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January 16, 2008 - Bill Speer
My wife asked me after leaving the polls Tuesday why, in a normal primary, would anyone vote "uncommitted." If the only thing on the ballot was the primary choice, as was the case this week in Alpena County, then it would be senseless to vote she maintained.
Obviously this wasn't a "normal" primary for Michigan Democrats, however, and the "uncommitted" Democrats turned out in full force. As we know, those "uncommitted" voters in all likelihood are Barack Obama and John Edwards supporters. Of the Big 3 Democratic contenders, only Hillary Clinton's name was on the Michigan ballot because of political differences between the state and national Democratic parties.
Voters turned out in pretty good numbers across the state Tuesday. Of those who asked for a Democratic ballot, nearly 40 percent had chosen the "uncommitted" category. Clinton got about 55 percent of the vote.
I don't know about you, but I'd say the "uncommitteds" succeeded in making a major statement Tuesday. According to Associated Press, "Exit polling showed that 35 percent said they would have voted for Obama if he'd been on the ballot; of those, 79 percent chose to vote for uncommitted. Of the 12 percent who would have backed Edwards, 57 percent voted for uncommitted. Sixty-eight percent of black voters said they backed uncommitted, while 63 percent of white voters said they backed Clinton. Among female voters, exit polling showed Clinton got 60 percent of the vote, while uncommitted got 36 percent."
It seems to me there were a lot of committed "uncommitted" voters this week.
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