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Obama gaining in Pennsylvania

Thu., April 3, 2008

PHILADELPHIA – Sen. Barack Obama was endorsed Wednesday by a labor union and two Democratic superdelegates, as a poll showed he has cut Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania almost in half since mid-February as he strives to deny her a resounding victory in the state’s presidential primary.

The Illinois senator peeled off an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which has endorsed Clinton. The Philadelphia-based local of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees has about 16,000 members.

Meanwhile, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and former Montana Sen. John Melcher endorsed Obama. As superdelegates to the national convention, they are among the Democratic Party leaders who will decide the nomination because, although Obama leads Clinton in delegates, neither candidate can win solely with pledged delegates they’ve won through primaries and caucuses. Obama handily won Wyoming’s March 8 caucus; Montana holds a Democratic primary June 3.

Since last Friday, Obama has cut Clinton’s lead among superdelegates by four; she has 250 to his 220.

As Obama and Clinton campaigned in Pennsylvania, where the primary is April 22, a new poll showed him cutting into her lead by drawing more support from men and young voters. Clinton’s 16-percentage-point lead in mid-February slid to 12 points in mid-March and is now down to nine points, according to the Quinnipiac University telephone poll, which ended March 31.


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