Oprah and Obama were greeted by record crowds on the campaign trail last weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Oprah Winfrey's recent campaign swing with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama was greeted with wild cheers and record-breaking crowds.
But some of the talk show host's fans aren't happy she's become politically outspoken, and many are sounding off on Oprah's Web site.
"Oprah," says one, "count me as tuned out for now." Another writes, "It's a real turn off for a lot of your fans." And yet another says "She has crossed a line and lost my trust completely."
But, what's especially interesting about reading Oprah's Web site is why some of those fans seem to be upset: the way she stumped for Obama, they say, seemed to pit white against black.
"I've been inspired to believe that a new vision is possible for America,"
Oprah said while on the stump with Obama in South Carolina. "Dr. King dreamed the dream, we get to vote that dream into reality."
Back on Oprah's Web site, one commenter wrote, "Winfrey has artfully begun her stump speeches alongside Obama with a negative racial tone."
And another commenter wrote, "Don't pit blacks against whites."
Interviewed on ABC's Good Morning America Wednesday, Winfrey rejected the notion she is supporting Obama merely because he is black.
"I get a little..I guess the word is 'offended,'" Winfrey said. "To think that I would be supporting someone just because of their skin would mean we haven't moved far from Dr. King's speech in 1963, where he said we should be judged by the content of our character not the color of their skin."
In another interview, Winfrey told CNN that she weighed carefully whether she should get involved in politics, wondering whether she would "lose viewers as a result."
"I made the decision that I have the right to do it as an American citizen," she said.
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- CNN's Carol Costello
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Not only is Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee surging in the polls, but the former Arkansas governor is also a rising star on the web, something the campaign is calling a "Huckaboom."
Internet Reporter Abbi Tatton takes a look at MikeHuckabee.com, which for the first time has taken the lead as the most-visited candidate Web site.
- CNN Associate Producer Eric Weisbrod
Clinton and Obama are in a dead heat among black voters in South Carolina.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – The first post-Oprah poll of likely Democratic voters in South Carolina shows a toss-up between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama among African-Americans in the state, although they see Clinton as the most electable candidate next November.
Clinton leads Obama by a statistically insignificant margin of 46 percent to 45 percent among black voters in the state, according to CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted December 9 -12. (The sampling error for black voters is eight percent, a larger number than the four percent margin in the rest of the poll.)
Former Sen. John Edwards comes in a distance third, with 5 percent.
Obama has made significant gains among African-Americans since earlier this year, when Clinton was buoyed by her higher name recognition and Obama remained largely unknown.
The Obama campaign has used their large grassroots organization and small community events in the state to register new voters and introduce Obama to African-Americans more familiar with Clinton.
About half of South Carolina’s Democratic primary-goers are African-American. Black women, who were a clear target of the Oprah rally here last weekend, make up roughly 30 percent of primary voters.
Black voters, asked which candidate has the right experience to be president, chose Clinton over Obama by an overwhelming margin of 72 to 17 percent. They also said, by a margin of 67 percent to 21 percent, that Clinton had the best chance of beating the Republican nominee next year.
Obama won kudos for running a positive campaign: 42 percent of black primary voters said he spends the least time criticizing other candidates. That number was 24 percent for Clinton.
Among white Democratic voters, 41 percent support Clinton, followed by Edwards and Obama, who claim 27 percent and 24 percent of the vote in the CNN poll.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Huckabee leads in a new poll out of South Carolina.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee surged to the top among Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina, while Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead over Sen. Barack Obama among Democrats narrowed since July in that state, according to a new poll.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll of South Carolinians was released Friday Huckabee was the choice of 24 percent of South Carolina Republicans in the survey conducted by telephone between Dec. 9 and 12. When the same poll was conducted in July, Huckabee was in the lower tier with just 3 percent of support from registered GOP voters.
Former Sen. Fred Thompson was second with 17 percent, slightly down from his previous 18 percent.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led in July with 30 percent, dropped to a tie for third with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, both at 16 percent. Romney's showing was a major improvement of his 6 percent standing in the previous survey.
The poll showed Sen. John McCain falling from 21 percent in July - the second highest - to a fifth place 13 percent now. Rep. Ron Paul's 11 percent for seventh was a major boost from the two percent registered by the July survey.
The sampling error for the poll of Republican primary voters is 4 percent.
The survey suggested that one of Huckabee's main strengths was his personality.
For the latest, breaking political news, check for updates throughout the day at http://www.CNNPolitics.com. All Politics, all the time.
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Huckabee surge hits South Carolina
WASHINGTON (CNN) - There are crowded presidential primary fields, and then there’s South Carolina. There are six Republican candidates with double-digit support in the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll including two, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, who are up from single-digit showings in the last survey, conducted this summer.
But one contender seems to be pulling away from the pack. Roughly one in four Palmetto State Republicans, 24 percent, say they support Mike Huckabee, up from 3 percent in the previous survey. Fred Thompson comes in second with 17 percent. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani’s support drops by roughly half since the last poll from 30 percent to 16 percent, tied with Mitt Romney. John McCain, who was second in the last survey, comes in fifth with 13 percent. Ron Paul pulls 11 percent.
The Democratic race appears to be tightening a bit in this latest poll, taken after Oprah Winfrey’s weekend visit on behalf of Barack Obama. But the shape of the race is generally unchanged from the summer survey: Hillary Clinton leads the pack with 42 percent, Obama follows with 34 percent (up from 27 percent), and John Edwards comes in third with 16 percent. Full Story
Meanwhile, most presidential contenders remain focused on the Hawkeye State, where Democratic candidates met Thursday for their final showdown before the caucuses take place three weeks from now.
Few events this campaign season promised to provide more awkward moments than that debate. Clinton and Obama shared an Iowa stage just hours after she personally apologized for a statement made by one of her top Granite State advisors about Obama’s admitted past drug use.
But the afternoon offered even fewer fireworks than the Republican debate that took place on the same stage just a day earlier. Much like in the GOP debate, the economy - which now tops the Iraq war as a concern of Democratic voters - proved to be the focus of much of the discussion.
Clinton played to a major campaign asset - her husband - by seeding her answers with reminders of his presidential successes. As for Obama, the debate’s low-key vibe seemed to play to his strengths.
But perhaps the real winner was Edwards, who has staked his candidacy on a strong showing in Iowa. A CNN focus group of undecided Hawkeye State voters overwhelmingly responded that Edwards came out on top at the end of the 90-minute debate. Many of these voters said he would get their vote if the caucuses were held today.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand
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Political Hot Topics
(Today's top political stories from news organizations across the country)
Compiled by Lindsey Pope
CNN Washington Bureau
Des Moines Register: Upbeat Democrats' Theme: Who Can Most Credibly Usher In Change? Six major Democratic candidates for president varied on spending, energy and trade policy during The Des Moines Register’s debate Thursday, an upbeat final meeting of the candidates before Iowa’s leadoff nominating caucuses.
New York Times’ The Caucus: Encouraging Students to Caucus When Iowans caucus on Jan. 3, the state’s college students will be spread far and wide on winter break. But some colleges are trying to make it easy for their students to give up home cooking for a few days and head back to campus early to help nominate the next president.
CNN: Clinton Adviser Steps Down After Drug Use Comments One of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top advisers is stepping down after saying Sen. Barack Obama's admission of past drug use would hurt his chances in a general election match up.
USA Today: Giuliani Shifts Tactics, Goes On Offensive Republican Rudy Giuliani's plan to absorb punishment in the party's early primaries and then strike back in primaries in delegate-rich states on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 has hit a wall, political analysts and strategists say.
New York Times: Biden Campaigning With Ease After Hardships Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, a back-in-the-pack Democratic candidate for president, was answering a voter’s question last week about negative campaigning when he abruptly began talking about his first, euphoric run for the Senate, in 1972, and the personal tragedy that nearly destroyed his life afterward.
New York Times: Apologies From the Heart (of Darkness?) But in the aftermath of the apologies, both the Clinton and Huckabee campaigns kept the original slurs alive through a series of interviews, raising questions about the sincerity of their apologies, especially in the heat of a wide-open campaign with the first voting less than three weeks away.
The Hill: Rollins To Serve As Huckabee’s National Chairman Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee scored a major victory Thursday when he secured the support of prominent GOP insider Ed Rollins, who will serve as national chairman of Huckabee’s campaign.
The Guardian: Huckabee Took Thousands In Gifts, Records Show A $1,000 pair of cufflinks from a supporter, tens of thousands of dollars of clothing from a wealthy Little Rock businessman and thousands in gift certificates and cash from staff and appointees were among the lavish gifts given to Republican presidential candidate and unexpected frontrunner Mike Huckabee while he was governor of Arkansas.
Wall Street Journal: More Blacks Lean Toward Obama Barack Obama's rising poll numbers among white voters in Iowa and New Hampshire are having an unexpected ripple effect: Some black voters are switching their allegiance from Hillary Clinton and lining up behind him too.
Washington Post: The Ghost of a Father Thoughts of his father "bubble up," as Barack Obama puts it in an interview, "at different moments, at any course of the day or week." "I think about him often," he says. He last saw his father in 1971, when he was 10 years old
USA Today: Mccain Gaining In New Hampshire As his Republican rivals lock horns in Iowa, Sen. John McCain seems so little concerned with the state's caucuses that during a debate there Wednesday he mentioned he opposes ethanol subsidies, the federal payments beloved of Midwestern corn growers.
New Hampshire Union-Leader: Bishop: Weigh Moral Issues In Vote Bishop John B. McCormack, in a pamphlet the Diocese of Manchester is distributing at masses this weekend, is calling on New Hampshire Catholics to remember church teaching when they cast their votes.
Boston Globe: Some Voters Hear Body Language Of Candidates Clearly The talking heads gab about front-runners and wannabes, attacks made and deflected, answers carefully parsed. But when Newbury Street hairstylist Mario Russo watches the Democratic presidential debates, he looks at something different: body language.
Washington Post: Poll Shows More Optimism on War A year after approval of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq dipped to an all-time low, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds discontent toward the war easing slightly, with Republicans and independents significantly more positive about the situation than they were 12 months ago.
CNN: Contempt Citations Recommended For Rove, Bolten Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday in favor of handing out contempt citations to a former and current White House official for failing to comply with subpoenas issued in the investigation into the firings of eight U.S. attorneys last year.
On the Trail:
Compiled by Lauren Kornreich and Katy Byron
CNN Washington Bureau
* Barack Obama continues his bus tour through Iowa with a meet and greet in Monticello and a roundtable in Cedar Rapids. Later, he meets with Iowans in Manchester and Guttenberg.
* Mike Huckabee and Chuck Norris tour Elektrisola and speak with employees in Boscawen, New Hampshire. Later, they visit the New Hampshire Veterans' home in Tilton.
* Hillary Clinton attends a campaign fundraiser at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
* Mitt Romney holds an "Ask Mitt Anything" town hall meeting in Carroll, Iowa. Later, he holds campaign events in Early and Storm Lake.
* Chris Dodd tours PMX Industries with Sen. Tom Harkin and meets with employees in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Later, he delivers a speech at the Red, White, and Blue Dinner in Davenport.
* John Edwards holds town hall meetings in Manchester and Elkader, Iowa.
* John McCain meets with local residents at American Legion Post 147 in James Island, South Carolina.
* Ron Paul meets with local Republicans at Red Lion Hotel and Casino in Elko, Nevada.
* Bill Richardson participates in an AARP candidate forum in Concord, New Hampshire. Later, he holds town hall forums in Keene, Claremont, Hanover and Lebanon.
* Joe Biden holds Caucus Countdown campaign events in Keokuk, Fort Madison and Burlington, Iowa. Later, he addresses the Democrats Red, White, and Blue Dinner at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport.
* Fred Thompson holds a press conference at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Kentucky.
* The Senate Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook
* The House Radio-Television Correspondents' Gallery Daybook