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Clinton on Pennsylvania: 'I have to win'

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« on: April 22, 2008, 03:04:34 pm »

Clinton on Pennsylvania: 'I have to win'

Story Highlights
NEW: State election officials expect record turnout

Sen. Clinton says she must win Tuesday's primary in Pennsylvania

CNN's "poll of polls" finds Clinton ahead of Obama by 9 percentage points

Pundits: If Clinton wins by fewer than 10 points, nothing changes in race

Next Article in Politics

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton on Tuesday acknowledged her White House bid is on the line in Pennsylvania, as primary voters headed to the polls.

Sen. Hilllary Clinton visits with people at a polling station in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, Tuesday.

1 of 2 "Well, I have to win," Clinton told ABC. "I believe that's my task. And I'm going to do everything I can to win."

"I'm going to work as hard as I can between now and the times the polls close to encourage people to get out and vote and make sure that they're going to help pick the next president," she later told reporters during a stop in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

A CNN "poll of polls" on Tuesday suggested Clinton is in a position to pull off the victory over Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama.

The polls of polls, which averages the three latest surveys in Pennsylvania, placed Clinton ahead of Obama by 9 percentage points, 51 percent to 42 percent, with 7 percent of voters undecided.

The polls in Pennsylvania close at 8 p.m. ET. Special coverage of the Pennsylvania primary results will be begin on CNN TV at 7 p.m. ET.

The race has generated high interest in the state. More than 300,000 new voters have registered as Democrats, and state election officials are expecting record turnout.  Read John King's analysis of how the voting may play out

In recent weeks, Clinton has fended off calls to drop out of the race as the increasingly bruising primary fight raised worries from within the party that the daily cycle of charge-and-countercharge could hurt the Democrats' chances in the general election.

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Obama leads in the delegate count -- 1,648 to 1,504, CNN estimates -- as well as the popular vote and the number of states won so far this primary season.

If Clinton is victorious, it would allow her to pick up a majority of the 158 delegates at stake in Pennsylvania make a small dent in Obama's lead, and more.  Call races for yourself and see how delegates add up

"If she wins Pennsylvania by a hefty margin, she can prove she can win the traditional Democratic constituencies needed to win the election, mostly white working-class voters," said Gloria Borger, a CNN senior political analyst.

Could a double-digit victory make the senator from New York the comeback kid once again?

"If Clinton wins by more than 10 points, which was her margin in neighboring Ohio and New Jersey, her campaign will have new momentum and she will soldier on," said Bill Schneider, also a CNN senior political analyst.  Watch how the polls show Clinton leading

"If Clinton wins by single digits, we're in a political twilight zone. Nothing changes."

But if Obama scores an upset, "Clinton will face tremendous pressure to end her campaign rather than damage the party," Schneider said.  Watch Clinton on her final day of campaigning

An Obama win also could push many of the remaining undecided superdelegates into his camp. Neither candidate is expected to win the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by the end of the primary season in June.

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The superdelegates -- Democratic governors, members of Congress and party leaders and officials -- then could decide the nomination.

Obama declined to predict victory in Pennsylvania, but said that the tightening of the race amounted to a moral victory and that he would maintain his lead in the delegate count and the popular vote.

"Going into this six weeks ago you know the Clinton campaign suggested that they were unbeatable. . . . At the end of the night you should be able to measure, given how many contests are left, whether they can make up that ground," he said Tuesday during a stop in Pittsburgh.

On Monday Obama, who outspent Clinton 2 to 1 in the state, said he's not going to win.  Watch as Obama vies for blue-collar votes

During the intervening six weeks between the last primary in Mississippi and Tuesday's primary, Clinton and Obama have stepped up attacks against each other.

Despite the heated nature of the campaigning, Clinton said the party would unite once the nominee emerged.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that we have a Democrat sworn in on January 20, 2009 . . . And I will make the strongest possible case across this country that whatever differences Sen. Obama and I may have . . . that pales in comparison to the differences we have with Sen. McCain," she said Tuesday.

Many factors are in Clinton's favor in Pennsylvania. The state seems to be Clinton country, judging by demographics. The state has a lot of older, working-class and Catholic voters, all of whom have made up Clinton's base so far.  Watch where the crucial voting areas are

Clinton also has the backing of many of the state's top Democrats, including Gov. Ed Rendell and the mayors of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the state's two largest cities.  Watch how Gov. Rendell and Gov. Richardson views the race

But there are some factors that help Obama. He's favored to win Philadelphia, with its large African-American population, and he could do well in that city's suburbs, thanks to upscale voters who tend to support him.

Obama also could benefit from the large number of new voters who have registered, and he has the backing of the state's only Democratic senator, Bob Casey Jr.

After Pennsylvania, Indiana and North Carolina hold votes in two weeks as the primary season rolls on toward its end in June.

Then the wait until the national convention begins. E-mail to a friend

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 03:09:25 pm by Adrienne » Report Spam   Logged

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