The Associated Press is reporting that Barack Obama has received 55 percent of the vote in South Carolina versus 26 percent for Hillary Clinton. John Edwards has received 18 percent of the votes from precincts reporting.

Mr. Obama is currently making his victory speech.

Ninety-five percent of the over 2200 precincts are reporting. Almost immediately after polls closed, the press declared Barack Obama the winner of the South Carolina primary.

Certainly, voter turnout in the African-American community has helped Mr. Obama win the Palmetto state. However, negative campaigning by “Billary,” the name the press have given to the campaign team of Bill and Hillary Clinton, has likely contributed to Mr. Obama’s win by hurting the Clinton campaign in the long run.

Numbers continue to come in but Mr. Obama will likely carry the state and the delegates that come with the win.

A South Carolina win for Mr. Obama certainly puts him over the top, gives him additional fundraising power and makes him a serious contender for the nomination of the Democratic Party.

John Edwards will need to seriously rethink his candidacy. Third place finishes make fundraising much more difficult. It is likely he will soon withdraw and throw his weight behind Clinton or Obama.

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