• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Denver voters talk about Dem divide

August 27, 2008 4:21:56 PM PDT
it was expected that N.Y. Senator Hillary Clinton's speech would be well-received on the convention floor. But in the Denver area, regular voters, not delegates, were also reacting to the speech.

"That speech last night was the most impressive thing I've ever seen her do," said Randall Crumrine, Denver resident.

Crumrine and his wife, Stacy Johnson, of Denver's University Hills neighborhood were watching Tuesday night as Clinton made the case for party unity.

"She really knuckled down and did the right thing because the one thing we hadn't heard was, 'It's not about me, it's about the cause, the future,'" said Crumrine.

The couple said there is no doubt now that on November 4, they'll cast at least two ballots for Ill. Sen. Barack Obama.

"Because I think it's the grass roots. He came from the bottom. That's how change does happen," Johnson said.

The houses in University Hills are mostly two- and three-bedroom ranches built in the 1950s. The residents are predominantly white and working class. It's the demographic that Clinton won by a large margin there and in the big industrial states in the East and Midwest.

"When she went for the shot and the beer in Crown Pointe, Indiana, her campaign just took on a whole new meaning," said Prof. Paul Green, Roosevelt University.

Democrats quietly worried that Obama -- to be the first African-American nominee -- could lose white, working-class voters again to Ariz. Sen. John McCain. Obama supporter Sarah Clark said she is disturbed that some of her neighbors who voted for Clinton during the primary have vowed never to vote for a black president.

"You do hear that wherever you go. People are up in arms about it," she said.

"We have to get over that Barack Obama is African American," said Dennis Gannon, Chicago Federation of Labor president.

Gannon says he'll visit rank-and-file members in union halls around the country during the next two months to help diffuse what he called a "difficult problem" for Obama.

"That's our job as labor leaders in this country, to convince our rank and file that at jeopardy here is not just your livelihood but the future of your children," Gannon said.

In University Hills, Robert Bennett, who voted for George Bush eight years ago but Democrat Clinton this year, says there's no way he'd go back to voting Republican.

"Seems like the Republicans are just out for the rich guys anymore," Bennett said.

During the last two nights of the convention, expect to hear speaker after speaker focus on issues that affect working-class Americans. The idea is that without working class voters, Obama cannot win the presidency.


Load Comments