. I just don't see the passion any more.

I started off watching MS-NBC, but had to quickly change the channels as Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, and Dee Dee Myers practically anointed him as The Candidate Who Will Rescue Us and came close to recommending that Kerry pack it up -- even as he is projected the winner in Missouri and Delaware based on exit polling, the two big prizes of the night. For some reason, Hardball is determined to bury the lead and focus on the one race everyone knew Edwards would win. Why didn't Edwards do any better in Missouri? He's about 30 points behind a runaway Kerry win.

In Oklahoma, Clark is barely staying on top by 2 points over Edwards, with Kerry five points back with just 3% of precincts reporting. All three are finishing above the line for delegates, but again Dean has fallen way off the pace here, tying (so far) with Lieberman at 9%. A tough night indeed. Now if Edwards can beat Clark in OK, that might be news, and it might force Clark out of the race, but even if he does, it will be by a thin margin.

More as the results come in ...

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 3, 2004 7:29 PM

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Now that the final speeches are over and the votes and delegates are in from the first Super Tuesday, here's my take on the results. The big winner: John Kerry, no matter what the fools at MS-NBC think. In the... [Read More]

Tracked on February 4, 2004 1:08 PM

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