more at *******www.theuptake**** University of Minnesota Professor John Logie digs into the South Carolina numbers and finds hope for John Edwards and reasons why the Hillary Clinton campaign really should be concerned about the loss to Barack Obama. This is the first of two parts of John's analysis. Transcription: The first striking statistic in the exit polls that CNN generated after the South Carolina primary was the overwhelming bias towards female voters in South Carolina. Those numbers shook out at 61 percent female to 39 percent male. In the main stream media it’s often presumed that Hillary Clinton will carry female votes, but it didn’t play out that way in South Carolina, where Barack Obama took 54 percent of the female voters to Hillary Clinton’s 30 percent and John Edward’s 16 percent. While it might be interesting to try and break that statistic down further, so we could sort out whether black female voters or white female voters were responsible for that result, we might also do well to take a page from the message delivered in Obama’s speech where he suggested that this election is about, among other things, people not necessarily voting lockstep identity politics – not necessarily voting for the candidate who most superficially resembles them in terms of their own race or gender. There is one demographic group that voted strongly for Hillary Clinton. One and one only as it turns out. And that is voters 65 or older. They voted 40 percent for Clinton, 32 percent for Obama and 27 percent for Edwards. That is the only group that Obama didn’t win. It suggests that older voters are going to be a source of strength for Hillary Clinton as the campaign goes on. But Obama’s strong performance across literally every other demographic – and if you drop that number from 65 and older just 60 and older he actually wins that demographic 38 to 35. It suggests there’s a very strong correlation between the age of the voter and their willingness to vote for Obama, with older voters siding squarely for Hillary Clinton. There was a tiny bit of good news in the South Carolina primary for John Edwards. It had to be a disappointing finish for him – 18 percent of the vote overall. But that 18 percent was made up of some strength among non-black voters age 30 and up. Non-black voters under 30 voted overwhelmingly for Obama. 52 percent total voted for Obama. That’s more than Edwards and Clinton put together. But among the older non-black voters, which presumable would extend from Caucasian to Asian to Arabic to Hispanic there was some signs of strength for John Edwards with 41 percent at the demographic from 30 to 34, 40 percent in the demographic from 45 to 59, and he was actually able to tie Hillary Clinton with the non-black voters over 60 with 42 percent of that vote. One of the most interesting questions asked by CNN in their exit polls was whether Democratic voters thought a given candidate was likely to beat the Republican nominee. The overarching numbers are interesting in and of themselves. 48 percent felt Obama was the most likely to beat the Republican nominee. 36 percent thought Clinton. 15 percent thought Edwards. But the really interesting information comes up when you look at who people voted for given their views. Now of the 36 percent who thought Clinton was most likely to beat the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton got 68 percent of those voters, but 21 percent voted for Obama. And of the 15 percent who thought Edwards was most likely to beat the Republican nominee, Edwards got 73 percent of those voters. But again 21 percent voted for Obama. So these are the people who Clinton and Edwards were the most likely to beat the Republican nominee, but still felt strongly enough about Barack Obama message that they were going to vote for him anyway. In other words, the strategic value of voting for someone who you thought was the most capable of beating a Republican was outweighed, for these voters, by their desire to vote for Barack Obama. Now the numbers get really interesting when we look at the Democratic voters who thought Barack Obama was the most likely to beat the Republican nominee. Again that’s almost half of the South Carolina Democratic primary voters. Essentially if you thought Barack Obama was most likely to beat the Republican nominee, you voted for Barack Obama. 88 percent of the people who felt that way did end up voting for Barack Obama. Leaving only 12 percent divided between Edwards and Clinton. 8 percent voted for Edwards and 4 percent voted for Clinton. The difference here is that among voters who think Clinton and Edwards are most likely to beat the Republican nominee, Barack Obama is still able to pull over a fifth of those voters from either Clinton or Edwards. But the voters who believe Obama is most likely to beat the Republican nominee, almost 90 percent of them voted for Obama. CNN’s exit polls also asked who voters thought would be the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. And the numbers who strong for Obama as well, which had to be disappointing for Hillary Clinton who has tended to do very well in these kinds of questions. Obama polled at 46 percent on this question relative to Clinton’s 35 percent and Edwards’ 19 percent. But again, we see people even if they select Clinton or Edwards as the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief, still voting for Barack Obama in sizable numbers. 20 percent of the people who pointed to Clinton as most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief, still voted for Obama anyway. 16 percent of those who selected Edwards as the most qualified to Commander-in-Chief still voted for Obama anyway. And among the 46 percent who pointed towards Obama to be the most qualified to be Commander-in-Chief, 94 percent ended up voting for Barack Obama. So we’re seeing real signs of strength for Barack Obama in that he pulls voters even though they might not necessarily think he’s the most qualified to be the Commander-in-Chief. Or might not be the one most likely to defeat the eventual Republican nominee. That suggests to me that their votes are about something more a political calculus relative to the November election. In short, it seems like Barack Obama has got some believers.