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PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Clinton, Obama Turn Focus To Area's Feb. 12 Contests

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) plans to hold a rally tomorrow in Northern Virginia. Yesterday, her campaign unveiled the names of 100 people who will serve on her Virginia steering committee.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) plans to hold a rally tomorrow in Northern Virginia. Yesterday, her campaign unveiled the names of 100 people who will serve on her Virginia steering committee. (Elise Amendola - AP)
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By Tim Craig and Rosalind S. Helderman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama battled for support from both sides of the Potomac River yesterday as the Democratic candidates for president started shifting their focus to the Feb. 12 primaries in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

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With polls indicating that neither Clinton nor Obama will emerge as the clear winner of Super Tuesday today, they are turning their attention to next Tuesday, when 238 delegates in Maryland, Virginia and the District will be at stake.

The Clinton and Obama campaigns opened offices, announced endorsements and staff and began planning appearances.

Because of high concentrations of African American and well-educated voters, many political strategists say Obama (D-Ill.) could have an early advantage in all three states, but Clinton strategists say the New York Democrat will campaign hard across the region. Clinton strategists are especially optimistic about their chances in Virginia, where her campaign dispatched several operatives experienced in state elections.

"We believe we can do very well" in Virginia, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said.

Clinton is planning to hold a rally tomorrow in Northern Virginia, though a location has not been determined. Yesterday, the Clinton campaign unveiled a list of 100 Democratic advocates from across Virginia who will serve on her state campaign steering committee.

Obama was endorsed by nearly half the Democrats in the Virginia Senate, including one who had previously backed Clinton and several who had supported former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), who ended his campaign last week.

In Maryland, Obama supporters opened a headquarters in vote-rich Prince George's County. The campaign also launched Maryland Latinos for Obama yesterday, hoping to build support among the state's 337,000 Hispanics. Four prominent Latino politicians from Prince George's are helping to lead the effort.

"Latinos in Maryland and across the country see in Barack Obama a candidate that can unite Americans and bring people together to address our country's challenges," Del. Victor R. Ramirez (D) said.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Baltimore) rallied some Obama supporters in Annapolis last night, saying his bid is not just "a campaign for the president of the United States.

"It's bigger than you," Cummings said. "This is a movement for the future of America."

In Virginia, Clinton's steering committee includes advocates from every region of the state, including former attorney general Mary Sue Terry and Dels. Adam P. Ebbin and Albert C. Eisenberg, who represent parts of Arlington County.


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