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Clinton Supporters Push Forward

This story was written by Derek Medlin, Technician

As the Democratic primary season comes to a close, the recent indications that Sen. Barack Obama will win the party's nomination has not slowed the work of Sen. Clinton supporters.

The 2008 primary cycle, which will end on June 3 with primaries in Montana and South Dakota, has been one of the more fiercely contested races in recent history.

According to Jason Lindsay, a regional campaign organizer for the Clinton campaign and senior in political science, the work of Clinton supporters has continued despite the growing pressure for Clinton to step down.

"Senator Clinton is not going to drop out until there is a winner, and right now, there is not a winner," Lindsay said of his candidate. "The campaigning here [in North Carolina] has slowed down considerably. However, we do have very dedicated volunteer staff members who are working harder than ever."

Lindsay said a volunteer staff, which assembled after the North Carolina campaign office closed following the North Carolina primary on May 6, is now doing the campaigning.

"[Volunteers] are making phone calls to Kentucky and to Oregon, calling voters to talk to them about Clinton's platform and why they should vote for her and answering any questions they have," he said. "We need to make sure every voice is heard that wants to be heard in the primary process."

For Michael Cobb, an North Carolina State University assistant professor of political science, the Democratic race has been decided for quite some time.

"People have known for quite some time that Senator Clinton is not going to get the nomination," he said. "The reason why people are being so inquisitive is because they think somehow Clinton is hurting the Democratic Party and Senator Obama."

Cobb said he disagrees with the common argument that the Democratic race is hurting Obama, but he said there are possible negative consequences with regards to Obama's budget for the general election.

"There are some valid concerns about that -- the longer Obama has to spend money and resources to defeat Clinton, the less time he has to do it with McCain," he said.

Despite these worries about the health of the Democratic Party, both Lindsay and Cobb said they feel like Democrats will vote for either candidate in November's election even after a very bitter nomination race.

"Every other primary suggests that it is not damaging the party, it is healthy competition and Democrats are going to vote for Democrats," Cobb said.

Lindsay agreed, and vowed that the Clinton supporters will work until the very end.

"I feel confident in the party -- once this process is over, probably in June or July, the [Democratic] party is still going to have ample time to heal," Lindsay said. "But for now, we're going to fight all the way through until a decision is made, because the focus is on winning the White House back in November."