All eyes are on South Carolina this weekend as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle to become the state’s choice for the Democratic Party’s White House candidate. Polls indicate victory for Obama, and he will be hoping for a convincing win to revitalise his campaign.
Clinton’s been boosted by the New York Times, which has thrown its considerable weight behind her and Republican candidate John McCain as best pairing for the presidential showdown in November. It has been an increasingly bitter Democratic contest but both candidates stress party unity.
“We are proud of the fact that the Democratic party has an African American and a woman vying for the nomination for the toughest job in the world,” said Clinton during a television interview. More than half of the electorate in South Carolina is Black and Obama has the backing of the majority. But his double-digit lead is slipping.
“I wouldn’t vote for him just because he is a black man, not at all,” said one local resident. “I just felt it would be a lot for her as a woman, you know trying to handle being leader, the head of that house or whatever. Personally I am going with Obama,” explained one woman. “A radical change scares me as an older person. I’m a little bit more conservative and I lean more towards Hillary,” another resident commented.
Whoever wins will have a big advantage going into Super Tuesday – the pivotal date in the primary ballot calender next month when 22 states cast their votes. If Obama loses somehow in South Carolina, his campaign may effectively be over.