Edwards Supporter For Obama: On the Ground in North Carolina!

Crossposted from BlueNC

I have joined the ranks of a number of other Edwards supporters for Obama, including numerous top advisors of the Edwards campaign and yesterday, here in the Great State of North Carolina, I voted!

Obama at the NC JJ Dinner: Stand Up!

Early voting ended yesterday, here in North Carolina. Turn out was tremendous. At one of the Cary, Wake County early voting sites, voters were waiting in line for two hours throughout the day. I was voter #5705 and stood in that line for hours, in the hot sun, to vote for Obama and North Carolina Democrats.

A record number of North Carolina voters are standing up! Health Care, ending the war in Iraq and the economy are top issues for NC voters. One voter in line at the Herbert C. Community Center in Wake County stated, “the Iraq war is killing more than just our troops and Iraqis. It’s killing our economy. Think of what we could have done here with all of those billions spent in Iraq.”

Wake county along with other metro countries are expected to be Obama counties due to support from African-Americans, upper-income and younger Democrats. The rural counties where more conservative voters reside, will pose more of a challenge for Obama:

But a weaker union presence combined with a heavier concentration of African-Americans is expected to give Obama the edge in North Carolina, says Carsey. African-Americans are expected to make up more than a third of voters in North Carolina's primary. They have heavily backed Obama in previous contests. Unemployment is at 5.2% in North Carolina, up from 4.5% a year ago.

North Carolina's economy has diversified from the "Big 3" of tobacco, textiles and furniture into "knowledge work" like banking and pharmaceutical research, says Ferrel Guillory, the director of the program on public life at the Center for the Study of the American South at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Obama, says Guillory, is going to win the support of many of the "new economy" workers, while Clinton can rely on middle- and lower-income workers and retirees, he says.

North Carolina represents a bigger delegate haul for the candidates than does Indiana, with 134 delegates, including superdelegates. At this point, however, it's the uncommitted superdelegates who will matter in the race. If either candidate wins both states on Tuesday, says Carsey, that'll give the remaining superdelegates "potentially a pretty strong signal to respond to."

Democrats' battlegrounds shift to Indiana, N.C. Obama favored to win southern state but midwestern Indiana still a toss-up.

Democrats' battlegrounds shift to Indiana, N.C.
Obama favored to win southern state but midwestern Indiana still a toss-up

Obama is also facing opposition from the NCGOP who has injected itself into the NC Democratic Primary. They are still running the racist ad on some major stations. The ad has been denounced by Elizabeth Edwards, the President of the NAACP, and over a thousand progressive bloggers including . Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake and Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend. The ad may push some of the more conservative voters into the Hillary camp.

NC Governor Easley, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton and is running ads for her, disagrees that the racist ad will adversely affect Obama. Appearing on CNN to campaign for Hillary this morning, Easely stated, "It's [the Wright Ad] not going to be an issue in North Carolina in the primary... But it will be an issue in the fall if [Obama is] the nominee."

Despite the attacks, Obama remains in the lead in NC polls and he is not taking the last large state of the primary for granted. Last night, he appeared at the North Carolina Jefferson-Jackson dinner where he told North Carolinians:

The American people are ready for a real challenge. They're ready for a sacrifice. They're ready for a call to action. We've been seeing it in every state that we've been campaigning in. And, we can't let that moment to pass by. It's now in your hands North Carolina. You make this election about how to renwew that fundamental belief in America.

Obama: "The American People are Ready"

Obama has opened up 36 campaign office around the state. At the Obama headquarters in Raleigh, volunteers fill the office, working to organize GOTV efforts.

Super Volunteer for Obama in Raleigh, NC

North Carolina is expecting a record voter turn out, with more than 5.8 million North Carolina residents registered to vote heading into the primary, and more than 261,000 people having already voted. As Kossack dean4ever wrote yesterday, "Early voting in North Carolina is through the roof."

But the real test will be on the official voting day, May 6th. If you haven't already, get out and vote!

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