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News: Updated Jan. 19

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News from the Votemaster

In case you haven't noticed, the map above is for the Democratic Party primaries and caucuses. For the Republican Party primaries and caucuses, click the link near the top on the right.

Today are the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina Republican primary. (the Democratic primary in South Carolina is next week). Here are the Nevada polls for the previous week.

State Pollster End date Clinton Obama Edwards Giuliani McCain Romney Thompson Huckabee
Nevada Zogby Jan. 18 45% 39% 6%          
Nevada Zogby Jan. 17 42% 37% 12%          
Nevada Mason-Dixon Jan. 16 41% 32% 14% 6% 19% 34% 8% 13%
Nevada ARG Jan. 14 35% 32% 25% 11% 21% 28% 13% 8%
Nevada Research 2000 Jan. 13 30% 32% 27% 18% 22% 15% 11% 16%

The Democratic averages are as follows:

      Hillary Clinton: 38.6%
      Barack Obama: 34.4%
      John Edwards: 16.8%

A week ago it was a three-way tie. Since then, John Edwards has collapsed. In politics, a week is a long time. An Obama win here combined with an Obama win next week in South Carolina (likely, due to the fact that up to half the Democratic primary voters there may be black) will not only permanently destroy Clinton's cloak of inevitability, it will really shake up the race. It won't knock anybody out though. A Clinton win here will neuter Obama's expected win in South Carolina and focus the attemtion of Superduper Tuesday.

The averages of the Nevada Republican polls are as follows:

      Mitt Romney: 25.7%
      John McCain: 20.7%
      Mike Huckabee: 12.3%
      Rudy Giuliani: 11.7%
      Fred Thompson: 10.7%

The Republican battle in South Carolina is a tight race between John McCain and Mike Huckabee, with Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson fighting for third. Here is the data:

State Pollster End date Clinton Obama Edwards Giuliani McCain Romney Thompson Huckabee
South Carolina ARG Jan. 18 39% 45% 10% 3% 26% 9% 21% 33%
South Carolina SurveyUSA Jan. 17 36% 46% 15% 2% 31% 17% 16% 27%
South Carolina Opinion Dynamics Jan. 17 3% 27% 15% 11% 20%
South Carolina Insider Advantage Jan. 17 5% 26% 13% 13% 26%
South Carolina Rasmussen Jan. 16 31% 44% 15% 3% 24% 18% 16% 24%
South Carolina Mason-Dixon Jan. 16 31% 40% 13% 5% 27% 15% 13% 25%
South Carolina ARG Jan. 16 38% 44% 9% 4% 33% 20% 13% 23%
South Carolina SurveyUSA Jan. 16 3% 29% 17% 17% 26%
South Carolina Zogby Jan. 15 2% 29% 15% 13% 22%
South Carolina Clemson U. Jan. 15 3% 29% 13% 10% 22%
South Carolina Insider Advantage Jan. 15 31% 41% 13%          
South Carolina Rasmussen Jan. 13 33% 38% 17% 5% 28% 17% 16% 19%

The averages for the Democrats for the past week are:

      Hillary Clinton: 34.1%
      Barack Obama: 42.6%
      John Edwards: 13.1%

For the Republicans it is:

      John McCain: 28.1%
      Mike Huckabee: 24.3%
      Mitt Romney: 15.4%
      Fred Thompson: 14.5%
      Rudy Giuliani: 3.5%

For the Republicans, South Carolina is immensely important. While New Hampshire got a lot of attention, the Republicans are going to get creamed in New England in November, so it hardly matters. The South is a different story. This is Republican heartland, where they win elections. Who plays best in the South is extremely important.

To a first approximation, the modern Republican party (as opposed to the Barry Goldwater Republican party or the Dwight Eisenhower Republican party) has four main factions, each with different priorities. The factions might be labeled: Wall St., national security, evangelicals, and libertarians. Each one has a favorite and each one gives different issues different amounts of importance, roughly as follows:

      Wall St. Republicans love Romney, really care only about tax cuts
      National security Republicans love McCain, mostly care about terrorism and Iraq
      Evangelical Republicans love Huckabee, care about God, gays, guns, and immigration
      Libertarian Republicans love Paul, care about Iraq, guns, privacy, and immigration

Of course this is very simplified, but it has a core of truth. Rich Republican businessman want tax cuts very much, but aren't really against abortion (and their wives certainly aren't against it) and rather like the idea of a steady supply of cheap immigrant labor, legal or not. The evangelicals have completely different priorities. The primary in South Carolina pits all these groups against each other for the soul of the Republican party. Of course the result will reflect the particular demographics of South Carolina. If the first southern primary happened to be in Virginia or North Carolina, the result might be quite different.

-- The Votemaster
WWW www.electoral-vote.com