BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC Onepolitics show


Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 11:53 GMT
This week's programme...
Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
The Politics Show

Jon Sopel

Hello and welcome to New York City, home to the Politics Show (for one week only) this Sunday, ahead of Super Tuesday.

On an icy night, against a bleak backdrop - the East River on one side of the floodlit Astroturf, heavily graffitied public housing on the other - I stood and watched a team from the Bronx, another from Brooklyn, playing touch American football.

The players were blue collar workers getting together for a weekly kick around (although of course one of the vagaries of American football is that you don't kick anything - why do they call it FOOTball?).

The scene seemed a million miles from the 'vote for me' ads on TV from the various presidential hopefuls and their manicured debates.

Obama and Hilary placards
It is all up in the air and all to play for

And because of what they were wearing, and the game they were playing, a million miles from British life too.

Familiar issues

And then you listen to their concerns: the war in Iraq, the state of the economy, affordable housing in New York, where even if you are a teacher or nurse you can't get a foot on the housing ladder.

And in a city that is possibly the greatest melting pot on earth - the growing unease over illegal immigration.

The accents are thick, impenetrable New York, the issues, extremely familiar.

Tapping into those concerns for the Democrats are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Jon Sopel went to New York ahead of Super Tuesday to find out more about the Whitehouse hopefuls and talk to the Reverend Jesse Jackson...

Either way, history will be made - either a woman candidate or an African American.

But is America ready to vote for a black candidate?

I will be talking to the campaigner and firebrand, the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

And in London, David Thompson will be considering whether British politics is ready for a Barack Obama.

God on their side?

On the Republican side, the crucial constituency to win over is the "Bible Belt".

When it comes to religion, it is the one area where our politics is so different from the US.

To misquote Alastair Campbell - we may not do God - in America they do.

Ralph Reed
Ralph Reed has friends in high places

The Christian vote is hugely powerful, and has helped deliver a number of Republican victories in recent years.

Let me throw one statistic at you.

In the last Presidential election, white, church-going evangelicals (and in that vast central bit of America there are lots of them - and they turn out), 82% voted for George W Bush.

Will that vote be as cohesive this time round?

I have spoken to one of the most important power brokers of that vote, the former head of the Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed.

Join us this Sunday at noon (Sundays are "Super" too), live from the Big Apple.

The Politics Show on Sunday 03 February at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.

Send us your comments:

Your E-mail address:

Disclaimer: The BBC may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all emails will be published.

Politics Show - Happy Birthday - to us!

Jesse Jackson: 'Obama gets my nod.'

Obama on idea of 'dream ticket' with Clinton


Politics from around the UK...

Select from the list below to view state level results.

The Politics Show Newsletter
14 Jan 07 |  Politics Show

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific