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Potomac Primary Round-Up

In the days leading up to tomorrow's primary, and The Washington Post are combing the web for news and opinion outside the region to supplement our coverage with additional viewpoints. We're posting what we find here and to our Virginia Politics blog.

The campaigns are descending upon local universities in search of the youth vote. Bill Clinton stumped for his wife at Virginia Tech Saturday night, prompting student Rohan Mathur to tell campus publication Collegiate Times, "I wish it was four more years for Bill Clinton...In a way, if [Hillary Clinton is] in office (his policies) will come back in." On Sunday night, it was Chelsea Clinton's turn -- she headed to the University of Maryland, speaking with about 250 students and supporters in the Stamp Student Union food court about "universal health care, the No Child Left Behind Act, the war in Iraq and many other issues," according to The Diamondback, the university's newspaper.

At James Madison University on Saturday, Susan Rice, senior foreign policy adviser for Barack Obama, told students to expect "transformational leadership" if Obama wins the presidency, according to the Daily News Record of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley.

Not everyone was pushing college students to the polls, however. Conservative Ann Coulter said she would rather support Hillary Clinton than vote for John McCain when she appeared at George Washington University's Marvin Center on Saturday night, according to campus newspaper The Hatchet. "These are perilous times for Americans," Coulter said. "Our choices for president are three Democrats: Hillary, B. Hussein Obama and McCain."

For the older crowd, Maryland's Washington County League of Women Voters is bringing the vote back to the elderly this year, reports The Herald Mail, a regional newspaper that covers Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Thanks to the efforts of volunteers coordinated by the Washington County Board of Election Supervisors, absentee ballots are being brought to nursing homes. Volunteer Emily Knode says senior citizens are "proud to continue doing their civic duty."

The race is heating up in Virginia, traditionally a red state that Democrats hope will go blue this year. The Daily Progress writes that according to Federal Election Commission reports, Charlottesville, Va. locals have donated more money to Obama than to Clinton or McCain.
In Danville, Va., a sample poll of Register & Bee readers indicates strong support for Obama and McCain among voters in the area.

Some Republicans are torn now that McCain has claimed the frontrunner spot. The Va. Republican party's endorsement policy came under scrutiny at last Thursday night's Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting in Leesburg, Va. According to the Loudoun Easterner, committee member Susan Falknor "said that she could not support John McCain for president and moved to delete the requirement to do so." Other members defended the commitment that Republicans should support chosen GOP candidates despite any conflicting sentiment during the selection process. Falknor's motion opposing McCain was eventually ruled out of order and contrary to Va. Republican rules for party support of nominees.

Both Obama and Huckabee headed to Virginia Beach Sunday night to campaign. The Virginian-Pilot reports that Obama met with a "diverse crowd" at his Virginia Beach rally Sunday night. At the same time, Huckabee met an "overflow crowd of the faithful" at Swift Creek Baptist Church on Sunday night, according to the Virginian-Pilot. Pastor Ronnie Brown introduced the presidential hopeful, saying, "He is an advocate of marriage in the true, biblical sense."

But Robert Neals, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Democratic Committee, asserts that Obama has the best chance of winning in Virginia because of his support from young voters, according to the Daily Press in Newport News. "The organization needs to have young people in it, or the organization dies," he said. "This state has been red so long that people have become complacent."

--Compiled by Susan Hendrick and Caitlin McDevitt

By Liz Heron  |  February 11, 2008; 5:34 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Potomac Primary  
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