Presidential candidates hoping for big wins Tuesday

March 3, 2008 11:42:28 AM PST
In less than two days, the final, meaningful contests in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination will take place. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will square off in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island primaries. Over 400 delegates, or a fifth of the total needed to win, are on the line. For many analysts and campaigners, so is the Clinton campaign.

The candidate once touted as the Democrats "inevitable" nominee is now the underdog. So, in Ohio, Senator Clinton appeared with a boxer who was knocked down in the championship fight he eventually won. The presidential hopeful was barnstorming around Ohio over the weekend, and like the Obama campaign, mounting a massive get-out-the-vote operation.

"I've given a lot of speeches in my life, and sometimes, people come up and say, 'That was so inspiring.' I said, 'That's great, but that's just words.'"

Polls show the races have tightened in Ohio and Texas, where former President Bill Clinton attended church with his and Senator Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, Sunday morning then pressed on to five campaign events.

Fellow Democrats counted the hours until Tuesday.

"I just think that D-Day is Tuesday. Whoever has the most delegates after Tuesday, a clear lead, should be, in my judgment, the nominee," said Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

That assessment from Richardson, a former presidential nominee and member of Bill Clinton's cabinet has gotten wide play in the lead up to what's being dubbed "Super Tuesday -- The Re-match." But, March 4, Senator Obama will not be the underdog. He is leading in the delegate count.

When someone asking Senator Obama a question addressed him as "Mr. President" recently, the Illinois senator responded:

"It's got a nice ring to it. But we've got a lot of work to do. Depends on what Ohio does."

To address the issue of experience, Obama said:

"I have to say, when it came to making the most important foreign policy decision of our generation, the decision to invade Iraq, Senator Clinton got it wrong,"

Clinton campaign aides and advisors admitted it was likely there would be enormous pressure on her to pull out of the race if she does not win big Tuesday.

That day and night, ABC7 Chicago's Andy Shaw will have live reports from Texas.