Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Clinton Braces for Second Loss; Union, Senators May Back Obama

More on how the Democratic establishment is shifting to Obama (from the front page of today's WSJ):
Clinton Braces for Second Loss; Union, Senators May Back Obama
January 8, 2008; Page A1

NASHUA, N.H. -- With Barack Obama strongly favored -- even within Hillary Clinton's camp -- to win a second straight victory in today's New Hampshire Democratic primary, both rivals are looking to the next battle grounds. But his momentum threatens to swamp her in the next two states as well and shows signs of fracturing her support in the party establishment.

Already some Clinton associates have begun lobbying for her early exit if she loses the primary by a big margin, as polls suggest she could. Several Senate colleagues who have sat on the fence are now in talks with Obama advisers about endorsing the freshman Illinois senator over his more experienced colleague.

Despite raising more than $100 million, Sen. Clinton also faces financial worries as contributions have begun to slacken. But she vows to fight on: Her campaign will pivot to focus more heavily on "Super Tuesday" Feb. 5, when 21 states vote. "We are going all the way to the convention," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said.

Still, the maneuverings marked an extraordinary turn, and underscored the power of small, early-voting states to scramble all bets -- especially in a year when the states' contests are so closely scheduled. Sen. Clinton until now continued to hold wide leads in national polls; a new Gallup poll has her slipping into a dead heat. Her original campaign strategy, aimed at positioning her as the inevitable nominee who would capture the early states and wrap up the nomination before February, is now in shambles.


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