State News

Clinton, Obama campaign in North Carolina

Hillary Rodham Clinton made a four-city campaign swing through the state Monday, while rival Barack Obama visited three other cities.

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Democratic presidential campaigns swarmed North Carolina on Monday.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made a four-city campaign swing through the state, while rival Sen. Barack Obama visits three other cities. The state's May 6 primary will divide 115 delegates between the candidates.

Clinton spoke at a fire station in Graham before visiting Salisbury, Concord and Charlotte.

“The people of the United States have to hire a president. We do it through a campaign, which is kind of like a long job interview," Clinton told the crowd Monday evening at Charlotte's Time Warner Arena. "There are millions, tens of millions, of Americans who need a president to care about their jobs and their health care and their education."

Obama spoke in Wilmington, Wilson and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I am accountable to you. You have funded my campaign, which means it is your voices that I am paying attention to. Your voices that I’m listening to,” Obama told a packed gymnasium at Beddingfield High School in Wilson.

Obama talked some about Clinton, but more about Sen. John McCain at the UNC rally, bashing his idea for a gas tax holiday.

"That’s just politics of the moment, politics to get you through an election. We need better leadership than that,” Obama said while speaking to a crowd of more than 18,000.

"I believe in Obama,” voter Saundra Dockery said at the Chapel Hill rally.

“People say 'people 55 and older go for Hillary.' I'm 55 and I'm with Barack,” voter Connie Glisson said.

Obama leads Clinton in pledged delegates, but she has the advantage among superdelegates with about a third yet to make up their minds.

The AP-Ipsos poll found Clinton and Obama about even in the race for the Democratic nomination. Underscoring deep divisions within the Democratic Party – and a potentially negative longer-term impact – 30 percent of Clinton supporters and 21 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for McCain in November if their preferred candidate didn't win the nomination.

The survey released Monday gives the New York senator and former first lady a fresh talking point as she works to raise much-needed campaign cash and persuade pivotal undecided superdelegates to side with her in the drawn-out Democratic primary fight.

Helped by independents, young people and seniors, Clinton gained ground this month in a hypothetical match with McCain, the GOP nominee-in-waiting. She now leads McCain, 50 percent to 41 percent, while Obama remains virtually tied with McCain, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Both Democrats were roughly even with McCain in the previous poll about three weeks ago.

Since then, Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary, raising questions anew about whether Obama can attract broad swaths of voters needed to triumph in such big states come the fall when the Democratic nominee will go up against McCain.