Today on the presidential campaign trail


BLUE BELL, Pa. (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton invoked Pearl Harbor, the Berlin Wall and Osama bin Laden as she reached for a victory in Pennsylvania's Democratic presidential primary to recharge her comeback effort.

Barack Obama said she would probably win but that he hoped to keep it close in Tuesday's voting.

Clinton made her closing arguments Monday for the biggest primary left on the election schedule, running an ad with historic images to ask voters whom they would trust most in the White House during a time of trouble. It's the same tactic she used successfully in the "3 a.m." ad she aired in the closing days of the Ohio and Texas contests last month.

It was the first time a Democratic candidate has used bin Laden in a campaign commercial in the 2008 race for the White House. The terrorist appears along with images from the stock market crash, the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the Soviet threat, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and Hurricane Katrina as an announcer tells voters the political contest is for "the most important job in the world."

Pennsylvania is the largest of the 10 contests remaining, with about 4 million registered Democrats and 158 delegates up for grabs in the primary.

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Economy top worry, but barely affecting votes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy has soared past Iraq as the top problem on the minds of voters.

But do the growing economic worries give a particular edge to any presidential candidate? Not so far, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo News poll released Monday.

With growing layoffs, tight credit and an ailing housing market, 67 percent say the economy is an extremely important issue, up from 46 percent in November. Gasoline prices follow close behind at 59 percent.

The war in Iraq - the dominant issue for several years - stands at 48 percent.

About two-thirds of those making under $100,000 annually attach extreme importance to the economy, as do nearly six in 10 earning more. Six in 10 Republicans and three-quarters of Democrats do the same.

Yet those who have become extremely concerned about the economy since last fall show no significant difference from everyone else in backing a presidential candidate. Both groups divide about evenly between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, and between McCain and the other Democrat, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Two polls show Clinton with lead in Pa.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two polls show Hillary Rodham Clinton maintaining her lead over Barack Obama in the Democratic presidential race in Pennsylvania.

A Quinnipiac University poll finds Clinton at 51 percent compared to Obama's 44 percent on the eve of the Keystone State's primary. Clinton's lead is slightly larger in a Suffolk University poll, 52 percent to 42 percent.

The race has remained virtually unchanged in the Quinnipiac poll since April 8, when a surge by Obama stopped. The poll also indicated Clinton has an advantage with women and voters 45 and older, while Obama performed better among men and younger voters.

Twenty percent of respondents in the Suffolk University survey said they would vote for John McCain, the Republican nominee-in-waiting, if their choice fails to win the Democratic nomination.

The poll by Boston-based Suffolk University had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Quinnipiac University's poll had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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In Selma, McCain praises civil rights marchers

SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Republican John McCain on Monday recalled the bloody beatings of civil rights marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge as he began a weeklong tour of communities he said suffer from poverty and inattention from presidential candidates.

Selma hardly has been forgotten by the Democrats in the 2008 presidential campaign. Last year, Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Clinton visited Selma to mark the anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" march that took place on March 7, 1965.

McCain spoke to a crowd of about 100 people who were mostly white although, as the campaign noted, Selma's population is 70 percent black.

Asked about the makeup of the crowd, McCain said: "I am aware the African-American vote has been very small in favor of the Republican Party. I am aware of the challenges, and I am aware of the fact that there will be many people who will not vote for me, but I'm going to be the president of all the people."

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Looking for votes in Pa.'s demographics

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Older, whiter and more female than the nation as a whole, Pennsylvania looks like Hillary Rodham Clinton country. Wealthier, better educated and more black than the rest of the state, Pennsylvania's thickly settled southeast corner could belong to Barack Obama.

For six weeks, the two Democratic presidential rivals have courted their political bases and sought to carve up each other's support with an increasingly tart tone. After both deluged the state with ads, crisscrossed it on buses, planes and trains, and had a parade of surrogates march through it, Clinton holds a slight lead.

Pennsylvania's primary Tuesday has the potential of being decisive, or it could extend a campaign that has lasted far longer than most ever imagined.

Clinton is looking to validate her case that only she can win big state primaries. Obama, who leads in delegates and in the national popular vote, wants to shut down Clinton so he can turn his attention to the presumed Republican nominee, John McCain.

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THE NUMBERS

Barack Obama has a 7-point lead nationally over Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic presidential race, 49 percent to 42 percent, in the latest Gallup Poll. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll was conducted April 18-20 and involved interviews with 1,238 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. The survey was a tracking poll, in which Gallup interviews voters each night and uses the results from the three most recent evenings.

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THE DELEGATE BREAKDOWN

Barack Obama picked up 2.5 delegates on Monday; Hillary Rodham Clinton picked up 1.5 delegates. Clinton leads among superdelegates, 258-233, but Obama leads in the overall competition, 1,648.5-1,509.5, with 2,025 needed for the nomination.

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THE DEMOCRATS

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama campaign in Pennsylvania.

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THE REPUBLICANS

John McCain is in Alabama.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically interdependent." - Republican John McCain, in Selma, Ala.

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STAT OF THE DAY:

Pennsylvania has nearly 700,000 college students on more than 150 campuses; exit polls indicate that Barack Obama has an advantage with this group.

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Compiled by Ann Sanner.

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