Even though polls show that blacks still have doubts about Obama, he weathered similar skepticism in the 2004 Illinois Senate primary before winning nearly all of their votes. "He soared with elites initially," says Mark Blumenthal, who polled for Obama's chief rival. "But it took until the last week of the campaign for blacks to decide." If they break his way again, says Blumenthal, Obama could ride a new black-upscale majority to the nomination.
In South Carolina, that could be critical. If Obama rivals Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire and then wins South Carolina, he could catapult to victory.
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