Local Politics

Will Obama’s North Carolina win be seen as Clinton's last stand?

Posted May 7, 2008
Updated May 8, 2008

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— After U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's strong win in the state's primary, North Carolina Democrats with an eye on the general election have started to coalesce around the Illinois senator.

Of the state's 17 super-delegates, eight have now committed to Obama.

State Party Chief Jerry Meek and Cumberland County Commissioner Jeanette Council – both super-delegates – became Obama's latest endorsers on Wednesday.

Democratic consultants say that because of Obama's dominant win, more super-delegates are likely to trickle in. Some strategists even suggest Obama's dominance in North Carolina will eventually be seen as having ended the race for the Democratic presidential domination.

"I think history is going to say North Carolina resolved the race this year," Democratic Strategist Gary Pearce said.

Pearce said that is because U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton lost by such a large margin. Obama won North Carolina by 14 percentage points while Clinton squeaked out a victory in Indiana. He now holds a larger lead among delegates.

Clinton won slightly more counties than did Obama, but he took the state's most heavily populated areas.

"I think you've got to look at the psychology and the expectations. The Clinton people really thought they had a chance here. They thought at the very least, they could keep it close, maybe 5 points," he added.

Pearce said the tone of Clinton's speeches is a giveaway.

"I want to commend Sen. Obama and his supporters on their win in North Carolina. We are, in many ways, on the same journey," she said Tuesday night. "It’s a journey begun long before we were born. It is a journey by men and women who have been on a mission to perfect our union, who marched and protested, who risked everything they had to build an America that embraces us all."

Pearce said the suggestions of unity in her rhetoric could mean she is thinking about pulling out.

Meanwhile, Obama planned to start traveling to swing states as a way to signal that he is looking to the general election.

"What North Carolina decided is that the only game that needs changing is the one in Washington, D.C," he said.

"I think the great irony of this is the state that gave America Jesse Helms and some of the other toughest racial campaigning over the years, is going to be viewed historically as the state that clinched the nomination for the first African-American nominee," Pearce said.

Clinton did pick up three super-delegates Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler had said he would support the primary winner in his western North Carolina district, and she won it handily.

Six North Carolina super-delegates remain uncommitted.


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  • Sandollar May 9, 2008

    NO, she won't pull out her ego is bigger than the whole world. She's one female that wants to rule all men.

  • rargos May 9, 2008

    When over 90% of black NC voters choose Obama, this is somehow not racist? White voters are fooling themselves if they think voting for Obama is going to heal this country's racial divide : his candidacy has already started turning into "white America" and "black America" into nearly open conflict again, and you can be sure that as president, he'd create even further antagonism between the races.

    Be careful what you wish for ....

  • See Chart May 9, 2008

    I am white ,I am for Obama, We have
    all been educated in European values
    and mostly excluded from Afro-Centric
    Education,I would hope this would change
    now. Wow! I know the remarks will be a coming
    towards me now.No matter McCain won't win in
    any event he gets so angry typical of a man who "married money"but made little of his won.

  • downtownbrown May 9, 2008

    "There are a lot of examples to prove racial profiling, but in today's America, if someone doesn't look and act like a criminal, if they keep their cars inspected and tags current and don't drive drunk and blow people out of their seats with sub woofers on the streets and don't walk around with a snear on their face and a chip on their shoulder, in other words, act like a respectable human being, then the police won't bother them because they have no probable cause to stand on."

    Haha. Go to North Philadelphia and test your logic. It's not quite that simple.

  • alx May 9, 2008

    Hillary is already playing the race card & is positioning herself to steal the nomination. she will probably get away with it too!

  • Sandollar May 9, 2008

    No, she won't pull out. She's too stuck on herself. She's smart enough to know to make lots of money you need to be in politics. I'm not so sure that she believes that if she stays in the race, as she gets closer to the end she'll be able to BUY more delegates. She's a first class liar. Say NO to the two for the price of one. What a laugh Bill is!

  • wolff May 9, 2008

    Hard decision either way. (given Obama’s problem with racism from his Rev. and extreme liberal values and Clinton’s too moderate values and inability to connect with many Dem voters?

  • wolff May 9, 2008

    Looking at the facts only. Obama wins ~90 of the black (almost all dem) vote and ~35% of the white dem vote in red states. Blacks make up about ~33 of the Dem total vote here. Most of Obama’s big wins have been red states which won’t matter in the general election. But Obama has done better than Clinton in very liberal states (although this really doesn’t matter in the general election either bc they will also go Dem). The problem comes down to ‘swing’ states like Ohio, Florida, Michigan, etc. We can’t really tell how Florida or Michigan will vote. Blacks always vote dem but most live in red states so it really doesn’t affect things, but the 10-15% in swing states does have some pull. But how will the 50-70% of population - working class white vote in the swing states depending on who is picked for the dem front runner?

  • empowered activist May 9, 2008

    if her oppenent was white she would have gave up by now. unfortunely her prejudice refuses to let her se a Black man as a better candidate

  • mt1190 May 9, 2008

    Clintons rock