Obama Looks for Gospel Lift

But tour isn't attracting the young believers who fueled his early campaign
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2007 7:30 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at the National Summit on Agriculture and Rural Life at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's three-city South Carolina gospel tour kicked off over the weekend, with hopes that a little soul would lift his swooning numbers along with spirits. If the goal was, as one local supporter put it, to "get these young folks re-fired up," it wasn't happening at the first two concerts, the Washington Post reports, because the audience was largely "the retired and nearly retired."

At stake is Hillary Clinton's 20% edge over Obama among voters overall and 13% among blacks, including the early voting states, where Obama has not yet made inroads. That's why the candidate was present at the concerts only on video, and off campaigning in Iowa instead. That and the inclusion of singer Donnie McClurkin, whose past anti-gay rhetoric inspired protesters at the concerts.