Opinion: Oprah to the rescue?

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The prospect of Oprah Winfrey hitting the campaign trail on behalf of Barack Obama grew more likely today, with the presidential candidate himself broaching the possibility.

Campaigning in South Carolina, Obama said in a local television interview, ‘I can’t make promises, but I know that she has expressed an interest in South Carolina and maybe we can pull that. ... Certainly it would be a lot of fun for everyone.’

Unless you happen to find yourself between Oprah and the media crush that would stalk TV’s daytime diva.

As evidenced by the new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll that focused on three key states in the nominating race, Obama could use Oprah’s help. The survey found that in South Carolina, he trails Hillary Clinton, 45% to 27% (the error margin is plus or minus 5 percentage points).


A look at the poll’s demographic results pinpoints Obama’s problem in the state --- and identifies how Oprah might aid him. Among African Americans, who account for a hefty portion of the vote in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, Clinton ran ahead of Obama, 43% to 32% (the error margin for these figures is plus or minus 7 percentage points).

-- Don Frederick