[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.southcarolina.gi.jpg caption=" Barack Obama greets supporters at a political rally in Charleston, South Carolina."]
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/18/art.clinton.baptist.ap.jpg caption=" Hillary Clinton, speaks at the Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Compton, California.."]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to fight it out for support from African-American voters.
And there's a very good reason why: They are expected to make up as much as 50% of voters in the South Carolina Democratic primary January 26th, and in four other Southern states that vote on February 5th: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Tennessee.
Here's the problem: Bill Clinton and by extension his wife, Hillary, have a long, close relationship with the African -American community. Bill Clinton was nicknamed "America's first black president”. But for the first time in our history, an African-American has a real chance to become president of the United States.
In some cases, the decision is splitting families and longtime allies in the civil rights movement. There seems to be a generational divide as well, with younger blacks moving toward Obama. It's even splitting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, with more than a third of them supporting Clinton or John Edwards.
Polls suggest that Obama has been increasing his support in the black community and now leads Clinton among this group. In fact, Obama has now surged ahead of Hillary Clinton when it comes to support from Africa -American Democrats. But we're a long way from Super Tuesday and any kind of a finish line.
And, if there is on thing history suggests it's when it comes to politics, don't ever count out the Clintons.
Here’s my question to you: What will ultimately decide whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton gets the most African-American votes?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Charlotte from Clovis, California writes:
The fact that older Americans (both black and white) tend to be more likely to vote, I'd say Hillary will win.
What will ultimately decide whether Clinton gets the black vote will be the revelation that the Clinton support for black Americans has been mainly show and very little in the way of substance. Besides playing his sax and profiling in black churches, apologizing for slavery, more profiling, awarding some posthumous medals, more profiling, and moving his office to 125th street in Harlem, there ain't much there.
Still holding on to what was hardly a news story two weeks ago. Stop forcing race down the throats of American voters; you are not doing our country any favors with reporting like this. Why don't you use your position to help voters decide who is the best candidate as opposed to trying to make them choose a side of an issue that you think is historical?
I think it will all boil down to who connects the strongest with the voters, and who has the most positive campaign. Obama needs to remember that he took Iowa and nearly took New Hampshire by staying as positive as he could, and needs to remain that way. Let Hillary seem all nasty tempered, and let her sling her mud, but Obama needs to at least appear to be above the fray.
George from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina writes:
The deciding factor of the black vote will be the age breakdown of the voters. Young people think of "today" and don't want to think of "yesterday". So to them, the Clinton years are insignificant. The breath of fresh air Obama brings will motivate them.
Christopher from Bridgeport, Connecticut writes:
As a Democrat, I think this election between Hillary and Obama is going to seriously split the African-American vote. An ideal solution would be for them to join their efforts and run together after the primaries. Can you say, "Take the White House by storm"? No current Republican front-runner will have a chance.