Candidates fight for votes in Alabama

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Arizona Senator John McCain are battling for a win in the Alabama primary results.

Clinton holds a slight lead among voters over rival Illinois Senator Barack Obama going into the race, while McCain maintains a small margin over former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee in the Super Tuesday primary.

In a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Jan 31, Clinton led Obama 46 to 41 percent among likely Democratic voters.

Clinton also led by extremely thin margins in a Feb 3 Insider Advantage poll and a Jan 29-Feb 1 Capital Survey Research Center poll.

A SurveyUSA poll conducted Feb 2-3, however, showed Obama ahead in the state 49 percent to 47 percent.

As the margin of error in the polls ranged between 4 to 5 percent, the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat going into the Super Tuesday primary.

Former President Bill Clinton appeared in Huntsville, Alabama on Saturday to help drum up support in the race, hoping to strengthen his wife’s miniscule lead going into the state’s primary.

Mr. Clinton spoke about the economy, universal health care and the housing mortgage crisis.

Obama visited the state two weeks ago, speaking to a crowd of thousands at a rally.

On Sunday, Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker spoke for Obama at a gathering of local boosters at Obama’s Alabama campaign headquarters.

“I am proud to stand here during this time in history, a time that will change America and the world,” Whitaker said, according to the Montgomery Advisor.

“I was just in Washington and it occurred to me that Barack Obama is going to be our next president, and that Washington would be his hometown.”

On the Republican side, John McCain led polls by SurveyUSA, CRSC, and Rasmussen among likely Republican primary voters.

In all of the polls, Mike Huckabee placed second, sometimes by a relatively close margin.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney placed third across the board.

Mike Huckabee visited Alabama on Saturday, his second visit in a week, in an attempt to beef up his support going into today’s Republican primary.

Chuck Norris, who has been stumping for Huckabee, told a crowd of supporters, “if we as a country don’t get behind this man, we’re going to lose.”

McCain was also on hand in Alabama on Saturday. McCain said during a one of his stops in the state that he can “unite the [Republican] party. I’m the most electable. Any poll with show you that-by far against Senator Obama and Senator Clinton,” according to

Romney had planned to make a stop in Birmingham, Alabama on Monday, but instead traveled to Tennessee and Georgia.

Fifty-two pledged delegates are up for grabs in the Alabama Democratic primary.

Eighteen of the delegates will be decided based on statewide results, while 34 will be awarded from seven Congressional districts within the state.

Eight remaining unpledged delegates will be selected on March 1 at the Alabama state executive committee meeting.

Forty-five pledged delegates are at stake in the Republican primary in Alabama.

Twenty-one delegates will be determined by results in seven Congressional districts.

Candidates who receive more than 50 percent of the vote in a district will win all that district’s delegates.

Twenty-four delegates will be awarded based on statewide results. Three remaining unpledged delegates will be selected from party leaders.

Alabama is an open primary election, which means voters are not required to publicly choose a party in order to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary-though they may only vote in one of the contests.

Ann Turner © 2008; All Rights Reserved