40 N.C. mayors endorse Obama


/*Charles Meeker*/ of Raleigh and /*Bill Bell*/ of Durham were two of some 40 mayors across /*North Carolina*/a who led a charge of /*Barack Obama*/ supporters to vote early before the May 6 primary.

"Senator Obama gives us the chance to carry North Carolina this year," Mayor Meeker said. "He's the kind of candidate who will bring new people in, he'll bring independents over, he'll even get some Republican votes."

But /*Hillary Clinton*/ has beaten Obama in the last three primaries in big states such as Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

There is growing concern that Obama is not as electable as once thought in a general /*election*/.

"He is not doing very well with white blue-collar Democrats, which were the backbone of Mrs. Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania," Andrew Taylor, N.C. State Political Science Department, said.

And even in N.C., there are signs of a growing racial divide among Democratic voters.

In the most recent Eyewitness News flash poll, white voters favor Clinton 56 percent to 33 percent.

Black voters favor Obama by a wide margin, 83 percent to 10 percent.

"There does seem to be a racial divide here which hurts that argument that he can bring people together," Taylor said.

But Durham Mayor Bell says he's still confident that all Democrats will support their nominee in November, whoever he or she may be.

"Democrats and people across the country are going to come together," Bell said. "I don't see people having any other choice. Given the economy we're in, the war, the price of gas, I can't see people voting someone else in against their self-interest who has been a part of the previous administration."

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