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INDIANA (5/6 PRIMARY)

Can We Stop Watching Yet?

Hillary Clinton won the 5/6 Dem primary, defeating Barack Obama. On the GOP side, John McCain defeated Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. Results, with 99.89% reporting (AP, 5/7):

IN Dem Primary                  IN GOP Primary
             Votes  %age                     Votes  %age
Clinton    641,734  50.73%      McCain     318,374  77.56%
Obama      623,290  49.27       Huckabee    41,063  10.00
                                Paul        31,557   7.69
                                Romney      19,507   4.75
TOTAL:   1,265,024              TOTAL:     410,501

 
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Clinton "squeaked out a critical razor-thin victory" and the "final decision declaring Clinton the winner came about three hours after she claimed victory," telling 1.8K "cheering supporters at the Murat Centre in Indianapolis: 'Thanks to you, it's full speed to the White House.'"

Coupled with Obama's big NC win, "the fact that the race was so close here diminished diminished Clinton's night, even when she managed to hang on." Obama supporter/Rep. Tim Roemer: "A landslide Obama win in North Carolina and a moral victory in Indiana. This may seal the deal." Clinton IN spokesperson: "We said this would be down to the wire and guess what? It was."

Exit polls in IN "showed about half the voters saying the controversy was an important factor in their vote. Those who said the Wright situation influenced their decision were leaning heavily toward Clinton, while those who dismisses his importance were leaning nearly as strongly toward Obama." Also "two-thirds of working-class whites were backing Clinton."

 

"Obama won the population centers, including Marion, Allen and St. Joseph counties, as well as the college counties of Monroe and Tippecanoe." Clinton "won rural and small-town voters, worried about a sinking economy and soaring prices" (Schneider/Groppe, Indanapolis Star, 5/7).

In IN, 23% of those voting in the Dem primary were self identified indies, and 25% "were voting in a presidential primary for the first time." Obama won the overall indie vote 53% to 47%. Clinton carried the GOPers in IN, 54% to 44 %. GOPers made up 11% of the IN vote (McDermott, cbsnews.com, 5/7.)

Clinton's IN victory "underscored the racial schism -- between more conservative, unionized, lesser-educated white voters for Clinton and African-Americans voter who turned out for Obama in a torrent -- that threatens to divide the Democratic Party as long as its ... nominating contest continues" (Pearson/Kuczka, Chicago Tribune, 5/7).

You Can Thank Lake Co. For Your 3 Hours Of Sleep

Indianapolis Star editorializes, IN "loved its moment of spotlight so much it refused to give it up" 5/6. "The nation and the world waited for final results to come out of" IN. "The waited. And waited." After 1 a.m. it appeared Clinton "had pulled out a major victory. But before the race could be called, several hours passed and the national media had begun to poke fun Lake County, where mayors bickered on CNN over delayed vote count."

 

"We just wouldn't go away -- kind of like a presidential candidate who has fallen too far behind to catch up but refuses to bow out." In the WH race, "we are now has-beens." (5/7).

"The breaks were slammed on, though, as the state and the nation, waited for late returns from Lake Co., "which withheld its results throughout the night. Lake Co. "had been considered Obama territory. "It's next to his hometown of Chicago, and its overwhelming black population was expected to overwhelmingly vote for him."

Clinton supporter/Dem chair Dan Parer "called it 'typical Lake County politics." State Sen. Earline Rogers (D) and Lake Co. Dem chair/Gary Mayor Rudy Clay "said nothing nefarious was happening." Rogers said it's standard in Lake Co. to count all the ballots, including absentees, before releasing results (Indianapolis Star, 5/7).

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IN's "sometimes-stepchild" gave Clinton "a razor-this victory early this morning." Lake Co. is IN's 2nd most populous with nearly 500K people. Lake Co. "is an amalgamation of steel mills and chemical plants in cities with large minority population such as Gary and Hammond, along with numerous mostly white suburbs to the south." The county has been a Dem stronghold "and a key to the party's hopes in statewide races." (AP, 5/7).

"Scattered ballot shortages occurred across" IN because of the large turnout in the Dem primary. Several precincts in Porter Co. ran out of ballots and a Porter Co. judge ordered polls to stay open an additional hour. "Other ballot shortages were reported in Howard, Jackson and Hancock counties (AP, 5/6).

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, err, Voter IDs...

"A dozen nuns and an unknown number of students were turned away from polls" 5/6 in the first use of IN's "stringent voter ID law since it was upheld last week by the" SCOTUS. "The nuns, all residents of a retirement home at Saint Mary's Convent ... were denied ballot by a fellow sister and poll worker because the women, in their 80s and 90s, did not have the valid Indiana photo ID cards."

Sister Julie McGuire: "It's the law, and it makes it hard. Some don't understand why." The law "does not recognize out-of-state driver's licenses, a problem for college students" who under IN law "must intend to live in their college communities to vote, which involves obtaining an Indiana ID (Matrelle, Los Angeles Times, 5/7).

"Aside from the eye-catching case of a dozen women of the cloth being turned away at the polls, it does not appear as if" IN ID law "has caused major problems" 5/6.

"McGuire, who turned the nuns away, said they hadn't been given provisional ballots because it would be difficult to get the nuns to a motor vehicle branch for non-driver ID's in time for the 10-day window alloted for provisional IDs." McGuire: "You have to remember that some of these ladies don't walk well. They're in wheelchairs or on walkers or electric carts."

The convent said it would make sure they had IDs in time for the Nov. election. "No word on who they would have voted for today, though given how well Hillary Clinton has done among Catholic voters, as well as older women, one might guess they were leaning her way."

Obama spokesperson Bill Burton "said this evening that the campaign had received only scattered complaints on the voter hotline it set up to deal with problems at the polls. He credited the campaign's aggressive voter outreach effort to make sure supporters had the ID they would need."

"There was one area producing reports of voters being turned away: the state's private colleges. Students at public colleges could use their student IDs, since those are technically 'state-issued,' but students at private colleges could not" (MacGillis, Washington Post, "The Trail," 5/6).

Break It Down Now

Roemer called the South Bend Tribune shortly after midnight 5/7, as IN's Dem primary was still to close to call."

"But Roemer told the Tribune that the state's results are a victory for Obama, regardless of the final vote tally. Obama won St. Joseph Co. with 33K votes, or 52.2% of the final count. Clinton earned 30,062 in the county, or 47.5%. Roemer said the victory here was helped by a strong grassroots effort. Roemer: "There have been some who have said, 'How tough is this guy?' They don't get any tougher" (Ronco, South Bend Tribune, 5/6).

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) "may have predicted that 'as Howard County goes, so goes Indiana,' but it may not be so, Joe." Clinton won Howard Co. "easily," taking 56% of the vote cast, but IN remained to close to call 5/6 (Smith, Kokomo Tribune, 5/7).

Clinton, who enjoyed the support of the Dem party locally, won more Delaware Co. votes than Obama. Much of Obama's local base revolved around Ball State Univ. students. Clinton won with a margin of 53.2% to 46.8% (Roysdon, Gannett, 5/7).

This article appears in the May 7, 2008 edition of Latest Edition.

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