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Vote Splitting and Hot Chocolate

In Reston, Lorrie-Ann Melnick, 40, a preschool teacher, ducked out of the the frigid weather yesterday afternoon for a hot chocolate with her four-year-old son Evan after she cast a vote for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D).
"I feel really good about her decision-making in the past under pressure," Melnick told reporter Mike Laris. "She's always acted in a way that there's a lot of integrity and reflects my values."
When Clinton makes a mistake, she owns up to it, Melnick said. "I feel like she really takes responsibility for herself," she said.
But her pro-Clinton stance is a lonely one at home.
"I'm the only one in my family for Hillary Clinton. The boys are all for Obama," Melnick said. That includes her husband, her 6 year old son and little Evan. So why Obama?
"Cool!" Evan said.

In Loudoun County this morning, reporter Jonathan Mummolo also stumbled onto the well-known phenomenon of the vote-splitting couple. Here's his take on the Powell family from Ashburn Elementary School, where about 355 people had voted as of 11:20 a.m.

Jan Powell, 53, of Ashburn, who is white, said she voted for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in part because she has two African American sons. "Listening to the debates, he just made so much sense to me," Powell said. "The fact that everyone in America does want a health plan and if the cost were reasonable, everyone would get it. That really made sense to me."
She added: "Positive African American role models, that's what I'm always looking for. To be the president? Awesome. You can't get any better than that."
Her sons are Robert, 6, and Michael, 12.
But her husband, John Powell, 56, also white, said he voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). He described himself as a conservative Republican, but he dismissed the candidacy of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, whom some call more conservative than McCain. "If you don't have a chance, why vote for that guy?" John Powell asked.
Powell said his most important issues are the economy and fighting terrorism.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 12, 2008; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President  
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Next: Dem Voters Speak Out in NoVa

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