South to Weigh in on Presidential Race

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CBNNews.com - Preliminary polls are showing that South Carolina voters have clear favorites, both on the Democratic and Republican side.

Watch for more from CBN News Political Reporter David Brody, who is on the ground in South Carolina.

For the GOP, the clear crowd favorites appear to be Sen. John McCain and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, though it is still unclear who will win Saturday's primary. Recent polls have both running neck and neck, with McCain showing a slight lead.

But McCain's and Huckabee's appeal comes from different sides.

Huckabee has the edge over McCain with voters looking for a candidate who shares their values. But those seeking strength and leadership in a candidate give McCain the lead.

Huckabee was the frontrunner among Evangelicals, who gave him 33 percent of the vote, compared to McCain's 20 percent.

With Iindependents, it is a different story. This group rallied behind McCain, who led the way over Huckabee 40 percent to 22 percent.

As for Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul, and Rudy Giuliani - voters are divvying up smaller pieces of the pie to them. Check out the numbers below.

John McCain 27 percent
Mike Huckabee 25 percent
Mitt Romney 15 percent
Fred Thompson 13 percent
Ron Paul 6 percent
Rudy Giuliani 5 percent

The Democratic Divide

For Democrats, voters in South Carolina are divided between Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton. 

Even though the leading Democratic candidates tried to bury the race debate in Las Vegas, race is still playing an important role in the candidates' ability to draw votes.

Black voters have been found to be twice as likely to vote for Obama, who received 56 percent of the votes to Clinton's 25 percent.

On the other hand, Clinton had nearly double the amount of white voters behind her in the Palmetto State, leading Obama 39 percent to 20 percent.

The lines weren't quite as decisive when it came to the gender of voters, as both Obama and Clinton were neck-and-neck among females. But Obama took the lead with male voters.

Barack Obama 40 percent
Hillary Clinton 31 percent
John Edwards 13 percent

The telephone poll was conducted Monday through Wednesday for MSNBC and McClatchy Newspapers by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of Washington, D.C. It polled 400 voters likely to vote in the Republican primary and 400 voters likely to vote in the Democratic primary.

The margin of error for each primary poll was plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Source: The Associated Press, CBN News, MSNBC

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