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In a red territory, a blue spot lies

President’s fans, who are dwindling, rally at a local supporter’s home

Posted: January 27, 2010 10:13 p.m.
Updated: January 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.
In the primarily conservative Santa Clarita Valley, Sherryann Lima’s home in Saugus served as the only officially sanctioned haven for fans of President Barack Obama.

About 20 people exalted Obama during Lima’s watch party — the only State of the Union event in the Santa Clarita Valley listed on

“I know there are Democrats here, but we’re few and far between,” Donna Covert said with a laugh.

Those at the party dismissed Obama’s declining approval rating in the hours before the president was set to make what many are saying will be his most important speech since he was elected.

Meanwhile, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, expected “strongly-worded promises for greater fiscal responsibility,” he said in a statement.

“My colleagues and I intend to hold Democrats accountable to those statements, because it will take real action to rein in the ballooning debt we see today,” he said in a statement.

At Lima’s party, she and others sat around a brown sectional sofa, listening in on a conference call by Organizing for America Executive Director Mitch Stewart and adviser David Plouffe. Their speeches played on the speaker of Lima’s cell phone, placed precariously on a pillar candle on her coffee table.

They said they expected an inspiring speech, during which Obama would talk about jobs and health care.

Vietnam veteran and former Republican Dennis Bartash said Obama has a good head on his shoulders.

“With what he’s been dealt, I think he’s done a fantastic job,” Bartash said.

And what of the polls saying Obama’s approval rating has dropped? The most recent Gallup poll shows Obama has a 48 percent approval rating.

“Personally, I think there’s a lot of polls out there,” Lima said. “What I’m hearing of the polls and what people are saying are two different things. I think he’s done a wonderful job, with all the opposition he’s had.”


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