May 6th, 2008
09:30 AM ET
14 years ago

North Carolina Democratic Primary – 'Record turnout possible'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="North Carolina voters are happy to have a say."]

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (CNN) — Voting under a typical ‘Carolina blue’ sky, droves of Democrats are turning out at polling stations in Wilmington, North Carolina.

If the headline of today’s local paper, the Wilmington Star-News, is any indication, it should be a big day for the Democratic Party. The headline reads ‘Record turnout possible’—and a beautiful spring day may draw more people to the polls.

Many voters in Wilmington are buzzing because for the first time in twenty years, North Carolina’s Democratic primary will play a significant role in deciding the party’s nominee.

“It’s really exciting,” a woman voting at Rachel Freeman Elementary School said. “It normally doesn’t matter as much.”

Heading into today’s primary, a CNN poll of polls showed Barack Obama with a 10 percent lead over Hillary Clinton in North Carolina. A win for Obama here would strengthen his grip on the delegate lead, but a better-than-expected showing by Clinton in another large state would bolster her claim that she’s the more formidable candidate in a general election.

Voters in this southern port city are happy to share their views on both candidates.

“I voted for Obama,” noted Parrish Ravelli, a local health educator. “I think he has the greatest ability to look beyond himself as president and make the best decisions to help the largest amount of people.”

A young woman named Jill said she feels that Clinton will make the better president. “I like her health care policies,” she says.

Despite there being almost 700, 000 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the state, according to the North Carolina Board of Elections, opinions are mixed when asked whether a Democrat can win the state in a general election.

“Yeah, I think they can, it’s time for a change,” an elder African-American couple remarked. “More people are voting than ever, and especially young people.”

But Shawn Arledge, a local carpenter, says he doesn’t think it’s possible.

“I don’t,” Arledge opined. “But hey, there’s always hope.”

Related: CNN's Susan Candiotti speaks to N.C. voters about issues that concern them

soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Rob BC -Canada

    Want the respect in the rest of the world you once had -vote Obama

    May 6, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. Neutral

    Scott C May 6th, 2008 11:45 am ET

    So Obama does MUCH better than expected in Penn. and it is still a CRUSHING defeat that casts doubt on his electability as far as the media is concerned… But if Clinton does better than expected but still loses North Carolina it shows she is more electable.

    The double standards are ridiculous


    Not ridiculous at all, PA is a SWING STATE, North Carolina will NEVER become blue in GENERAL ELECTION, If Obama won in PA, it would have been FAVORABLE to him even by a slim margin, but that was NOT the case in spite of the FACT he OUTSPENT Hillary 3 to 1 in PA.

    Another thing, Obama is looking forward, his campaign speech lately in Indiana and North Carolina was HOLLOW.

    Obama lost his UMPH when REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT DEFINED HIM; Obama is OLD TIME POLITICIAN. You should go to youtube and watch DOUBLETALK EXPRESS of Obama. You're in for a rude awakening.

    May 6, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. tim in carroll ia

    In reference to the lady's comment about how exciting the primary is this year in North Carolina, I am glad you are getting to experience first-hand how energizing and exciting the political process really is. Here in Iowa, we have that experience each election year and take the responsibility seriously. It's why we cherish our first-in-the-nation status so much – because politics does have a great impact on our lives everyday and it does matter who WE put in charge. We truly are a nation of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. You people in North Carolina and Indiana – vote today and enjoy your moment!

    May 6, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Rob BC -Canada

    Now all of a sudden Obama's lead is reported as 10 in NC after you saying it was 8 all week.Is that so when Hillary loses you can spin the "she is gaining ground crap" .Just laughable.

    May 6, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. HSNP

    If Obama wins the White House, will the Rev. Wright G-D America in the Rose Garden?

    When compared to the stuttering, do nothing, gas bag Obama, Hillary Clinton is the only choice.

    May 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Barry

    Speaking of double standards... Why is Obama 'not electable' if he can't win more than 40% of the white female voting block, but no one seems to care that Clinton can't win more than 10% of the african-american block? Clinton isn't even trying to get votes from the Af-Amer voters! And don't try to blame it on racism, because there's no real difference between the black community voting for Obama and the white/white-female community voting for Clinton. Its two sides of the same coin... so why is Obama being held responsible for both?

    May 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. Tom,des moines

    Vote for Obama is like a vote for his pastor Wright.

    May 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Maggie

    Hello....Sen. Obama was not even a Senator when the was vote was taken you over educated dimwit. Obama can speak out about the Iraq War vote, but he did not have a dog in that fight, and now you sit here and say Sen. Clinton voted for the war and Sen. Obama did not. Ofcourse he didn't he was not in THE SENTAE yet, and if he was I would bet he would have voted....Only "PRESENT", which is what he voted most of the time, when he actually showed up for the votes.....

    That is how much you don't know about the man you want to lead our Country .

    Try using your education and do some research and exercise your right to vote not your wright to vote.

    May 6, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. bigben

    Obama is a girly man

    May 6, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Jacki NC

    Just voted for Obama here in NC. By the way I happen to be a well educated middle aged white woman. So is my mother. We are the ones whom Hillary thinks will all vote for her. I personally do not know anyone who plans on voting for Hillary today. Have 2 neices at 2 different colleges here in NC who says they and all their friends are for Obama. They did not like Bill's comment suggesting that young people are not smart enough and that is why they support Obama.

    May 6, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Paulinus, Canada

    HSNP – Stop Ranting. Leave Rev Wright alone. You did not feel the pains he went through.

    May 6, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Kelli

    Regarding the unfair media coverage of Sen. Obama, first let me say that I understand that this country was built on racism. This land was stolen and the work that it took to build the country was stolen also. I am forever sick and tired of people blasting comments about Obama based on the color of his skin. People post messages about so many stereotypes, it makes me sick to my stomach. That's why I am glad it is 2008, where someone like him can run for an election and be the cause of pea brain, unsuccessful, rural, simple-minded good 'ole boys to go crazy. These same idiots lose their minds when they have to work with people like me, educated with 2 degrees and living in prosperity.

    So to those who love to continue to talk about things that don't matter like Rev. Wright, go right ahead! It just shows how narrow minded and unintelligent you are! If you did your research, you would know that President Clinton invited the same Rev. Wright to the White House as a special guest on several occaisions (look it up). Mrs. Clinton's own pastor was recently arrested for molestation (look it up).

    We as a people will continue to prosper regardless – whether you like it or not!

    May 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. obamawho

    Tim in carroll ia are you taking responsiblity for wittiling the race down to the 3 that are running now? Wasn't there some better candidates than what is left? In my opinion none of the 3 candidates are qualified to be President. Why can't Colin Powell be persuaded to run?

    May 6, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. voter from N.C>

    I really wouldn't believe anything cnn would say. They are for Obama hot and heavy. i think they are going to have some mud in their face tonight.
    Goooooo Hillary

    May 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. rob

    I've come across many Obama supporters in the DC area, and here's what almost every single one of them has in common. They are unquestioningly fanatical. Everything Obama does is right. Everything ANY opponent, be it Clinton, McCain, or a journalist does, or says, that knocks Obama is not only wrong, but evil. It's's like they're in a cult.

    May 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. RandomSeattle

    What's up with you Obama people? Don't realize that every time you call Hillary names like "hag" or make some vicious comments about her, that you're insulting her millions of supporters as well? Then, after months of this, you want us to turn the other cheek and support your candidate in November, if he's the one? Does that make sense to you? You should be courting us, not insulting us.

    My suggestion to you is that from now on you make nicey-nice to the opposition - if you want to win, that is.

    May 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Tina

    C'mon voters vote Obama and end this non sense. We all know Obama has the lead and will maintain it. He is already the winner why continue spending momey and time that democrats could use for campaigning against McSame? It's ridiculous Obama has more votes, more states etc......
    Hillary show that your love for America concede gracefully and end the madness.

    May 6, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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