Barack Obama is putting religion over race in the Palmetto State, where almost half of Democratic voters are black—a strategy that has worked for President Bush twice, Politico reports. As in Iowa, Obama has held faith forums throughout the state and even stumped in conservative, white churches. Some sneered that the strategy proves he isn't “black enough,” but recent voting stats are in his favor.
Almost four in 10 non-Latino Catholics voted for John Kerry nationwide in 2004, and 52% say they would “like to vote” Democratic, according to one poll—which makes South Carolina is a perfect testing ground for Obama's strategy, one of his advisers says: “Faith permeates everything in this state. And the pastors in churches here tend to be reasonably political, so it matters."