COLUMBIA, S.C. - Democrats headed to the polls in South Carolina Saturday in an unusual contest that pitted Barack Obama against two Clintons. Race was a persistent subtext in the first primary to feature a large number of black voters.
So, now Barack is running against two Clintons, presumably Hillary and Bill. Not only that, but the press is again stating that this Democratic primary race is about race and gender.
South Carolina became a "must win" state for Obama, whose momentum from his victory in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3 began to fade after he lost contests in Nevada and New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton. A victory could help reinforce Obama's co-frontrunner status with Clinton, while a loss would severely imperil his candidacy.
So, now Barack has lost momentum and must win South Carolina or, sheesh, he'll be out of the running for the presidency.
Polls showed Obama favored to win the state in large part due to his strong support among black voters, who are expected to comprise more than 50 percent of the electorate. The Illinois senator is running to be the first black president.
No kidding. But, don't forget that white voters support Barack, too.
The state Democratic Party chairwoman, Carol Fowler, predicted a record turnout.
Obama has made a direct appeal to blacks here after rarely mentioning race throughout the campaign. He'll continue that strategy going forward.