Bill Clinton speaks at Hillary Clinton campaign event in Evanston

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Former President Bill Clinton visited a synagogue in north suburban Evanston Tuesday, pushing for people to vote early and vote for his wife, Hillary Clinton. (WLS)

Former President Bill Clinton visited a synagogue in north suburban Evanston Tuesday, pushing for people to vote early and vote for his wife, Hillary Clinton.

The former president spoke to a huge crowd at Beth Emet Synagogue. Organizers estimated there were over 1,000 people inside and out.

"We cannot rise together unless we have inclusive economics where everybody can prosper, inclusive social policies where everybody can participate," Clinton said.

During his 45 minute speech President Clinton did not criticize Secretary Clinton's opponent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He said his wife could complete the change that President Barack Obama started seven years ago.

"Clearly, we ought to vote for president for the best change-maker I have ever known," Clinton said. "Be there next week and you'll never be sorry."

Clinton also reminded people that early voting lasts until March 14 - one day before the Illinois primary.

Earlier, Clinton stopped at MacArthur's Restaurant on the city's West Side, where he courted African American voters like those who formed the core of Secretary Clinton's support in the southern state primaries.

"She has experience, lots of experience," says Beverley DaCosta, who is supporting Secretary Clinton.

"I haven't made up my mind yet," said Helen Burkhard, a Northwestern student. "This rally was a very interesting perspective."

The Evanston rally attracted hundreds of students from nearby Northwestern University. Many were torn between supporting Secretary Clinton or Senator Sanders, who has proposed free tuition at public universities.

"How are you going to make that happen? How are we going to actually experience that when we're paying for our college tuition," wondered Northwestern student Nehaarika Mulukutla.

"Ideologically there are a lot of things with Bernie that I agree with, but Hillary to me seems like the more practical option," said student Syd Shaw.

"I haven't made up my mind, but I'm really attracted to Hillary's ability to reach across the aisle and get things done," said student Ross Krasner.

The Chicago Tribune released a poll Tuesday morning showing Secretary Clinton with a 67 percent to 25 percent lead over Senator Sanders in Illinois. Secretary Clinton, who grew up in northwest suburban Park Ridge, has not confirmed any campaign appearances here before the March 15 primary.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is also hard at work in Illinois. On Monday night, volunteers for Clinton's democratic rival hosted a "Talk to Me, Bernie" night on West Roosevelt. City and state leaders joined in, making calls to drum up support.

Republican Donald Trump is coming to Illinois to court voters. He will hold a rally Friday at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Student leaders at the school are planning a peaceful protest.

"In terms of our protest, what we want to do is to absolutely keep it peaceful, keep it non-violent. We don't want to go in there and confront Trump supporters or try to convince them that, 'Hey, what you're doing is wrong,' necessarily. What we want to do is advocate for the groups that Trump's campaign has dehumanized," said Juan Rojas, Stop Trump Chicago.

Other Republican presidential hopefuls will also campaign in Illinois this week. Governor John Kasich will be in Chicago on Wednesday and Ted Cruz will be in the city on Friday.

Related Topics:
politicshillary clintonbill clintonpresidential racedonald trumpbernie sandersted cruzjohn kasichvotingEvanston
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