St. John, who won a straw poll in SC three months ago, limps along with 7 percent, the heavy weight of amnesty slung around his neck. Does this mean official McCain crony Lindsey Graham is vulnerable to a primary challenge? Dare to dream, fellow “bigots.”

It’d be easy to dismiss Fred’s lead as a case of southerners favoring the hometown boy. But if that’s true, what happened to Silky?

Obama led in the new poll with 34 percent of likely voters to 25 percent for Clinton. Edwards was third at 12 percent. Sen. Joe Biden was at 2 percent; so was former Vice President Al Gore, who has given no indication of running but whose name was volunteered by some voters. Twenty-four percent were undecided…

Earlier South Carolina polls have mostly shown Clinton with a lead over Obama and Edwards still in the hunt.

Edwards has been counting on a strong showing in South Carolina, but his outspoken opposition to the Iraq war and drift to the left on other issues may not be playing well with the state’s pro-military, generally conservative voters.

Interestingly, Obama has a huge lead among blacks in the state, even though he trails Hillary among black voters nationwide. It’d be a bad narrative for Clinton to lose the black vote there decisively lest a full-blown media Narrative about consciousness and empowerment arise. No doubt Billy Jeff is already penciling in extra campaign events. Meanwhile, here’s your quote of the day:

To Carol Bendick, 63, a Democrat who lives in Danville, Ill., Bush is too cozy with the oil industry, and she, too, wants a Democrat to succeed him. But she would support Giuliani over Clinton.

“Who wants four or eight more years of the Clintons’ marital disputes, paid for by the United States, we the people? I certainly don’t,” said Bendick, a teacher on disability.

Several men who prefer a Democrat for president, but not Clinton, said they were simply unwilling to support a woman.

Kevin Kidd, 45, a Democrat who owns a bar in Farwell, Mich., said a female president would make the United States “look a little wimpier.”

“Some countries have woman presidents, and I just think it makes them look weak,” he added.

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Update: Surprise.

Arizona Senator John McCain is now viewed favorably by 48% of Americans. Rasmussen Reports polling this week found that he is viewed unfavorably by 45%. Those figures reflect a continuing downtrend for the Republican Presidential hopeful. In December, 59% had a favorable opinion. Two months ago, 55% offered a positive assessment and our previous poll found 51% of voters with a favorable view…

McCain is now viewed favorably by just 55% of Republicans.

Just 14% of American voters have a favorable opinion of Kyl while 36% have an Unfavorable opinion. In late May, before the debate on immigration rocked the Senate, Kyl was viewed favorably by 18% and unfavorably by 30%. The number with a Very Unfavorable view of Kyl has nearly doubled, from 7% at the end of May to 13% now. Kyl and McCain have both been very vocal in their support of the unpopular immigration bill that has been revived and is still working its way through the Senate.

One interesting note about Kyl’s numbers is that he doesn’t do any better within his own political party. Among Republicans, Kyl is viewed favorably by 14% and unfavorably by 38%.