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Ind., N.C. Democratic churchgoers like Clinton

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton May 6 continued to do well among churchgoers, according to exit polls, despite not having the kind of night her supporters felt she needed to shake up the race and catch frontrunner Barack Obama.

Obama easily won North Carolina, 56-42 percent, while Clinton edged out a victory in Indiana, 51-49 percent.

But among churchgoers, she did better. Clinton won among Protestant weekly churchgoers in North Carolina, 58-39 percent, and among that same group in Indiana, 56-44 percent. The two groups made up 21 percent of the Democratic electorate in North Carolina, 15 percent in Indiana.

She also won among Catholics in both states, 51-48 percent in North Carolina and 61-39 percent in Indiana.

Among all weekly churchgoers — Protestant and non-Protestant — Obama won in North Carolina, 55-43 percent, while the two split in Indiana, each getting 50 percent. Weekly churchgoers made up 49 percent of Democratic voters in North Carolina and 40 percent in Indiana.

Clinton’s campaign had hoped to win Indiana easily and to lose North Carolina by a much narrower margin, but neither happened, and several Democratic officials and pundits said the race essentially was over. With 2,025 delegates needed to win the nomination, Obama leads 1,845-1,693, according to a RealClearPolitics.com tally.

Clinton, though, vowed to stay in the race. The next Democratic primary is next Tuesday in West Virginia, where she is favored to win.

“I feel good about how I did with Indiana voters and swing voters in both North Carolina and Indiana,” Clinton told reporters in West Virginia, according to Reuters. “It’s a new day. It’s a new state and a new election.”

She said she would remain in the race “until there is a nominee,” although she didn’t say whether that meant the Democratic National Convention, the Associated Press reported.

Obama posted an impressive performance following a tough two-week stretch of bad news regarding his pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, who influenced some voters, according to exit polls. In North Carolina, 47 percent of voters said the “situation with Rev. Wright” was very or somewhat important. Among that group, Clinton won, 57-41 percent. In Indiana, 46 percent of voters said the Wright situation was very or somewhat important, and Clinton won among them, 71-29 percent.

The primaries in both states continued to show divisions within the two parties:

— 29 percent of voters in North Carolina and 33 percent of voters in Indiana said they would not be satisfied if Obama wins the nomination. For Clinton, the numbers were even higher, 36 percent in North Carolina and 32 percent in Indiana.

— Asked, “Who shares your values?” 20 percent of voters in North Carolina said “only Clinton” and 30 percent said “only Obama.” In Indiana, 22 percent said “only Clinton” and 28 percent “only Obama.”

— 14 percent of voters in North Carolina and 16 percent in Indiana said they would vote for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain over Clinton. When McCain was put up against Obama, 18 percent in both North Carolina and Indiana said they would vote for McCain.

— Clinton won among whites in both states — 61 percent in North Carolina and 60 percent in Indiana. Obama won among blacks — 91 percent in North Carolina and 89 percent in Indiana.
Compiled by Michael Foust, assistant editor of Baptist Press.

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