The issue in South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary is not who will win, but how significant of a victory Hillary Clinton can roll up against Bernie Sanders. The most recent Monmouth University poll (Feb. 14-16) of likely voters has numbers that point toward an impressive Clinton victory.
Major clues are in how the poll tallies attitudes among likely voters toward the two candidates on black issues. The results show that likely voters – whatever their race or ethnicity – see Clinton as being far more effective than Sanders. Here's how Beyond Catfish Row charted the Monmouth numbers (first two questions):
Another major clue is the magnitude by which likely black voters trust Clinton more than Sanders on issues that most concern them (third question). The trust numbers favoring Clinton so widely are important because blacks are expected to be the racial majority among primary voters.
Add to these survey numbers the key endorsements that Clinton has received – from Rep. James E. Clyburn, the South Carolinian who is the assistant Democratic leader in Congress, and Civil Rights Movement icon Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, plus the political arm of the Congressional Black Caucus – and it looks as if Clinton has a lead over Sanders that is unapproachable.
In recent weeks, Clinton has spoken with eloquent directness about racial inequality. What she said about "systemic racism" in her Feb. 16 address in Harlem and her victory speech after the Democratic caucuses in Nevada last Saturday are making the controversy about her email use while Secretary of State look less flammable.