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2004-02-02

Dems Shift Focus To Race, Poverty In South Carolina and New Mexico, A Minority Majority State

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Primaries and caucuses will be held in seven states tomorrow in the 2004 campaign’s biggest day so far. People of color comprise a large percentage of the vote in a number of the states. We take a look at two of them: South Carolina where African Americans comprise 37% of the voters and New Mexico where Hispanics and Native Americans actually outnumber whites.

From North Dakota to South Carolina, from Delaware to Oklahoma to New Mexico. The seven states in Tuesday’s Democratic primaries span the country.

In all, 269 delegates will be at stake on tomorrow at seven primaries and caucuses. Together they represent more than 12 percent of the more than 2,000 delegates needed to claim the Democratic nomination.

South Carolina holds one of the featured contests, the first Southern state to vote and the first election expected to draw heavy participation by African American voters–who comprise approximately 37 percent of the state.

Another state, New Mexico, is the nation’s most Latino state who make up 42 percent of the state’s population. With a Native American population of 9 percent–people of color in New Mexico represents a unique population: they are the majority of the voters.

  • Deepak Bhargava, Director of the Center for Community Change, a non partisan, national organization based in D.C. that is helping do voter registration around the country and raise awareness around issues of poverty. The organization was a sponsor and organizer of the forum on poverty and race held in Colombia, South Carolina this past Friday. All of the candidates, except Senator Joseph Lieberman who is campaigning in Delaware, answered questions from the audience, made up mostly of minority and low-income people.
  • Jeremiah Johnson, reporter covering election news for KUNM community radio in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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