Related topics

Clinton Looking For Second Straight In South Carolina

March 6, 1992

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton is widely expected to win Saturday’s primary here, but Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is hoping for a strong enough showing to put a little fuel in his sputtering campaign.

Harkin has stumped the state with Jesse Jackson in tow and hammered away at the issue of exporting textile jobs away from South Carolina’s workers.

He also aired radio ads targeted to black voters on Clinton’s angry outburst upon hearing an erroneous report that Jackson had endorsed the Iowa senator.

Even so, Clinton has the endorsements of the state’s influential Democrats and the organization and money to translate that into popular votes. Harkin doesn’t.

The polls, the political analysts and the candidates themselves agree that Clinton is the man to beat. The contest has become a three-way race between Clinton, Harkin and former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas.

Tsongas made his only campaign stop in the state in Columbia this week. He conceded he may only get 20 percent of the vote.

But he said that would be enough, adding that he will simply ″need to show the flag and get the message out.″

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown has skipped South Carolina in favor of campaigning closer to home in Arizona and Nevada, two states holding weekend caucuses.

Clinton has visited the state more than any other candidate. He will have stopped four times before the primary. His wife, Hillary, also barnstormed across the state this week.

″We can win here and win handily,″ Clinton said during a stop in Florence.

He has the support of former Gov. Dick Riley and Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., among other Democrats.

And supporters of Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who dropped out of the race Thursday, announced their support for Clinton. The group included five state legislators.

But the picture in South Carolina is less clear than in Georgia, cautions Clinton’s deputy political director, Doug Heyl.

″We expect to win. But in Georgia we had one competing candidate. Here there are two and it will be a little more muddled,″ Heyl said.

Harkin is still in the running, although polls show him a distant third to Clinton and Tsongas.

Jackson, a South Carolina native, said he was not endorsing anybody and would campaign with all the candidates.

But during a number of stops, including one at predominantly black South Carolina State University, it was clear many who turned out came to see Jackson, not Harkin.

But some analysts said the Jackson-Harkin swing will have little impact because black turnout has been lower this year, without a black candidate in the race. Jackson swept the caucuses four years ago when he was a candidate.

Because South Carolina used to hold presidential caucuses, the question of voter turnout is difficult to answer.

About 45,000 attended caucus meetings in 1988. But in the last statewide primary for governor, about 204,000 turned out.

Forty-three Democratic delegates are at stake in Saturday’s primary.

Update hourly