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Clinton Backer Defects to Obama camp

Posted on 2/28/2008 2:27:00 PM

The support for Hillary Clinton seems to be dwindling as Democratic congressman and civil rights leader, John Lewis, has shifted his support from Clinton to rival Obama. This is an important shift as Lewis is considered a key Afro-American supporter.

Lewis is a veteran of the US civil rights movement and hails from Georgia. The congressman stated that he had to shift in order to be on the side of the people. Obama’s campaign is gaining in momentum, especially after a widely telecast debate which showed both the democratic candidates slugging it out over various issues. Lewis stated, "The people are pressing for a new day in American politics and I think they see Senator Barack Obama as a symbol of that change." The congressman’s switching camps is a significant blow to Clinton as her campaign seems to be dwindling, having suffered from 11 consecutive losses to Obama in recent primaries.

Clinton commented that she felt that Lewis must have been under tremendous pressure to have to switch camps. Lewis had initially pledged his support to Clinton last October. Clinton responded philosophically, stating that the shift did not matter because, as she said "At the end of the day it's not about who is supporting us, it's about what we're presenting, what our positions are, what our experiences and qualifications are.” Obama welcomed the support of Lewis stating that he was “deeply honored” by this turn of events.

Both Clinton and Obama are campaigning hard for the next set of primaries in Texas and Ohio.  Initial opinion polls indicate that Obama is gaining ground in both of these states. In fact, this is the first time that Obama is leading Clinton going into a primary. Initial polls seem to indicate that Obama is leading in Texas and is expected to secure 50% of the votes while Clinton is trailing at 46% according to a CNN poll.

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