SNEAK PEEK: Duking It Out In Dairyland


With Tuesday's Wisconsin primary fast approaching, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama give back-to-back speeches to the state's Democratic Party on Saturday.

Clinton goes at 8:30 pm ET and Obama follows her at 9:10 pm ET.

Speaking about Wisconsin, a Clinton adviser told ABC News on Friday, "I don't know expect her to win but you never know."

He then invoked the former first lady's Granite State comeback.

"We were told by our chief strategist that we were going to lose New Hampshire -- and that was the day before."

This adviser was someone who argued very strongly that Clinton could not "let Wisconsin go by the board."

His side prevailed and the campaign has paid phones plus the candidate on the ground for several days before Tuesday's balloting.

Clinton is also up in the state with a hard-hitting ad which goes after Obama not only on health care but also on energy and Social Security.

In particular, Clinton's ad hammers Obama for voting for a Bush energy bill which included what Clinton calls "billions in Bush giveaways to the oil companies."

The ad also seizes on an Obama appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in which the Illinois Democrat said benefit cuts and a higher retirement age should be on the table when it comes to fixing the retirement program.

(In that interview, the only thing Obama would not put on the table was privatization. Since then, of course, Obama has indicated that his plan for shoring up Social Security is to impose the 12.4 percent Social Security tax on people's entire income and not stopping at $97,500).

Watch the ad here.

While Clinton has taken benefit cuts and a higher retirement age off the table, she has not matched Obama in offering a specific policy proposal.

A decent performance in Wisconsin is important to Clinton because the March 4th state of Texas is not necessarily the firewall that she would like it to be because of how it apportions delegates.

One-third of the state's 193 pledged Democratic delegates flow from precinct caucuses which take place as soon as the polls close in the state (an aspect which benefits Obama who has proven more adept at motivating caucusgoers).

The rest of the delegates are awarded by state senate district based on turnout in the state's two previous elections. This is also expected to benefit Obama because the state senate districts that are predominantly African American have more delegates than Clinton's stronghold in heavily Hispanic areas.

As for the Republicans, John McCain will pick up an endorsement from former President George H.W. Bush on Monday in Houston, Texas.

McCain's ideas on health care have received so little media attention in this campaign that former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, an Obama surrogate, mischaracterized his proposal while speaking Friday on a conference call with reporters.
Referring to low-income Americans, Bradley said of McCain's plan, "They get nothing out of that proposal."

He also said: "It's just another tax giveaway to people who can afford to save and those are primarily people who are upper income."

While Bradley's criticism would have applied to former GOP contenders Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani who proposed tax deductions, it does not apply to McCain.

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