South Carolina Voters Prepare for Primary - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/28/04

South Carolina Voters Prepare for Primary

Sen. John Kerry has proven his surprise win in Iowa was not just a fluke. Kerry overpowered Howard Dean to win yesterday's presidential primary in New Hampshire. Looking at the numbers, Kerry came out on top with 39 percent of the vote. Former frontrunner Dean was second with 26 percent. In third, retired general Wesley Clark, just ahead of North Carolina's John Edwards.

Kerry's looking to the future, and making promises to the military. "When I am President, I pledge that those who wore the uniform will have a voice and champion in the Oval Office," he said.

The campaign swings south over the next week, with seven primaries, including South Carolina's next Tuesday. As the candidates come to Carolina. It's your chance to hear what they have to say, and have your say at the polls. Kerry now has two wins under his belt, but Dean, Clark, Edwards, or any of the other candidates could come out on top next Tuesday.

There are a number of issues that seem to be of concern in the Low Country, from the war in Iraq to healthcare, education, the economy and the job market.

"The deficit is very big on my list," said voter Ann Pollitzer. "The war in Iraq." She added her concern for unemployment, saying, "We are losing jobs and businesses are going down and we need a President who is aware of this and who will support small business."

"Important issues to me and my family are education, both primary and adult education and crime control," said fellow resident Kari Rivers.

"The most important issues I see today is number one, healthcare," said John Evans. "There are so many people that are working without healthcare. The other thing is the job market, there are so many people without a job."

But as South Carolina voters continue to form opinions and make their decisions, local Democrats say their main concern is finding a candidate that can win the Presidency. "All the other stands they may have on the issues, all their attributes that candidates may have really don't matter if they can't win in November," said Fred Kuhn with the Beaufort Democratic Party. "So I think that's the number one quality most of us are looking at, to defeat President Bush."

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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