Hillary Basically Concedes South Carolina To Obama

That’s the way it appears anyway. She’s left the state and now Bill and Chelsea are doing her bidding.

Story from the New York Times:

Facing formidable support for Senator Barack Obama in South Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is deploying former President Bill Clinton there while she shifts her attention to campaigning in states with nominating contests next month and to raising money.

The strategic shift intensifies a new dynamic in the race: Mrs. Clinton’s campaign this week in South Carolina is essentially running Mr. Clinton against Mr. Obama. The two have been engaged in a war of words, with Mr. Clinton accusing the Obama campaign of voter coercion in the Nevada caucuses, and Mr. Obama saying on Monday that Mr. Clinton had made comments that were “not factually accurate” and that his advocacy for his wife had grown “pretty troubling.”

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers cautioned that she was not writing off South Carolina, which has a Democratic primary on Saturday. It is the last place where Democrats will compete before Feb. 5, when more than 20 states hold nominating contests.

Mrs. Clinton plans to hold events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in South Carolina. Yet she will spend the next two days campaigning in Arizona, California, New Jersey and New Mexico, which vote on Feb. 5. She will begin a television advertising blitz this week in 10 states with contests on that day. She is also returning Thursday night to New York, another state with a Feb. 5 contest, for two fund-raisers, part of an effort to raise more than $15 million before the coming primaries.

Not writing it off entirely, but not really planning to win there or even talking it up as being an important contest. In fact, I’m sure all she’ll be talking about now is Super Tuesday. Unless of course she somehow wins South Carolina, then it will have immediately become important.

The RealClearPolitics South Carolina poll averages are as follows:

42.6 – Obama
30.0 – Clinton
14.6 – Edwards

Of course, standard poll disclaimer, these could be off. However, the trend is heavily for Obama and he’s expected to do exceptionally well there due in part to a large African-American population which is leaning his way.

Based on the polling data, I don’t blame her for taking this strategy. If she’s going to get the nomination, it will happen on February 5th, not in South Carolina. By ignoring it, she can downplay any loss and take her Nevada momentum and bypass South Carolina entirely. For Obama, it will be another big win but I don’t think it’s going to be enough to carry him through.