Southern Comfort for Southern Candidates

February 10, 2004 -- Posted at 5:16 pm CST

JONESBORO - Two southern states are holding primaries today; Virginia and Tennessee. The leader of the Arkansas Democratic Party says he expects southern candidates Wesley Clark and John Edwards to remain in the race until at least March ninth, a week after Super Tuesday.

Wesley Clark was making some last minute pitches in Tennessee today.

"If you put me on third base in this election, I'll bring it home," said Clark.

Campaigning in Memphis yesterday, Clark conceded he's the underdog heading into today's primaries. Polls show Clark trailing behind John Kerry and John Edwards.

Delegates who have committed their votes to Wesley Clark say they're not ready to give up, despite questions about whether he should drop out of the race. The Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Arkansas says pundits and media are in too much of a rush to declare Massachusetts Senator John Kerry the nominee.

Kerry, however, has already captured 10 wins to Clark's one in Oklahoma.

Jerry Bowen of Jonesboro knows a little something about working for a native son's presidential campaign. He was the Deputy Manager for Veterans' Affairs during Clinton's run for President in 1992.

"With President Clinton doing what he did in 92' and 96', on the national level I think they may be a little suspicious of another President coming from Arkansas," said Bowen.

Bowen remembers what it's like when your candidate is running behind in the polls.

"They just have to keep the eye on the ball, and work as hard as they can. I've been there done that and it's not a particularly pleasant time," said Bowen.

Of course Clinton went on to win the nomination, despite rumors of infidelity. Bowen says morale in the Clark camp may be somewhat different seeing he has not garnered many victories.

"It will be a tough decision to make if General Clark doesn't win one of the two primaries tonight," said Bowen.