4 days until Super Tuesday
The fate of next month's Academy Awards ceremony is still up in the air with the ongoing writers strike in Hollywood. But tonight the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles will feature a different kind of suspense, celebrity, and drama.
Ninety minutes, two candidates, 1681 delegates at stake on Super Tuesday. And finally the showdown that voters have been waiting months for – Hillary Clinton v. Barack Obama.
Tonight's Democratic debate in Los Angeles is a match up that could join some of the most legendary one-on-one battles – Ali and Frazier; Hamilton and Burr; Russell and Chamberlain, Kanye West and 50 Cent.
There have been 16 Democratic debates since last April (seriously, only 16…) and the stage certainly was crowded back in Chicago, Hanover and Philadelphia. But now it comes down to two – and the "grown up wing of the Democratic Party" will not be there to referee.
The debate last Monday in South Carolina was intense and personal and came a day before a decisive victory for Obama. Tonight is the final debate before Super Tuesday, and the two Democratic candidates need to take advantage of the opportunity to appeal to a wide range of voters across the country on national cable – without spending a dime.
Clinton and Obama will also try and win over those voters who were leaning toward John Edwards before he withdrew from the race on Wednesday.
With that goal in mind, the candidates may choose to focus on the economy, which has emerged as the key issue voters are concerned about when they go to vote.
Follow all of the action as ABC News' Rick Klein live blogs the debate and you will be able impress your friends on Friday with inside scoop and analysis.
The John McCain/Rudy Giuliani campaign for Best Duo in a Buddy Film continues on "The Tonight Show." McCain and Giuliani stop by to chat with Jay Leno Thursday night
The march to Super Tuesday is shaping up to be an expensive undertaking for the remaining candidates. With 22 states holding Democratic contests and 21 states holding Republican contests, the campaigns need to plan a strategy for ads and travel that maximizes their money and candidates' time.
Midnight marks the deadline for the campaigns to file their financial reports with the FEC and ABC News' Tahman Bradley and Ron Claiborne Report that John McCain had his best fundraising quarter the last three months of 2007, raising $9.9 million for his presidential campaign.
The McCain campaign reported having a little bit less than $3 million in cash on hand on December 31 after spending more than $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, Bradley and Claiborne report. McCain aides say they ended up raising in first the three weeks of January more money than they raised in the fourth quarter. In addition, aides describe the campaign's post-Florida fundraising as "phenomenal."
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Barack Obama's presidential campaign raised a whopping $32 million in January alone. The number is the highest any candidate has raised in a single month and matches Obama's best three-month period from last year.
Obama's campaign manager Plouffe told reporters that the fundraising surge followed Obama's New Hampshire loss to Clinton,
The Clinton campaign has no intention of releasing its January fundraising total, which may signal that they did not beat or match the haul that Obama brought in. The campaign is not required to disclose that number until their first quarter FEC filing on April 15.
ABC News' David Chalian reports that immediately following the New Hampshire primary, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe did set a fundraising goal of $10 million for the month of January. According to the Clinton campaign, they exceeded that goal – but that is all they are saying on the topic of January fundraising.
Mike Huckabee pulled in $6.65 million during the fourth quarter, by far his best fundraising effort of last year, ABC News' Kevin Chupka reports.
On the campaign trail. . .
-- 3:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, St. Louis, MO
-- 6:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Villa Park, IL
-- 7:30 pm ET: Holds media availability, Villa Park, IL
-- 8:00 pm ET: Holds fundraiser with supporters (Closed Press)
-- 4:00 pm ET: Holds event with voters, Denver, CO
-- 5:00 pm ET: Holds media availability, Denver, CO
-- 8:00 pm ET: Meets with voters at event, Missoula, MT
-- 9:30 am ET: Attends rally with voters, Oklahoma City, OK
-- 10:55 am ET: Holds media availability, Oklahoma City, OK
-- 1:30 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Tulsa, OK
-- 2:45 pm ET: Holds media availability, Tulsa, OK
-- 5:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Northwest AK
-- 8:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Springfield, MO
-- 9:15 pm ET: Holds media availability, Springfield, MO
-- 8:20 am ET: Participates in radio interview with KBCO
-- 1:00 pm ET: Attends editorial board interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado Springs, CO
-- 2:15 pm ET: Meets with voters at event, Colorado Springs, CO
-- 3:45 pm ET: Holds media availability, Colorado Springs, CO
-- 7:00 pm ET: Holds media availability, Denver, CO
-- 8:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Denver, CO
As for the Democrats. . .
-- 3:15 pm ET: Attends economic summit with voters, Albuquerque, NM
-- 8:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Santa Fe, NM
SENATOR TED KENNEDY (campaigning for Obama)
-- Attends events with voters, East Los Angeles and Oakland, CA
-- 3:30 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, San Diego, CA
-- 8:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, San Jose, CA
-- 10:00 pm ET: Attends fundraiser with supporters, San Francisco, CA
At the White House. . .
-- 9:35 am ET: Signs the Presidential Proclamation in honor of American Heart Month, Kansas City, MO
-- 10:00 am ET: Participates in a breakfast with business leaders, Kansas City, MO
-- 11:20 am ET: Tours Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City, MO
-- 11:55 am ET: Delivers statement on the economy, Kansas City, MO
-- 1:20 pm ET: Attends a Missouri Victory and San Graves for Congress reception, Parkville, MO (Closed Press)
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES AT ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Republican Discontent: Conservatives Dislike McCain, Mistrust Romney LINK
ABC News' Brian Ross, Maddy Sauer and Rhonda Schwartz Report: Clinton Remained Silent as Wal-Mart Fought Unions LINK
ABC News' Marcus Baram Reports: Will They Behave or Brawl at Tonight's Debate? LINK
ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: Live Blogging During Democratic Presidential Debate LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: Bill Clinton Undeterred by 9/11 Hecklers LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Bill: "We Just Have to Slow Down Our Economy" to Fight Global Warming LINK
ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf Reports: Reid on Obama on Clinton: 'I Need Them Back' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Well, This Will Get Him the Votes of All My College Friends LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Obama Raises $32 Million in January LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Being Accused of "Parsing" by the Clinton Campaign LINK
ABC News' Bret Hovell Reports: Schwarzenegger Endorses McCain LINK
ABC News' Tahman Bradley and Ron Claiborne Report: McCain Finishes '07 with Strong Fundraising Haul LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper Reports: Obama Was THE Most Liberal Senator Last Year LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller Reports: Obama: Immigration Has Become a 'Political Football' LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO AT ABCNEWS.COM
War of Words
Obama and Clinton change up tactics in advance of tonight's debate. LINK
The Governator Endorses McCain
One day after Rudy Giuliani's endorsement, Schwarzenegger backs McCain. LINK
Clinton Not Always Union-Friendly
A new report says Hilary Clinton was not pro-union while on Wal-Mart's board. LINK
Hillary Clinton Says She Can Control Bill
Says it won't be a co-presidency: "There is only one President at a time." LINK
Clinton Says She'll Fix Economic 'Free Fall'
Sen. Clinton releases ad saying she's the candidate who can fix the economy. LINK
Clinton Fires Back at 9/11 Hecklers
President Bill Clinton tells rioters: "Nine-eleven was not an inside job." LINK
Romney and McCain Get Nasty
The Republican candidates traded jibes during Wednesday night debate. LINK
Clinton's Corporate Side
The New York senator served on Wal-Mart's board of directors for six years. LINK
Political Round Table: Down to 2 Dems
Cokie Roberts and Sam Donaldson discuss the showdown between Clinton and Obama. LINK
Clinton and Obama's Differences
The two Democratic front-runners have differing views on the presidency. LINK