2 days until the Nevada caucuses
2 days until South Carolina GOP primary
With only two days to go until Nevada's potentially "tie-breaking" Democratic caucuses, Barack Obama received a big boost on Thursday.
A federal judge ruled that the Nevada Democratic Party can go forward with nine at-large precincts on the Vegas strip that are intended to help thousands of hotel-casino workers attend a caucus while at work rather than having to go to their home precincts to participate.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton had challenged the at-large districts in court claiming that it was unfair for shift workers on the Strip to be able to caucus at their workplaces when similar provisions have not been made in other parts of the state.
The decision is expected to help Obama because he has the support of the Culinary Workers union which represents the casino workers.
Obama reacted to the ruling following a roundtable discussion in San Francisco, Calif.
"I'll be honest with you," said Obama. "We had nothing to do with setting up these rules. We simply were planning to win under the rules that had been set up. Some of the people who set up the rules apparently didn't think wed be as competitive as we were and tried to change them last minute."
"But you know," he added, "I think the judge was clear that you can't change the rules six days before the caucus and that any alteration would have disenfranchised maids, dishwashers, bellhops who work on the strip, so just in terms of politics, we are confident of our organization on the ground. But in terms of policy, I think it was the right decision to make sure that as many people in the caucuses participate as possible."
Clinton spokesman Jay Carson reacted to the ruling by noting that the former first lady's campaign was not a party to the lawsuit. He also reaffirmed Clinton's belief that it is unfair for shift workers on the Strip to have access to an at-large precinct while shift workers elsewhere in the state do not.
"While we were not involved in this lawsuit, and have always said that we would play by the rules that we're given, it has always been our hope that every Nevadan should have equal access and opportunity to participate in the caucus," said a statement from Clinton spokesman Jay Carson.
"Make no mistake," he continued, "the current system that prohibits some shift workers from being able to participate, while allowing others to do so, would seem to benefit other campaigns. More importantly it is unfair. We also are concerned with recent news reports about voter intimidation tactics that would further discourage some Nevadans from participating on Saturday. Our strategy remains the same -- we want as many people as possible to participate in the caucus, and we are going to reach out to as many Nevadans as possible in an effort to do as well as possible on Saturday."
"The Obama campaign," he added, "has been clear in its belief that whoever wins the culinary union endorsement will win Nevada. We will leave it up to the people of Nevada to make that decision."
Somewhere between 4-6.5 percent of the total delegates at stake in Saturday's caucuses will come from the at-large precincts, according to Bill Buck, a consultant to the Nevada Democratic Party.
As for the South Carolina race, MSNBC/McClatchy is out with a new poll showing Obama in front on the Democratic side and John McCain and Mike Huckabee in a tight race on the Republican side:
"If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch." --Romney adviser Warren Tompkins to ABC's Jake Tapper
On the campaign trail…
-- 8:45 am ET: Attends event with voters, Florence, SC
-- 11:15 am ET: Attends event with voters, Myrtle Beach, SC
-- 2:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Hilton Head, SC
-- 5:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Mount Pleasant, SC
-- 8:00 am ET: Attends event with Lt. Governor Andre Bauer and voters, Bluffton, SC
-- 10:00 am ET: Attends rally with Lt. Governor Andre Bauer and voters, Aiken, SC
-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Greenville, SC
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Rock Hill, SC
-- 9:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Columbia, SC
-- 10:40 am ET: Holds rally with voters, Elko, NV
-- 1:45 pm ET: Holds rally with voters, Reno, NV
-- 5:00 pm ET: Holds a space policy roundtable, Cape Canaveral, FL
-- 6:15 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Titusville, FL
-- 9:00 am ET: Participates in radio town hall event, Seneca, SC
-- 11:15 am ET: Tours downtown Pickens, Pickens, SC
-- 1:05 pm ET: Meets with voters at event, Spartanburg, SC
-- 3:05 pm ET: Tours downtown Greenville, Greenville, SC
-- 6:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Greenville, SC
-- Conducts radio interviews in multiple markets nationwide
-- 6:15 pm ET: Meets with voters at event, Charleston, SC
-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends rally with veterans and voters, Charleston, SC
-- 9:00 pm ET: Holds media availability, Charleston, SC
-- 9:00 am ET: Appears on KTVN Channel 2 morning news, Reno, NV
-- 9:30 am ET: Appears on KOLO Channel 8 morning news, Reno, NV (Tentative)
-- 7:00 pm ET: Appears on the Bill Manders Show on KKOH 780AM, Reno, NV
As for the Democrats…
-- 11:15 am ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Reno, NV
-- 2:30 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Elko, NV
-- 8:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Las Vegas, NV
-- 10:00 pm ET: Attends annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet, Las Vegas, NV
SENATOR JOHN KERRY (campaigning for Obama)
-- 1:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, North Las Vegas, NV
-- 12:00 pm ET: Hosts roundtable to discuss the economy, Las Vegas, NV
-- 4:00 pm ET: Hosts rally with voters, Elko, NV
-- 8:00 pm ET: Hosts rally with voters, Reno, NV
-- 12:00 am ET: Hosts rally with former President Clinton and voters, Henderson, NV
-- 12:00 pm ET: Holds community event with voters, Las Vegas, NV
-- 7:15 pm ET: Holds community event with voters, Oklahoma City, OK
POLITICAL ARTICLES ON ABCNEWS.COM:
ABC News' Sunlen Miller, David Chalian, and Teddy Davis Report: Obama Boosted by Nevada Ruling LINK
ABC News' Ron Claiborne Reports: Stand-Up Guy: John McCain's Campaign Trail Comedy LINK
ABC News' Rick Klein, Sunlen Miller, and Jennifer Parker Report: Patrick Leahy Endorses Barack Obama LINK
ABC News' Kevin Chupka and Jay Shaylor Report: Huckabee Endorsed by Controversial S.C. Politician LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: "Don't Suck." LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Statler and Waldorf LINK
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Despite Controversy, Paul Supporters Have a Dream LINK
ABC News' Matt Stuart Reports: Romney: 'I Don't Have Lobbyists Running My Campaign' LINK http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/01/romney-i-dont-h.html
ABC News' Raelyn Johnson Reports: Edwards Jabs Dem Frontrunners LINK
ABC News' Christine Byun Reports: Thompson Cries Moral Foul on Huckabee Group LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM:
Speaking with Black Voters: ABC's Jake Tapper picks voters' brains on gender, race. LINK
Presidential Race Tightens Up: This year's election may be among the most hotly contested races in history. LINK
Investigating Veterans' Charities: Congress holds hearings on foundations raising money for wounded veterans. LINK
Economy in Trouble: The Federal Reserve is likely to lower interest rates to stave off a recession. LINK
Recession Fears Could Become Reality: Lawmakers on Capitol Hill call for action to jump-start struggling U.S. economy. LINK
Hillary Clinton, the Airline Attendant: The presidential candidate impersonates a flight steward while on a plane. LINK
Rage! Bill Clinton Hot Over Lawsuit: The former president gets into a testy exchange over a Nevada voting lawsuit. LINK