Posted: May 2, 2008 3:55 PM
Obama Gets Another Ex-DNC Chair Vote, Fights to Keep Lead in N.C. Contest
Sen. Barack Obama is focused on courting Indiana and North Carolina voters ahead of Tuesday’s primaries, but he received another boost in the also important super delegate count Friday with an endorsement from ex-Democratic National Committee Chairman Paul Kirk.
Kirk’s endorsement follows Thursday’s announcement by another former chair of the DNC, Joe Andrew, who previously endorsed rival Sen. Hillary Clinton but switched his vote.
Kirk, a Massachusetts super delegate, said he is supporting Obama for his ability to “expand the electorate beyond the traditional Democratic party base and bring young and new and independent voters to the Democratic banner in November,” he said in a statement released by the Obama campaign.
In his statement, Kirk added he was impressed by Obama’s reaction to recent controversy over comments by his former pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who repudiated the American government and media earlier this week.
“After the attention paid to the poisonous and polarizing diatribe of recent days, Senator Obama’s clear and compelling message which appeals to our best instincts as Americans is more important than ever,” Kirk said.
While some recent polls have shown Obama’s poll ratings dropping in both North Carolina and Indiana and across the country, a Zogby poll released Friday shows Obama holding a 50 percent to 34 percent lead over his opponent in North Carolina.
RealClearPolitics polling averages show a closer race in the Tar Heel State, with Obama at 48 percent and Clinton at 42 percent. Those percentages are reversed in RealClearPolitics’ polling averages for Indiana.
In efforts to gain on his rival’s appeal in the Hoosier State, Obama made his pitch to rural voters. Talking to farm workers in South Bend, Ind., Obama outlined his plans for agriculture reform and listened to concerns from local farmers.
Farmer Shawn Krull, who raises hogs, asked about new regulations on farms, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“I’m not going to do anything that has not been worked through by the people who know the ground best,” Obama said, according to the Sun-Times. He added, “I do want cheap pork chops.”
Other Indiana efforts include an ad called “Pennies,” in which Obama attacks his rival on her gas tax plan and accuses her of pandering to voters without providing a real solution.
Senator Clinton has said she supports a gas tax holiday but also favors Obama’s proposal of a “windfall profits tax” on oil companies.
Obama campaigns throughout North Carolina Friday with stops in Charlotte, Durham and Asheville. He then heads to Indiana for campaign stops over the weekend, including an early Cinco de Mayo celebration in Hammond, Ind., on Sunday afternoon.