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An Obama Tilt at Granger, Ind., Poll


Residents vote early at the Madison Township fire station in Hobbs, Ind., on May 6, 2008. (Reuters)

By Peter Slevin
GRANGER, Ind. -- Larry Scheibelhut, 55, is a union carpenter who voted for Sen. Barack Obama today because he feels he can trust him. He thinks Obama is right about the federal gas tax and considers the hubbub over his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., overdone.

Adrienne Springstead, 25, is an English teacher who went for Obama because of his stand opposing the suspension of the federal gas tax. Becky Schultz, 46, is a nurse who chose Obama, after some initial hesitation, because she respects his background as a community organizer and thinks "we see things the same way."

Pre-election polls showed Sen. Hillary Clinton edging Obama in Indiana, but such voters were not much in evidence at the Harris Township fire station here, where an economically diverse array of white Democrats and Republicans favored Obama over his New York rival.

That was, in one hour-long stretch, 11 Obama voters, including several who typically vote Republican, to three who favored Clinton.

Granger is a suburb of Mishawaka, which lies a few miles east of South Bend on the state's northern edge. This territory has been fiercely contested. Both candidates have campaigned nearby in the past week, and both campaigns have assembled formidable ground operations while attracting competing slates of notable supporters.

"It was pretty hard. I've been a Republican for years," said Wendy Clingan, 55, who works in the cancer registry at a nearby hospital. "I decided on Obama this time. I'm concerned as to which one could unify both parties."

Clingan could recall voting just once for a Democrat for president -- incumbent president Bill Clinton against Sen. Bob Dole in 1996 -- but she does not think the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) can win in November. A white woman, she likes the idea of electing a black president, and she thinks Obama just might be able to work with both parties on Capitol Hill.

"Maybe because he's not so hard line and hasn't been around so long," Clingan said, "they might cut him some slack."

Terry Andrzejewski, 37, works in the shipping department of a local plastics company. He, too, voted for President Bush the last time, "but I kind of jumped ship." He chose Obama.

"He's kind of straight up," said Andrzejewski, who said the Wright flap did not deter him. "Just because you go to church doesn't mean you think just like your pastor."

Scheibelhut, the carpenter, went further: "When his pastor said, 'God Damn America,' I have these thoughts all the time. As a Christian, I think God could damn America for some of our sinful ways."

Krista Arendt and her police officer husband Alex voted for Clinton because of her experience as a senator and her eight years in the White House during Bill Clinton's two terms. Alex Arendt said Bill Clinton would be a handy "in-house consultant."

The Wright affair played no role in her decision, Krista Arendt said.

"Just because someone you associate with is a fundamentalist doesn't mean you are," said Arendt, a 34-year-old caterer. "Actually, it shows more tolerance if you can understand the person and still be friends with them."

As she climbed into her SUV, Debbie Majerek, 55, explained that she settled on Obama only very recently, after she grew tired of what she considered mean and negative advertising by the Clinton campaign. She also likes what she has heard about Obama attracting contributions from more than 1.2 million citizens, considering that elections, she said, are often financed by "big business."

"While it used to be effective, it's not effective for me," Majerek said of what she described as ubiquitous Clinton advertising. "With Hillary, it's about winning at all costs."

Those arguments did not impress Majerek's son Christian, who cast his first presidential primary ballot for Clinton. A major theme of Clinton's message is that she is a fighter who can beat the Republicans and accomplished more in the Oval Office.

"I think she'd get more done," Christian Majerek, 21, said. "She's ballsier than Obama."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 6, 2008; 5:53 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Primaries  
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Next: Portrait of Two Last Minute Deciders

Comments

Post-North Carolina Haiku:

-------Obama declared-------
--Democrat contest victor?--
-------On May 6 he won-------

Posted by: eljefejesus | May 7, 2008 5:15 AM | Report abuse

Results:

Indiana barely held on to by 2%, disappointing for Hillary people.

North Carolina threw Hillary out of the race more mercilessly than expected, by double-digits.

Obama is on a bumb-throwing roll.
McCain is next.

Throw the bumbs out November 2008

Posted by: eljefejesus | May 7, 2008 2:44 AM | Report abuse

It is close... hillary leads by less than 2 points so far......hehehehehe

Posted by: yippee | May 7, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

A: Hillary's butt.

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

JakeD - Looks like Rush may be coming through for Hillary.

Question: Which is bigger... Rush's head or Hillary's butt?

Posted by: LW | May 6, 2008 7:53 PM | Report abuse

(Unofficial) CNN:

INDIANA (18% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 57%

Obama 43%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

CNN just called North Carolina for Barack HUSSEIN Obama!

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

(Unofficial) CNN:

INDIANA (17% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 57%

Obama 43%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

7:25 Official Indiana Results

Democratic Hillary Clinton 13638
Barack Obama 15711

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

(Unofficial) CNN:

INDIANA (12% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 58%

Obama 42%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Polls close in North Carolina at 7:30 ET.

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:18 PM | Report abuse

(Unofficial) CNN:

INDIANA (10% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 58%

Obama 42%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

7:10 Indiana Official Results

Hillary Clinton 12837
Barack Obama 14679

Posted by: Anonymous | May 6, 2008 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Glen P.:

You mean they "run out" of OTHER PEOPLE's money (the Clintons made $109 million in the past several years)?

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

LOL! RepubliCANS have Colin, Condi, Clarence and many Many other Americans of Pure Blood "Barry" patronizes with his Happa Haole Mix.

But we get labeled as "Racists"! :-D

Meanwhile, the DIMocrats prop up their "Toking" Black guy! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 6, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Alex:

What if they are just using reverse psychology? Phase 1 of Operation CHAOS undoubtedly consisted of early voting FOR Obama -- I know because that's how I voted -- so, using your logic, were we dreaming of Clinton back then too?

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:09 PM | Report abuse

With few exceptions, no candidate drops out, they only run out of money.

Posted by: Glen P. | May 6, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

What, Joe Sardonic, is an "American" name? George Bush, Herbert Hoover?

Posted by: ericroth | May 6, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

AE:

I feel your pain (biting my lip).

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The basic problem with Hillary is her evident inability to beat McCain even if she would manage to con the nomination. The case is that not only herself, but some brain-washed voters either are confusing being a fighter and being a b..ch.
Being a fighter means to be ready to sacrifice your dearest personal things like your life or health to win, and Hillary is ready to sacrifice just her voters' money and her party's election success, nothing personal. Being a b..ch means to say or do anything to destroy somebody (what she is consistently doing).
Therefore, b..ches can only deal with nice guys like Obama who tries to show "some constraints" when competing with his party fellow. But they, b..ches, have no chance against a real fighter, with no ever constraints, like the older outgoing soldier McCain who already made real personal sacrifices in Vietnam war. Although he was not under sniper fire in Bosnia, but survived 5 years in Vietnam POW camps, let alone being under actual fire over there.

Just recall him joking, with no actual reason, but for fun: Why is Chelsea so ugly? Realize, if a real competition starts, all Clintons' dirty laundry of 90s, let alone recent developments (like the pending lawsuit in Los Angeles), would be brought to the daylight and put on Hillary, and she would have to go into such a deep defensive position, unless somewhere deeper, that she would not get any chance to even show her ability, much less to have it, for real fighting. Her only real experience is just a huge baggage of scandals brought from the past.

Republicans dream to have her as an opponent in November so that even Mr. Rove is now explaining to Democratic superdelegates (fortunately, they are not those less educated older folks like her habitual voters) on 10 reasons why they should prefer her to Obama. Therefore, voting for Hillary now is like voting for McCain (so he supports her like they are a team), so think again who you would wish for President.

Here is a brief list of those people who are now actively supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy: Pat Buchanan, a charming man slightly to the right of Genghis Khan; Rush Limbaugh, the most voluble and incendiary of right-wing talk-show hosts; Richard Mellon Scaife, the media mogul who financed the virulently antiClinton crusades of the 1990s; and, if you read between the lines, even Karl Rove, the "architect" of the past decade or so of Republican dominance in electoral politics.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/andrew_sullivan/article3821271.ece?openComment=true


Posted by: Alex | May 6, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is the most qualified and the best candidate for president. She will work hard to solve the economic , security, health care, etc. problems of the working class Americans.
Obama does not deserved to be president. He has not accomplished anything to help the working class Americans except his speeches.
He is a Hipocrate and will always be associated with the hatred and inciting sermons of Rev. Wright who is his spiritual adviser for more than 20 years.

Posted by: AE | May 6, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

INDIANA (2% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 59%

Obama 41%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If you people are foolish enough to believe a word Obama says I have a bridge for sale for you. Hillary would make a good President and so would Mccain. Obama does not have an American name and our country does not need someone like him in office.

Posted by: Joe Sardonic
***********************

Sardonic humor is so elitist.....

Posted by: abqcleve | May 6, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Let's see if she holds onto Indiana ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Spiteful? Why, JakeD...that's the nicest thing you ever said about her. Seriously, she may owe Rush bigtime if she gets Indiana. No way do I see her doing the honorable thing. She is her own Titanic.

Posted by: LW | May 6, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

LW:

If she's spiteful, she'll stay in until Denver no matter what. I'm sure Obama would be more than gracious, though, if she concedes tonight.

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"She's ballsier than Obama."

By this measure, even Michelle, would make a better president than Obama.

Posted by: WylieD | May 6, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

If you people are foolish enough to believe a word Obama says I have a bridge for sale for you. Hillary would make a good President and so would Mccain. Obama does not have an American name and our country does not need someone like him in office.

Posted by: Joe Sardonic | May 6, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Tick-tick-tick...Hillary-"What's that sound?" tick-tick-tick...Hillary-"Bill, I'm getting a headache. Go get me a ...Bill? Bill? Now where the hell did he go? Howard? I need an aspirin. Howard? Howard? Where the hell is everybody?"

tick-tick-tick - It's 3am and everybody is asking - Hillary who?

Posted by: LW | May 6, 2008 6:45 PM | Report abuse

INDIANA (2% of precincts reporting)

Clinton 61%

Obama 39%

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"It's too late for that. North Carolina was her Alamo!"

You may be right JakeD, but I will not count the Clintons out until they quit.

Posted by: tdl62 | May 6, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

tdl62:

It's too late for that. North Carolina was her Alamo!

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Hillary will win Indiana and Obama, who held a 25 point lead will win in single digits showing he does not relate to the base of the party.

Hillary parties on to West Virginia and Kentucky where she will post double digit victories and overcome Obamama's lead in total votes.

Posted by: tdl62 | May 6, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Black and Bitter:

Like I said, hopefully, she can hang in there until Denver. Also, from the gas-tax thread: "Perhaps another tank or two of gasoline is not big deal to you, but most American families in North Carolina and Indiana would appreciate it."

Maybe she can get that passed once she stops campaigning ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

RAT-The, your white hood awaits! Bond with your fellow bigots at the McCain rally.

Posted by: GOP-b-gone | May 6, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Stick a fork in Hillary, cuz she done!

Posted by: Black and Bitter Like Coffee | May 6, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why 126,334?

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

if Obama loses both states, I hope he does the best thing for the Democratic Party and ends his campaign.

Posted by: HuckFinn | May 6, 2008 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Neither candidate is perfect but I believe Obama does represent a change in that he has a high level of integrity and will incorporate a more democratic (small d) government. I sincerely hope that he can do well enough tonight to put a clear air of inevitability to this marathon of a nomination process.

Posted by: James | May 6, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

126,334 JakeD.

:p

Posted by: Megaduck | May 6, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The magic number is 121,667. If he beats her by more than that, she's done ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Latest exit poll I just heard on the radio has Obama winning NC -- if she can't win Indiana too, she might just concede tonight -- hopefully, she can hang on until Denver!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 6, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

LOL!

Obasama DID NOT have "Spiritual" relations with that Man! ;~)

Posted by: RAT-The | May 6, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

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