Obama appeals to crossover voters

Leonard Doyle
Saturday 09 February 2008 01:00

Across the country a new breed of "Obama Republicans" is emerging to change the political landscape. And the Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama has even coined a name for them: Obamacans.

He cracks jokes about them discreetly approaching him at rallies to say: "Barack, I'm a Republican and I support you". "Thank you," he replies, "But why are we whispering?"

These crossover voters are the 21st-century version of the "Reagan Democrats" who switched sides and swept the Republican candidate to the White House in 1980.

Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of Dwight D Eisenhower, war hero and president, is one of the new converts – still in the Republican party while endorsing Mr Obama.

The trend was clear in Idaho on Super Tuesday. In Kootenai County, an area of far-right conservatism, a record number of voters came out for Obama – a total of 81 per cent.

In Colorado, Mr Obama won by a two-to-one margin. He now has 62 per cent support from independents, the highest approval of any candidate.

Even evangelical Christians appear to like him. When asked in a poll who Jesus would vote for, Mr Obama won by a landslide.

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