Illinois senator polls strong in Carbondale

By Gus Bode

An unscientific poll of 100 southern Illinois residents and SIUC students conducted by the Daily Egyptian resulted in strong support for presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., but many voters said they are still undecided.

Individuals at Lentz and Grinnell halls, the Student Center and parking lots at Lowe’s Home Improvement, Wal-Mart Supercenter of Carbondale, University Mall and 710 Bookstore were asked which candidate they support for the presidency.

Obama, one of two Democratic candidates on the Feb. 5 primary ballot, received support from 45 people. His opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., received endorsement from 10 potential voters.

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Except for Obama supporters, most individuals polled were still undecided on who they support in the upcoming election. George Martin, a 60-year-old Army veteran from Hurst, said he would decide between Obama and Clinton based on who promises to bring troops home from Iraq the fastest.

“It’ll be another Vietnam,” he said. Martin toured in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.

Undecided voter Caleb Wood, a junior from Carterville studying History and education, said his vote will go to the Democratic Party’s final nominee.

Obama received more support than all of the Republican Party candidates combined. The GOP candidate to receive the most votes was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who was chosen five times in the poll. Republican Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, was right behind him with four poll votes.

All presidential candidates who were campaigning on Dec. 8 will appear on the Jackson County ballot, despite Democrats Dennis Kucinich and John Edwards and Republican Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the race after that date. These candidates can still receive votes. In the event one of them should win the primary, national parties decide what action to take.

A few of Obama’s supporters, such as Gene Kabee, a senior from Chicago studying radio-television, said they preferred the single-term senator to keep Clinton away from the White House.

None of the poll’s individuals said they support Republican Ron Paul, who is the only candidate to open an office in Carbondale. So far, Paul has not finished ahead in any primary.

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The conclusive decision of who Illinois supports in the primary will come on the evening of Feb. 5 as votes are tallied from “Super Tuesday,” which features early elections from 23 other states as well. Polls in Jackson County are scheduled to be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Daily Egyptian writer Barton Lorimor can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 274 or [email protected]

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