NBC and CBS updated us on the South Carolina primary. CBS' Nancy Cordes called it "a rough and tumble affair" while NBC's Kelly O'Donnell warned it had "gotten dirty" with "ugly attacks" against Republican John McCain, accusing him of betraying his fellow prisoners of war during the Vietnam War while he was a guest at the Hanoi Hilton. "The attacks do not appear to come directly from rival campaign," O'Donnell reassured us. Southerner Mike Huckabee came up with "a surprisingly spirited defense of the Confederate flag," as CBS' Cordes put it: "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag we would tell them where to put the pole." MSNBC completed an opinion poll in the state and NBC's Tim Russert offered us the highlights. Republican voters divide along religious lines, most evangelical Christians favoring Huckabee, most non-evangelicals for McCain. Democrats divide along lines of race: most blacks for Barack Obama, most whites for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her prospects would be yet stronger "if John Edwards were not in the race."
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