Perspectives, News & Opinions From The Researchers At Edison

Where will the Edwards Supporters Go?

Entry by Tom Webster | Monday, February 4th, 2008 | Permalink

There has been a lot of speculation about which camp Edwards’ supporters will migrate to, and I thought it would be useful to take a look at the recent South Carolina data to see if there were any clues from the exit polls. We asked a number of questions of the voters regarding their opinions of the other candidates just to see if there were any polarities and also to provide data for just this sort of question–once hypothetical, now very real for the supporters of John Edwards. Here are some of the notable datapoints amongst South Carolina Primary participants who voted for Edwards:

[Note--for all the tables below, the sample consists solely of the 19% of South Carolina Primary Voters who selected John Edwards as their nominee]

Regardless of how you voted today, how would you feel if Hillary Clinton wins the election?

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Response Percentage
Very Satisfied 20%
Somewhat Satisfied 42%
Somewhat Dissatisfied 21%
Very Dissatisfied 18%

Regardless of how you voted today, how would you feel if Barack Obama wins the election?

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Response Percentage
Very Satisfied 22%
Somewhat Satisfied 38%
Somewhat Dissatisfied 24%
Very Dissatisfied 16%

No real clues there. Let’s try a different tactic:

Regardless of how you voted today, which candidate stands the best chance of defeating the Republicans on Election Day?

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Response Percentage
Clinton 20%
Obama 20%

Regardless of how you voted today, which candidate would make the best commander in chief?

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Response Percentage
Clinton 15%
Obama 6%

Regardless of how you voted today, which candidate would be the best choice to unite the country?

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Response Percentage
Clinton 7%
Obama 17%

So, we have a wash. Amongst South Carolina’s Edwards supporters, there is a slight edge to Hillary for Commander in Chief, and a slight edge towards Obama as a uniter–but otherwise, your guess is as good as mine, and we don’t guess in this particular blog. Keep in mind that the Edwards supporters in South Carolina tended to be white and predominately 45+, territory where Clinton was strongest in South Carolina, but clearly South Carolina’s (disapointed) Edwards voters don’t appear to lean one way or another based upon the evidence we see here.

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