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Clinton campaign shows new life ahead of pivotal Democratic races next week

Clinton campaign shows new life ahead of pivotal Democratic races next week

Hillary Rodham Clinton's struggling campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is showing new signs of life ahead of must-win contests next week, finishing her best month of fundraising ever. But the campaign of her rival, Barack Obama, said he did even better.
The former first lady's campaign reported Thursday that she raised $35 million (euro23 million) in February _ a remarkable recovery in her push to become the United States' first woman president. Obama's string of 11 victories since the Feb. 5 "Super Tuesday" contests, and her announcement that she had loaned her campaign $5 million, had raised questions about the viability of her candidacy.
Obama's campaign reacted promptly, promising an even higher number, but divulging no totals.
Obama was campaigning Friday in Texas, a conservative stronghold and President George W. Bush's home state, where the Democratic race is tight. A day earlier, the first-term senator mocked and sparred with presumptive Republican nominee John McCain and Bush on Iraq and the economy _ a strategy of targeting Republicans in which he appeared to be acting as if the nomination were already his.
The Democratic front-runner stressed that while confident about his chances, he was not writing an obituary for Clinton's White House bid. "Well, I am not. Remember New Hampshire," he said, referring to the January contest in the Northeastern state where Clinton won an upset victory.
Fundraising totals help a candidate campaign aggressively, but are also a reflection of a candidate's popularity. Obama has stunned observers with the vast amount of money he has garnered even without the established campaign infrastructure of his more experienced rival.
Despite Clinton's increased fundraising, Obama is still outspending her in Ohio and Texas.
Obama said if he comes out of Tuesday's four contests _ including Rhode Island and Vermont _ still leading Clinton by 100-150 pledged delegates, he would go to the convention with the most pledged delegates "and believe that we should be the nominee."
Obama, seeking to become the U.S.'s first black president, has 1,378 delegates to Clinton's 1,276. A total of 2,025 are needed to secure the Democratic nomination at the party's convention in late August.
Clinton has pinned her candidacy on those states. Former President Bill Clinton, campaigning for his wife at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island, said: "If she can win a big victory here in Rhode Island, win in Ohio, win in Texas, she'll be on her way to the White House."
The four contests offer a total of 370 delegates.
Obama appeared to be adopting a more confident tone going forward _ mocking Bush's seemingly optimistic economic picture of the economy by saying Bush, McCain and fellow Republicans had brought the country to the "brink of a recession."
The economy has become the dominant theme in the election, so far, eclipsing the Iraq war as Americans grow increasingly wary about recession risks.
Obama was the focus of Republican jabs that tried to present him as naive on foreign affairs. In thinly veiled comments, Bush on Thursday criticized Obama's willingness to meet the leaders of U.S. adversaries Iran and Cuba.
Obama leads Clinton 49 percent to 40 percent according to a national poll released Thursday. The results, which showed only a third of Clinton's supporters believe she will secure the nomination, are a marked contrast to the lead she held in similar polls just three weeks ago. The Pew Research Center poll was conducted from Feb. 20-24 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The Republican race is considered settled in favor of McCain, a senator and former Vietnam prisoner of war. He has a total of 1,014 of the 1,191 delegates needed to clinch the nomination at the Republican convention in September. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, trails with 257 delegates.


Updated : 2020-12-06 07:04 GMT+08:00