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Wake Up Macon





Obama Wins Iowa Caucus Despite 3% African American Population





By Herbert Dennard


Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, a first-term Democratic Senator, may become the first African American president.  After winning the Iowa Caucus, a Midwestern state with only a 3% African American population, Obama should have no trouble winning in New Hampshire (he is only a few points behind Hillary) and South Carolina, which has a large black voting population.  Last summer, according to a Clemson University poll, Obama trailed Clinton among black voters in South Caroline, but now has taken the lead.


A recent poll shows that a vast majority of African American voters across the country favor former First Lady and New York Senator Hillary Clinton over Obama for the presidential election.  However, I predict that the Iowa win will cause a shift in the African American vote.


Senator Clinton’s popularity with black voters is due partly because of her marriage to former President Bill Clinton.  In Georgia, State Representative Calvin Smyre, Congressmen John Lewis and Sanford Bishop, Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, Georgia State Attorney General Thurbert Baker, and former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young have backed Hillary Clinton for the past several months.  However, members of Obama's campaign have begun reaching out to black supporters of Clinton in an effort to get them to switch sides.  W ith the momentum generated by the Iowa win, I expect some of these endorsements to change.



Ambassador Young attibuted much of Obama's Iowa win to the large turnout of young voters.  "Unfortunately, since a lot of them are young people, they tend to get what we used to call 'Freedom High," he said.  "They get excited about something but can't sustain it. I hope that this is sustainable."


But I believe that Obama’s victory in Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state, sends a powerful message that Americans may be preparing to vote an African American into the White House.




You are Visitor #  Hit Counter   Updated Wednesday April 05, 2006 12:40:42



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