March 27th, 2008
08:55 AM ET
14 years ago

Clinton sees North Carolina as 'uphill battle'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinton faces a tough fight in North Carolina."] RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) - Hillary Clinton is taking her campaign to Tobacco Road for the first time Thursday, scheduling three campaign events in a state her staff sees as “uphill battle.”

Clinton is scheduled to make stops in Raleigh, Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, a campaign swing billed as the kick-off to a six-day “Solutions for the American Economy” tour across several states.

In Raleigh, Clinton will give an economic speech tailored to the issue of job training. She will propose a five-year, $12.5 billion program to make job re-training universally available to displaced workers, provide new Pell grants and support on-the-job training programs.

North Carolina has yet to vote –- 115 delegates are at stake on May 6 -– but it’s a state that’s already become familiar with the presidential race. Barack Obama has campaigned there several times already, as has Bill Clinton, appearing on behalf of his wife.

But North Carolina has been getting a first-hand glimpse of the race throughout this election cycle. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards made his home in Raleigh his campaign headquarters during his presidential campaign. The state is also sandwiched between two states that have already voted, Virginia and South Carolina, exposing parts of North Carolina to TV advertising and news coverage form those two contests.

Virginia and South Carolina were also two states that Obama won handily, largely with support from African-American voters and educated, wealthier whites. In North Carolina, there are similar demographics that do not bode well for Clinton: 45 percent of registered Democrats are black, and the Research Triangle in and around the Raleigh-Durham metro area is stocked with college-educated, affluent voters.

Independent voters can participate in the Democratic primary, but Republicans cannot.

“If you look at the polls, Sen. Obama has the upper hand,” said Clinton spokesman Doug Hattaway. “It’s an uphill battle, but that said, we are fighting on every hill, so to speak.”

Regardless of her chances, Hattaway said Clinton will continue to press her economic message throughout the state, and also utilize North Carolina native Gen. Hugh Shelton, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a Clinton endorser, to appeal to the state’s sizeable military community. Hattaway also said the campaign will open their first state office in Raleigh next week, and will open several more offices soon after. Ace Smith, who engineered Clinton’s wins in California and Texas, is the campaign’s North Carolina state director.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. david

    She's just trying to not lose so bad there. We already know that half of the voters in NC are black and that they vote for Obama 90% of the time (nice criteria. issues and competency are irrelevant).


    March 27, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Realistic

    With her rapidly climbing negative ratings, created by her own Rovian campaigning and then outright lies to try to either pad her resume (the Bosnian gaffe) or engage in revisionist history (false claim that she did not support NAFTA when her appointment book clearly shows that she did on many specific occasions), her chances of even finishing a respectable second in North Carolina are quickly evaporating. At this rate, Pennsylvannia may actually go into serious play.

    But don't worry, Hillary will just try to move the goalposts again and come up with some other goofy theory to try to keep her entitltement alive. I feel a victim card and a tear coming on soon.

    March 27, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  3. Willey

    go Obama

    March 27, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Garth

    Would someone please answer a direct question for me?

    There has been a lot of talk this week about Sen. Obama going on a
    two and a half day mini vacation with his wife and his two young daughters. I've been hearing this over and over again! Even photos were shown of Sen. Obama relaxing.

    Did anyone ask Sen. Clinton where she was, from Good Friday right through Easter Sunday??? Remember when everyone kept saying that she seemed so quiet over this period?

    Please folks try to be fair. This man took two and a half days to relax with his young family, after campaigning for months.

    Where was Sen. Clinton when she was missing in action? CNN please be fair and post this comment. It is a very fair question.

    March 27, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Tired of it in NY

    Now she's bullying Nancy P. Where does this woman quit?
    So she says out one side of her mouth Fl. and Mi. votes should count and out the other side she says it doesn't matter what the voters vote the delegates should be able to vote for who they want at the convention?
    Man is she getting desperate. If Pa. wakes up and defeats her maybe then she'll bow out like a real man!!!

    March 27, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Glenn; Bakersville, NC.

    As a North Carolinian and a former combat veteran Clinton lost the last of any credibility with me when she confused bending over to hug a child with ducking and running to dodge sniper fire, and further confused the probable buzz of bees around the bouquet of flowers she received with the hiss of a sniper's rounds. There are just too many honesty and credibility questions with her for my taste. If this were any other person, (male, female, white, black, brown, yellow, or red) they would have been thrown under the bus long before now for this kind of crap. I don't want her to quit running at all, because I believe that the longer she runs the less likely she will be to hold any office beyond NY Senator which in the long run is best for the country.

    March 27, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Ev-VA

    Obama 08! 115 Delegates for Obama.

    Let's keep those delegates mounting up for Obama. Come on North Carolina let's do it for Obama. Let's do it for the Democratic party Let's do it for the good of the Country. Let's do it to send a message Obama is the better candidate no matter what is being protrayed in the media and in the Clinton campaign against him.

    Obama 08 The Candidate for Change and Hope!

    March 27, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Kareem from Hampton VA

    *looks around* Umm sweeatheart not just North carolina but the nomination period is an uphill battle for you!!

    March 27, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. April in Texas

    The first poster (Darryl Citizen) brings up so many legitamate questions..

    I spoke to a Hillary supporter today here in Arlington, and she was so ashame about how low Hillary would stoop.

    There is no reason why she should have to
    steal Obama's Delegates,
    Lie about her fundraising activities,
    Lie about travel to Bosnia under Sniper Fire.
    She refuse to give a list of her Earmarks,
    She paid the Black Minister in New York $ 1.5 Million for his endorsement,
    She's currently in Legal trouble with Peter Paul,
    refuse to present her taxes
    Show Bill Clinton Business dealing with Dubai Port World
    As well as the untraseable $ 20 million dollars for the Clinton Library

    I would like to add that we as people can end this with our votes if we really wanted to and start uniting the democratic party now since the DNC doesnt seem to want to currently.

    Obama 08
    Austin Texas

    March 27, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. JennyM

    Puerto Rico votes int he primary but they cannot vote in the general election, as they are not a state. Why can they vote in the primary then ??????????

    March 27, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
1 2 3 4