It's NC for Obama and Indiana for Clinton, as new voter ID laws turn away nuns and other elderly voters

Another chapter was written yesterday in the tight nomination race between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who added an additional 143 delegates between them in their quest for the 2025 delegates needed to win. Senator Obama won the North Carolina Primary convincingly, 56-to-42%. With only 8% self-identified Catholics, exit polling was not able to discern a preference among NC Catholics. But voters at every level of church attendance in North Carolina went in the majority for Senator Obama.

Indiana was a closer race, with CNN declaring a win for Senator Clinton at 1:15am Eastern Time. She outpolled Senator Obama by about 12,500 votes, with roughly 51% of the total. The difference appeared to come primarily because women were substantially overrepresented among voters, 56-to-44%, and each candidate picked up about 51% of their own gender's votes. Catholics broke about 3:2 for Senator Clinton, slightly lower than in previous contests in neighboring Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Interestingly, 1-in-7 polled Indiana voters said that neither Senators Clinton nor Obama were trustworthy, and these people voted substantially for Senator Clinton. This may have significantly included the 1-in-10 who were crossover Republicans, many of whom responded to Rush Limbaugh's encouragement to vote crossover in an attempt to skew the election toward Senator Clinton.

Virtually a quarter of Republican voters in both North Carolina and Indiana opted to vote against Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.

In related news, the Supreme Court ruled last week that Indiana's voter ID law was Constitutional, and the Associated Press reported that the law had led a Catholic nun working at the polls to turn away 12 of her fellow sisters. They lacked state or federal identification bearing their photograph. Not a single case of voter misrepresentation had ever been prosecuted in Indiana, but state Republicans succeeded in passing a law that required a currently valid form of identification. The measure appears to have succeeded in doing what the authors intended, namely preventing voting without identification and thus turning away in the process a group of voters who might have been more likely to vote Democratic (ie. nuns).

"Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow members of Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would need such an ID to vote. The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the precinct anyway," reported the AP.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met.

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

"On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."

First Inaugural Address, President Barack Obama

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