This was first published in February 9, 2008 Armenian Reporter
Democratic presidential race is tied, Republican frontrunner emerges
Clinton, McCain carry Southern California
by Emil Sanamyan
WASHINGTON – Senator John McCain of Arizona appears poised to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, while Senators Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) remained neck in neck this week in the competition for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Following the Super Tuesday vote in more than twenty states on February 5, Mr. McCain took a commanding lead in the GOP race as he won more than 3.6 million votes, securing about one half of the delegate votes necessary to win the nomination; his main Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney withdrew from the race on February 7.
In the Democratic race, with most votes tallied from the Super Tuesday primaries by February 7, Ms. Clinton had a slim advantage of 7.43 million votes to Mr. Obama’s 7.37 million; the two candidates were nearly tied in the delegate race.
While Mr. Obama won in 13 of 22 states where votes were held, Ms. Clinton won in more populous states, such as California, New York, and Massachusetts. A race was so close in one state – New Mexico – that it was still not called at the week’s end.
According to most commentators, the Democratic race may take until April or even later to be decided, with Mr. Obama enjoying the advantage of momentum at this time.
Southern California results
Ms. Clinton won 2.1 million votes (52 percent) in California to Mr. Obama’s 1.7 million (42 percent). She did particularly well among Hispanic voters there, winning 55 percent of the vote in Los Angeles County.
Mr. McCain carried California in the Republican race, but with a narrower margin of 42 percent statewide and 43 percent in Los Angeles County.
In the district of Rep. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif., 29th), which has the highest proportion of Armenian-American voters, in Glendale and Pasadena, Ms. Clinton won 42,144 votes (52 percent) and Mr. Obama 35,735 votes (44 percent); in the Republican race, Mr. McCain won 16,740 votes (45 percent) to Mr. Romney’s 12,731 (34 percent).
In nearby district of Rep. Brad Sherman (D.-Calif., 27th), which includes Burbank, and that of Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif., 28th), which includes Van Nuys, Ms. Clinton won with nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Mr. Schiff had endorsed Mr. Obama, while Mr. Sherman is backing Ms. Clinton, and Mr. Berman has not committed to any of the candidates.
Armenians campaign for Democratic candidates
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), which is backing Mr. Obama, reported that Armenian-Americans turned out for Super Tuesday in record numbers around the country.
On January 31, one of Mr. Obama’s top advisors, Harvard professor Samantha Power, released a video statement to the ANCA discussing the candidate’s commitment to the affirmation of the Armenian Genocide and urging Armenian-American support for the candidate. A Los Angeles lawyer and ANC activist, Nora Hovsepian, was selected to chair the group “Armenians for Obama.”
Meanwhile, ARMENPAC, a political action committee based in Irving, Texas, and California Assembly member Paul Krekorian (D.-Glendale) endorsed Ms. Clinton, citing her record and pledges on Armenian-American issues.
Mr. Krekorian said in a February 1 statement that he became national co-chair of “Armenians for Clinton.”
On the Republican side, the ANCA published a February 1 letter it received from Mr. McCain, in which he praised Armenian-Americans’ contributions to the United States, shared admiration for Armenia’s support for U.S.-led operations in Iraq and Kosovo, and condemned “the brutal murder of as many as one and a half million Armenians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.” (See the full text of the letter on page A2.)
Mr. McCain did not use the term genocide. He did not commit to properly and officially acknowledging the Armenian experience, and he did not pledge U.S. support for Armenia.