Ohio Contest Splits on Race, Geography

Clinton banks on rural vote, white gov; Obama on cities, black mayor
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 1:50 PM CST
John Kerry listens to Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, an Obama supporter   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Today’s Ohio Democratic primary is expected to follow sharp demographic lines, with the urban north likely breaking toward Barack Obama and the rural south expected to back Hillary Clinton. The endorsement derby points up the racial dimension, the LA Times reports, with the white, rural governor backing Clinton and the black mayor of Columbus boosting Obama.

"I would rather have the mayors in the major cities, because that is where more of the vote will come from," says a longtime political observer, referring to the mayors of Cleveland and Cincinnati, who back Obama. The governor doesn’t have the mayors' political organization or obvious voter base. Less-than-democratic rules for awarding delegates also favor the north, which could benefit Obama.