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Rasmussen breaks up a poll-free weekend with some fresh results in South Carolina: John McCain leads Barack Obama by 9 points.

The only other South Carolina poll was conducted by SurveyUSA in late February and showed McCain with a scant 3-point lead. However, our regression model had figured that South Carolina should be polling at more like a 12-point lead for McCain. On the one hand, then, it might be argued that this result slightly beats expectations for Obama. On the other hand, South Carolina’s demographics are more or less an extension of North Carolina’s, but about 4-5 points worse for Obama overall. So it’s hard to imagine Obama winning South Carolina without winning North Carolina — and if he wins North Carolina, South Carolina is probably superfluous. Something like Georgia, on the other hand, which is younger than the Carolinas and might have more of a third party vote, could potentially behave somewhat more independently.

(Also, this gives me an excuse to point to the nice little feature I got at Newsweek.)

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