Another Word on Turnout: 'Not Tremendously Heavy'

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: May 06, 2008 3:06 PM
DURHAM, N.C.-- My gut feeling is that the Obama blow-out in N.C. is not happening in the numbers people are projecting. I thought yesterday, judging by the apparent momentum in her favor and the large rural population of the state, to which Bill Clinton has been giving much attention, Hillary would lose, but not by as much as anyone expected.

I talked to a friend in the Sandhills yesterday (down in the "Poverty Belt" of southern North Carolina), who was attending a family get-together when I got him on the phone. The rural, white population of that area is unabashedly "Hillary Country," according to him, and other family members (white, Southern males) yelled out, "We're all for Hillary!" in the background. True, the state is home to several Obama-friendly, high-population urban areas, but it's also a large state with plenty of country out there prone to go Hillary either on merit or as part of Operation Chaos.

Now WRAL is reporting turnout is steady but not crazy.
State elections director Gary Bartlett said turnout was "steady ... not tremendously heavy." The presidential nomination seemed to overshadow primaries for governor, Senate and statewide office.
I'm in Durham (my hometown) at the moment, which has a black population of about 40 percent, and is otherwise populated with white, liberal college professors with the exception of the Ham family. This is "Obama Country." I'm gonna wander around and make some calls to figure out what kind of turnout they're really seeing at precincts around here.