Accessibility links

In New York City, Strong Opinions on Clinton-Obama Primary


Senator Hillary Clinton, as many expected, won her chosen home state of New York's Democratic presidential primary Tuesday. But she was tested by Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. Media reports say exit polls show Obama did well among black voters in New York and in neighboring New Jersey and among white voters next door in Connecticut.

Among the Republicans, with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani out of the race, Senator John McCain of Arizona won in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut -- beating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. VOA's Carolyn Weaver talked with some voters in New York City about their choices, and has this report.

New Yorkers are overwhelmingly Democrats, especially in the historically black neighborhood of Harlem. Like her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York is a favorite here. Many black women voters in particular support her.

One voter we spoke with says she will be voting for Clinton. "I'm going to go for Hillary, all the way. [Reporter: Why Hillary all the way?] Because I know what she has accomplished, and I trust her. If Mr. Obama was not a black man, this would be a clearcut [decision] for many people. So I want to pass that, I don't want to look at race. It's Hillary all the way."

But a surge of support for Senator Barack Obama of Illinois made the contest for New York's delegates to the nominating convention more competitive.

"I'm going definitely for Obama, he sounds like a good guy. He sounds like he's going to make a change in this world. And I'm going to definitely go for Obama, because he's a very good man," said another voter.

Another Obama proponent said, "This election year, I only see one person running, and his name is Barack Obama. And Harlem's for Obama, Latinos for Obama, Latinos for Obama, Chinese for Obama -- everybody's for Obama."

In another part of New York, a mostly white, working-class neighborhood in Brooklyn, you could find supporters of both genders for Hillary Clinton.

"I think she has the best combination of experience, the pragmatic approach to politics, and supporting my policies," says a voter. "I liked Obama, but I think she's better."

"I like [Clinton] because she's a woman," a man says, "I like the woman," he adds, "because I think she has a lot of experience. Obama is nice guy, I like, but he's too young."

An almost equal number of voters here supported Barack Obama.

A younger voter says, "My vote went to Barack Obama. And I feel good about that choice. It's such a historic vote. I'm so happy that we have both a woman and an African-American candidate, that in the end I'll ultimately -- the truth is, whoever gets the nomination -- I'll be happy to support."

Brooklyn is also heavily Democratic. Only one voter emerging from the polls said she might vote for the Republican candidate, if it's John McCain -- but only if Hillary Clinton does not get the Democratic nomination.

"Quite frankly, in the general election I don't know who I'll vote for," she explained. "I might even vote for John McCain. I don't really believe in the Republican ideals, the party ideals, but I just like the man. So, we'll see what happens in November."

XS
SM
MD
LG