House majority whip speaks at Obama rally - - Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS 10/19/2008

House majority whip speaks at Obama rally

By Julie Straw - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - With a little over two weeks to go before the presidential election, Mississippi Democrats say they are gaining momentum.

Barack Obama supporters gathered Sunday outside campaign headquarters in Jackson.  House Majority Whip James Clyburn excited the crowd with a message to turn this state from red to blue.

"This time things will be different," said Congressman Clyburn.  Democrats call it a "Rally for Hope."  Congressman Clyburn of South Carolina is encouraging all Democratic voters to turn out in large numbers November fourth.  He belives Mississippi, like other states that have traditionally leaned Republican, will vote differently in this election.

"We are going to win in North Carolina," said Clyburn.  "Haven't done that since 1976.  Why?  Because change is in the air."

The polling group Rasmussen reported Monday that Barack Obama leads John McCain 50% to 46% in its latest national poll.   The group's October 1 survey found McCain leading Obama 52% to 44% in Mississippi.  In a state that has voted Republican in the last seven consecutive presidential elections, is it possible that Mississippi could turn from red to blue?

"I think Mississippi is going to be blue this time for Barack Obama," said state Democratic party chairman Jamie Franks, "because we've seen what the Republican politics have done over the last eight years and we want change.  We want to make sure we don't have four more years like the last eight."

Obama's Mississippi campaign leaders will beef up their efforts to knock on doors and make calls, one week from election day.  The Misssissippi Democratic Party is throwing in its manpower and doing all it can to get Obama supporters to the polls.

"We will be offering rides to the polls we will have canvassing in the evenings," said Barbara Blackmon, the Mississippi Democratic Party vice-chairwoman.  "We are making phone calls and we truly do need lots of volunteers."

We contacted John McCain's southeast regional campaign headquarters for a response to the Democrats rally.  We are still waiting for comment.

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