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Saturday, August 23, 2008

 2:31 PM 

Dems hope for unity at national convention

Gov. Jim Doyle is set to lead the Wisconsin delegation to the Democratic National Convention out west this week, where the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential candidate will be made official on Thursday.

As both parties move into the home stretch of the presidential campaign, the Democrats want to put their arduous primary behind them. Getting past the primary could come to a head when Hillary Clinton's name is put before the convention in a roll call.

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Joe Wineke said many Clinton delegates may cast their convention votes for the New York senator, but rejected the notion that any negativity from Clinton supporters would cloud the Denver event.

Wineke said he expected Clinton, who will speak to the convention on Tuesday, to ask her supporters to endorse Obama on the final roll call and estimated that "about half of them will."

"We are going to have a very cordial vote," Wineke said. "I think it's good for unity."

Wineke said that the unity of the Democratic Party is the most important thing to showcase to voters during convention week, but also said that Democrats must convey that they will deal with the economy. He said the convention also presents an opportunity to continue introducing Obama to voters.

"I'm absolutely convinced that the more people get to know Senator Obama, the more they get to like him," Wineke said. "Because the vast majority are on his side on the issues."

-- By Andy Szal

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