Will the Winfrey endorsement help in the battle for women voters?
This weekend the talk show host and arguably the second most famous woman in America, Oprah Winfrey, is joining Barack Obama on a three state campaign tour in a move that seems to have been designed to eat into Hillary Clinton’s commanding poll position amongst women voters.
She’ll speak in support of the black senator from Illinois at mass campaign rallies in three of the states to decide first on their choice of Democratic nominee – Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. In the latter there’s reported to be such a demand for tickets that Obama’s campaign has had to move the Sunday event from an 18,000-seat arena to an 80,000-seat football stadium.
All this is being planned to ensure that Obama’s bid dominates the headlines and the TV news channels in the run up to the Iowa caucuses in just three weeks time.
South Carolina itself is seen as being critical because of the high proportion of black voters. Obama desperately needs to make an impact there. The latest RCP average of polling in the state has Clinton 8% ahead.
CNN’s polling director, Keating Holland, observed: “Hillary Clinton simply seems to be the women’s candidate regardless of race. I think that’s what Obama may really be trying to reach is women — not white women or black women or any particular race, just women in general. Married women, women with children — those are the ones who tend to turn out and vote.. That tends to be the Oprah audience.”
In the betting Hillary continues to be the heavy odds-on favourite to get the nomination. My guess is that the Winfrey intervention will get a lot of UK media coverage this weekend which could impact on the prices here.
I remain a seller of Clinton and a buyer of Obama and Huckabee on the Spreadfair spread market – all positions which are showing profits.