The results of the South Carolina primary are in and for anyone who knows even a little about politics, for anyone who has even a little common sense and has even a little working knowledge of human behavior the results are, to say the least, a bit fishy.
Bill Clinton in 2008 called South Carolina an aberrational state and pointed to Jesse Jackson having won the presidential primary as a third party candidate a few years ago.
Maybe so. But even that doesn't even begin to explain the final numbers and preposterous exit polls from South Carolina. Because none of it adds up as legitimate.
Not that anyone in the news media will look into it or bring it up. The last thing CNN or anyone wants to do is to have to investigate anything and then find something that might upset somebody. But the primary results and exit polls should have at least raised a lot of eyebrows and a lot of questions.
Any one poll can be radically wrong. It happens. But according to the Poll of Polls, the average of every poll taken in South Carolina, Clinton had an 18 point lead over Sanders and was expected to win by 18. Plus or minus 3. She won by 50.
Most polls have the well known margin for error and even with an unreliable poll that margin of error at worst is 5 points. Not 32. Right before the vote polls showed Clinto9n had 65% of the African American vote to Sanders 28%. The final results were 86% Clinton 14% Sanders. So something was up. Maybe just a concerted effort to get African Americans to the polls to vote for Clinton as per the White House marching orders. Maybe something else.
Looking at the election results the first analogy that came to mind was a horse race that was fixed where the jockey is told not to win by too much so as not to arouse suspicion and the jockey screws up, things go wrong and wins by 50 lengths. In that case there would be what's called a Stewards Inquiry because, if for no other reason it looked bad. And phony. Too phony.
But there will be no inquiry into the Democratic South Carolina primary by the news media because they just don't have the stomach for it. And it won't have any affect on the outcome of who wins the nomination even if it does affect the apportionment of those delegates. It won't he determinative.
But it just wasn't the margin of victory. It was the exit polls. Which had results that were so out of whack with reality you would think someone would have pointed it out but no one did.
According to those exit polls 61% of voters were African American. African Americans make up 28% of South Carolina's population which is more than double the national percentage which is about 12% but maybe the extraordinary turnout can be explained by African Americans being a lot more motivated. Or being urged to go to vote for Clinton by surrogates . But there can be no reasonable explanation for the rest of the exit polls.
According to those polls 80% of African Americans who voted said income inequality was no problem. Really? And no one questions that? We know it is a problem that affects the overwhelming majority of Americans all over the country and we know it affects African Americans at a higher percentage than other groups, but according to the exit polls in South Carolina its no problem for African Americans. At least in idyllic South Carolina.
The exit poll also showed that 77% said health care was no problem. Even though again, African Americans have a higher percentage of uninsured than other groups across the country and especially in South Carolina. According to the latest available statistics there are over 700,000 currently uninsured in South Carolina, the majority African Americans. Clinton's entire vote total was 295,000. Yet with over 700,000 uninsured 77% of those who voted said health care was no problem according to the exit polls. So not too many of those 700,000 must've voted. Maybe they were too sick to go to the polls.
South Carolina had one of the highest rates of uninsured in the country - 20.4% as of 2012. According to the latest available statistics that rate has dropped to 18.1%. A paltry, measly 2.3% drop after 3 years of Obamacare. The whole point of healthcare reform in the first place was to get coverage for the 35 million Americans who didn't have it, almost 800,000 of them in South Carolina. And reducing the obscene cost of healthcare for people who do. If dropping the uninsured rate by only 2% after 3 years and seeing insurance rates continue to climb isn't a failure then there is no such thing as failure. And it's what Hillary Clinton supports. Because it's what Obama gave us.
So what does it mean that 70% of South Carolina voters want to continue Obama's policies as Clinton has vowed to do? That they love that Obama sold out the public option to the health insurance lobby which is why they are still uninsured and want more of these great sell outs from Clinton? They could very well get it. More Wall Street executives who make $600,000 a week and who pled guilty to criminal fraud allowed to pay a fine and not go to jail? Based on Clintons $21 million take in speaking fees we could see that too. Because Obama was right, that Isis really is the junior varsity and terrorism is nothing to worry about? This is what African Americans in South Carolina want more of?
Will they want more of it in Alabama and Georgia and Louisiana too? We'll see.
It seems that based on the exit polls either African Americans in South Carolina live in a Utopia and experience things that no one else black or white or Hispanic experience or people were voting based on something other than reality. Their own and everyone else's.
It's almost as if everyone were told, if asked be against every issue Sanders is campaigning on and say so regardless of reality.
If the South Carolina results are actually legitimate , if African Americans there really feel that there is no problem with income inequality and no problem with health care coverage it means one candidate could be in big trouble and its not Sanders. Because if thats what it takes to vote for Clinton when the primaries get into the rest of the country Clinton may have a very hard time. Because Clinton cannot replicate what happened in South Carolina anywhere else though she is counting on doing it in the south where Obama has the most influence.
And if the results aren't legitimate, if they don't reflect what even the voters in South Carolina really think then Clinton and her allies are not going to be able to replicate what happened in South Carolina in states like Ohio, Texas, Minnesota and Massachusetts either because Obama doesnt have the influence there. It also means that in three of the biggest most delegate rich states in the country - New York, California and Florida, Sanders
could win which would negate any Clinton victories from her southern strategy.
The Sanders campaign so far as not done a good job pointing out to the uninsured that this year the IRS, based on the Obamacare law is going to dock them $700 as a penalty for not buying the low end health insurance polices that the White House itself called "substandard".
That $700 is going to be assessed this year against those who can least afford it, and docked from their tax refund if they have any. Had Sanders pointed that out its an open question of how many of those 700,000 uninsured in South Carolina who are going to get hit by that $700 penalty might have gone to the polls and voted for Sanders instead of continuing the Obama Love Fest.
One thing we do know. What happened in South Carolina will have no affect anywhere else in the country so Super Tuesday will answer a few questions. And if Sanders reminds the uninsured of the $700 tax penalty they are going to pay and promise to do something about it, along with his other issues, it might rouse even more voters to go to the polls because when turnout is high Sanders wins.
But if Clinton thinks that what happened in South Carolina is somehow reflective of a national trend as she seemed to imply , Super Tuesday may bring her back to a reality that didn't exist in South Carolina. Because by then what happened in South Carolina will be just a memory.