Sen. Hillary Clinton with her 39 percent to 37 percent win in New Hampshire Jan. 8 and Sen. Barack Obama with his 39 percent to her 29 percent win in Iowa Jan. 3 are now headed for a rematch in South Carolina Jan. 26 where the more than 40 percent Black. Democratic voters will decide what happens next. WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The score is now one to one.
Sen. Hillary Clinton with her 39 percent to 37 percent win in New Hampshire Jan. 8 and Sen. Barack Obama with his 39 percent to her 29 percent win in Iowa Jan. 3 are now headed for a rematch in South Carolina Jan. 26 where the more than 40 percent Black.
Democratic voters will decide what happens next.
Obama says voter turnout will be the key.
"What will help me to get elected is making sure the people turn out to vote and that they recognize the opportunity that we have to - for the first time in a long time - really change our politics…And that's true, not just for Black folks, but for all people who've been locked out of the process," Obama said in a telephone interview with the NNPA News Service Tuesday. "But, there's no doubt that my candidacy builds on the sacrifices and work of those who came earlier, people who were willing to go to jail and march and sit in and heroes like Dr. King who were willing to sacrifice their lives so that a future generation could have the opportunities that I have."
Obama could make history only if he wins enough delegates in the Democratic primaries to go on and face a Republican in the fall.
Arizona Sen. John McCain led the New Hampshire Primary ahead of former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won in Iowa. African-American voters sparingly support Republican candidates, usually about 10 percent.
It takes 2,162 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.
Pundits predict that between South Carolina and Super Tuesday Feb. 5, when 22 states will go to the polls, the obvious Democratic nominee will emerge.
Several factors indicate that anything could happen. That includes Clinton's surprise win in New Hampshire – defying polls that had predicted Obama with a double digit lead. Also, the fact that members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have chosen to endorse have now tipped 15-16 in favor of Clinton. The score was tied until New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne endorsed Clinton two weeks ago.
Also, the fact that Clinton could also make history by becoming the first woman president also adds to the intrigue of the contest, particularly since Black women, who comprise at least 30 percent of the Black vote, are expected to decide the contest in South Carolina.
The day after Clinton's Iowa loss to both Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who got 30 percent of the vote, she told NNPA that she was not intimidated by Obama's momentum, even in South Carolina, where polls indicate he will be favored among Black voters.
"I do not see myself as being disadvantaged. I have a very long record of working with and producing results for African-Americans, for poor people, for hard-working people, for kids. And I'll put that record up against anyone. And if you want to know what kind of changes any of us will make, look at what we've already done. That's the best predictor of what we will do in the future," says Clinton in the interview. "I'm running to be the president of all America, and especially to those who have been invisible in many of the decisions that have been made over the last seven years. So, I will be talking about the issues that matter to all families, but particularly to African-American families."
At the time of the interview, Clinton was climbing uphill to New Hampshire as another landslide for Obama was expected. But by 11 o'clock Tuesday night she stood before an audience that was chanting, "Comeback kid!"
She answered, "Together, let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me…This campaign is about people, about making sure that everyone in this cou