Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

White Voters, Last-Minute Choices

By Kevin Merida
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- There was a duel going on outside of Hand Middle School. On one patch of dirt beside the driveway to the school were William and Sally Plyler, longtime friends of John Edwards, up from Raleigh, N.C., holding signs, waving to cars. On the other side of the driveway were two neighborhood kids, 8 and 11, shouting, "Obama! Obama!

"I've been very impressed with their knowledge," said Sally, the godmother of Edwards's young son, Jack, and an art consultant at the ArtSource gallery in Raleigh.

Hand Middle School is in the predominantly white, upper-income Shandon neighborhood of Columbia, populated by professors, doctors, lawyers. Edwards supporters thought this would be strong Edwards territory.

Austin Brown, 28, gave the former North Carolina senator his vote. "I thought he would bring back industry. Too many jobs are leaving the state," said Brown, who is about to join the Air Force.

Polls in South Carolina, as in many Southern states, have pointed to a racially polarized electorate. Obama pollster Cornell Belcher addressed this subject today, saying that whatever white support his candidate ends up getting in South Carolina will be good enough for now. "To me, this is the forest -- those white voters who are voting in the Democratic Party are not out of reach for Barack Obama."

Meanwhile, Belcher added, Obama was on the verge of producing "the kind of primary turnout we have not seen in a Southern state in a decade" by expanding the party's base of black voters.

"He has expanded the base in a way that Hillary and Edwards cannot," Belcher said.

At Hand Middle School, there was, indeed, some white support for Obama.

Jim McFadden, 26, who works at a health food deli, said he had made the decision to vote for Obama in 2004 after hearing his Democratic National Convention keynote speech. He figured then, Obama would be a candidate himself in 2008. "He looked like a president early on."

David Dreyfus, however, was much more torn. An international MBA student at the University of South Carolina, Dreyfus, 27, said he made his decision on the drive to the polls. How did he do it? "I don't know," he said. "I'm a big Clinton supporter. I don't know. I walked in there and my hand went to Obama. So I guess I just let my conscience decide for me."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 26, 2008; 7:45 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton Flies as Race Goes to Obama
Next: Fla. Gov. Crist Endorses McCain

Comments

KENNEDYS TREND ... OBAMA !!!

CAROLINE KENNEDY SCHLOSSBERG, THE LAST SURVIVOR OF THE CAMELOT WHITE HOUSE, IS SET TO PASS THE TORCH TO ... SEN. BARACK OBAMA !!!

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | January 26, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

peabrain:

Please look before you leap, think before you write, and you might even consider doing a little research before you go ahead and believe in all the things that make you angriest. Regarding Obama, you could start here:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2007/dec/20/chain-email-gets-obama-religion-wrong/

Posted by: columbus784 | January 26, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Can the Washington Post please take down patently false and libelous comments, such as those made by beanmealmom. This kind of hatred and racism has no place in the political discourse. I am all for free speech, but news organizations have a responsibility to report accurate information. Obama is not a Muslim (although it would be fine if he were), he recites the pledge of allegiance regularly in the Senate, and he was sworn into office on his families bible.

Posted by: benjamingeballe | January 26, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

beanmealmom, you do a fantastic job of representing the fringe group of American voters who remain intolerant of diversity and unwilling to investigate the rumors you are fed on talk radio.

Thank you for your blatant mischaracterization of the facts; it thoroughly discredits you and your cause.

Posted by: aaron_selverston | January 26, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Obama is what we need. Yay to South Carolina for seeing the light. Many thanks, an Iowa voter.

Posted by: heather4 | January 26, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone truly interested in Sen. Obama's views about religion and politics should watch his speech, "A Call to Renewal:" http://www.barackobama.com/tv/speeches.php
It is fascinating.

Posted by: bensonbark | January 26, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

beanmealmom,

Obama isn't a muslim, but since you like to judge people by their names, i can only assume that you are the mother of some sort of mealworm or beansprout.

Posted by: julieds | January 26, 2008 8:18 PM | Report abuse

YAHOO!!!!


I would like to point out that...

OBAMA GOT 24% OF THE WHITE VOTE, JUST 4% LESS THAN JOHN EDWARDS, our southern-white-male candidate (whom i very much respect).


The Clinton's strategy of marginalizing Obama and trying to divide the party into racial politics, FAILED. The voters have spoken- black, white, and everyone in between, are ready for something new.

THERE IS NOT A WHITE AMERICA OR A BLACK AMERICA! THERE IS NOT A RED AMERICA, AND A BLUE AMERICA!

WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

Posted by: julieds | January 26, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead you dummies!!!!!! Put a Muslim in the White House and see what happens. The borders will be open to any terrorist who wants to come in this country. If Obama is the Christian he claims to be, why does he turn his back when the "Pledge" is recited? Why won't he wear the American flag on his lapel and why was he sworn in the his senate office on the Koran? Think about it people. AChristian would have been sworn in on the HOLY BIBLE. Even the Church of Christ he attends doesn't support American chruches. He never even joined this church until he decided to run for president. Naw, I don't care much for Hillary either but I do believe she is the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: beanmealmom | January 26, 2008 8:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company