Obama Supporters Optimistic
Moore County supporters of Barack Obama were cautiously optimistic after the Illinois senator defeated Sen. Hillary Clinton Tuesday in the North Carolina Democratic primary.
"I'm not surprised at the result at all," said Tim Smith, a local Obama supporter. "I won't be surprised when he takes office too. It's time."
Statewide, Obama earned 55 percent of the vote while Clinton garnered 42 percent. In Moore County, Obama edged Clinton 6,492 to 5,453, or by a margin of 53 percent to 45 percent. The remaining 272 votes were split between Mike Gravel and "no preference."
All vote totals are unofficial until they are canvassed on May 13.
"I am thrilled to death," said Obama supporter Nancy Barton. "I am really happy because there were a lot of people who felt disenfranchised and hadn't voted in the past who showed up in huge numbers."
Smith and Barton were among the Obama supporters gathered at the Bell Tree restaurant in downtown Southern Pines Tuesday night to watch the coverage of the election results. Most major news outlets projected Obama's victory in North Carolina soon after the polls closed.
Barton and Smith credited their hard-working supporters but were quick to say there is still much work to do before November. If Obama earns the Democratic nomination he will face Republican nominee John McCain.
"We are going to take it one day at a time," Smith said. "(Moore) County will see more of us."
McCain garnered more than 80 percent of the votes cast in the Republican primary in Moore County.
In Indiana, the race was much tighter. Clinton defeated Obama, ensuring that the campaign will go on.
In Moore County the majority of the races mirrored the results in the state.
Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Beverly Perdue earned the gubernatorial nominations and will face off in November.
McCrory, the mayor of Charlotte, garnered 52 percent of the vote in Moore County, outdistancing four others. McCrory's closest competition was Fred Smith, who earned 3,582 votes, or 34 percent. Statewide, McCrory edged Smith by a margin of 45 percent to 37 percent.
Perdue, the current lieutenant governor, finished second to state Treasurer Richard Moore in Moore County. But Perdue outdistanced Moore by a margin of 55 percent to 40 percent statewide.
In the race for U.S. Senate, Democrat Kay Hagen garnered more than 70 percent of the votes cast in Moore County, outdistancing four other candidates. She got more than 60 percent of the vote statewide.
Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole cruised to an easy victory in the GOP primary. She defeated Pete DiLauro, earning more than 87 percent of the votes cast in Moore County and more than 90 percent cast statewide.
Democrat Teresa Sue Bratton defeated two challengers in the primary for U.S. Congress District 6 seat. Bratton edged her nearest competitor, Johnny Carter, by a margin of 5,166 to 2,684. She will face veteran Republican Con-gressman Howard Coble of Greensboro in November.
In one other statewide race of local interest, former state Rep. Richard Morgan, of Eagle Springs, defeated two Republican challengers in the primary for state superintendent of public instruction. In Moore County, Morgan earned 4,796 votes, or nearly 48 percent of the votes cast.
Meanwhile, nearly 41 percent -- 23,4555 -- of the 57,400 registered voters in Moore County cast ballots in the primary election.
County Elections Director Glenda Clendenin attributed the large turnout to the fact that North Carolina voters had a say in the presidential race.
"This is the first time people may have felt it (their vote) really matters," Clendenin said.
Contact Tom Embrey at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
More like this story