Pennsylvania Primary Polls Open: 7:00 am ET Polls Close: 8:00 pm ET Pledged Delegates at Stake in Primary: 158
It's only fitting that in the final hours before the polls open in Pennsylvania, after weeks of trying to position themselves as Friends of the Everyman Voter, Drinkers of Local Beers and Shots, and Bowlers of Strikes, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will make one last pitch to Pennsylvania voters with appearances on Monday's broadcast of WWE's Raw.
Unfortunately they will not appear together in person as a late addition to the King of the Ring, eight-man single elimination tournament. But both candidates taped a message that will run on Monday's live show and in their messages they show they (or at least a 20-something staffer) are on top of the latest WWE dramatic plot lines (see: Randy Orton).
Not a bad way to reach over 3 million eyeballs, have a little fun and compare the long Democratic nomination race to a smackdown, dragged out professional wrestling match.
"You know, this is a historic time for America. It's not just that the reign of Randy Orton may soon be coming to an end. It's that at this moment, in this election, we have a chance to finally end business-as-usual in Washington. For a long time now, we've had a politics where our leaders go after each other like they're competing to become King of the Ring instead of coming together to provide universal health care, fix our economy, and solve our other problems. That's what I'm running for President to change. So to the special interests who've been setting the agenda in Washington for too long – and to all the forces of division and distraction that have stopped us from making progress for the American people – I've got one question: Do you smell what Barack is cooking?"
"This election is starting to feel a lot like "King of the Ring." The only difference? The last man standing may just be a woman…
…I've been knocked down, but I've always gotten back up. And I know how to take a hit for the American people. And if things get a little tough, I may even have to deliver the "people's elbow." Because this country is worth fighting for.
Now, I promise to stick to the political arena. So don't worry Randy Orton you're safe... for now. When it comes to standing up for the American people though, I am ready to rumble."
Clinton better be in fighting mode because the stakes in Pennsylvania are huge for her campaign. She is up in every poll in the state but in some cases only by 5-6 points. While a W is still a W in college basketball and Major League Baseball, a win for Clinton needs to be convincing (8 points or more?) so she can:
-- Convince uncommitted superdelegates that she is the stronger candidates who can win key battleground states -- Continue to push the message that voters are having second doubts about Obama's electability -- Avoid the Wednesday post-mortem punditry that she barely escaped with a win in a state where she lead by double digits just weeks ago
-- Point out how she was greatly outspent by the Obama campaign, but money doesn't buy votes -- Justify staying in the race through the final nine contests despite the impossible delegate math she is facing
Things to look for on Tuesday:
-- Margin of victory.Ten points or more, the above arguments are a lot easier to make.
-- Turnout. There have been 151,660 newly registered Democrats since January 2008 and 163,727 voters have switched their registration to Democrat. This could be a good sign for Obama in a closed primary where only Democrats can vote.
-- Late deciders. ABC News' Polling Director Gary Langer reports that late deciders have recently been turning to Clinton. Keep an eye on late deciders because of the prolonged campaign period, massive amounts of cash spent on advertising and the sharp final arguments the two candidates are presenting in Pennsylvania. LINK
-- Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The city is the state's largest, with a population of over 1.5 million, and is the most Democratic part of the state. The four surrounding suburbs (Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Bucks) have been historically Republican areas but that has shifted for the first time in decades, with Democrats now outnumbering Republicans in Montgomery and Bucks county These four counties account for approximately 20 percent of all voters in the state
-- Voter breakdown by Congressional District (CD). Remember this is all about delegates and while 103 of the 158 pledged delegates at stake are awarded based on the outcome in each of the state's 19 CDs, not all districts are created equal, as ABC News' Teddy Davis reports.
-- Some districts are worth more than others, based on how heavy the Democratic vote was in that district in the 2004 presidential and 2006 gubernatorial general elections. So winning the more heavily weighted districts could allow Obama to make up ground in the over pledged delegate count even if he loses the statewide vote. Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district (Rep. Chaka Fattah, an Obama supporter) has the most delegates up for grabs – 9 pledged delegates. The 12th District (Rep. John Murtha, a Clinton supporter) has 5 pledged delegates.
Clinton and Obama are all over radio and TV in an 11th hour pitch to voters. Clinton will turn up on MSNBC with Keith Olberman and CNN with Larry King on Monday night and network morning shows on Tuesday. Catch Obama on The Daily Show on Monday night, all three network morning shows on Tuesday morning and several Philadelphia radio stations on PA Primary Day.
"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"
-- Barack Obama to a reporter asking him about foreign policy in a diner in Scranton PA
On the campaign trail. . .
-- Evansville, IN
-- 8:30 pm ET: Holds Election Night Celebration at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue Grand Ballroom, Philadelphia, PA
--11:30 am EST: Campaign Event at Sharp Lumber, Girard, OH. --12:15 pm EST: Holds a Town Hall Meeting at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH. --2:30 pm EST: Attends a Fireline Inc. Company Tour, Youngstown, OH. -- 4:00vpm ET: Travels to Toledo, OH. -- 5:00 pm EST: Attends a Finance Event in Toledo, OH.
-- 8:10 am ET: Participates in a Breakfast with the President of Mexico and Prime Minister of Canada in New Orleans, LA.
-- 9:15 am ET: Meets with North American Competitiveness Council in New Orleans, LA. -- 10:20 am ET: Meets with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada at Gallier Hall, New Orleans, LA. -- 11:35 am ET: Participates in Joint Press Availability with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada in New Orleans, LA. (Open Press)
-- 12:25 pm ET: Participates in a Tree Planting in Honor of Earth Day in New Orleans, LA. -- 1:00 pm ET: Participates in a Lunch with Community Leaders in New Orleans, LA. -- 4:30 pm ET: Attends a Kennedy Majority Committee Reception in Baton Rouge, LA. (Closed Press)
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Rick Klein: NC Debate Canceled LINK
ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton: 'As President, I'll Have Your Back' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Clinton, Obama Clamor for Keystone Voters LINK
ABC News' Gary Langer: PA Primary: What to Watch LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: New Clinton TV Ad Asks Who's Tougher, Her or Obama LINK
ABC News' Kate Snow: 'GMA' Dissects Candidates' Economic Plans LINK
ABC News' Jonathan Karl: The Pentagon's Propaganda Machine? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: The Key Keystone State LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM Clinton Makes Final PA Pitch Clinton: "I appreciate you having my back...as president I'll have your back." LINK
McCain Kicks Off 'Time for Action' Tour Sen. McCain in Selma, AL: "There must be no forgotten places in America." LINK
The Final Push Obama and Clinton are on the attack before Pennsylvania polls open. LINK
Voters Cast Ballots With Their Palates Pa. deli holds "cold cut poll" using sandwiches in state primary. LINK
Hasselbeck Clears up 'Recipe-Gate' Hasselbeck asks Cindy McCain to explain the recipe imbroglio on her husband's Web Site. LINK
McCain's Wife Dishes Secrets McCain's wife shares some unknown facts about her husband, Sen. John McCain. LINK
McCain Appeals to Black Voters McCain recognizes challenges to winning black vote, but says he's working hard. LINK
Dissecting Economic Policies A look at how the candidates' plans for the economy affect average Americans. LINK
Closing Arguments for Dems LINK
Democrats Get Vicious e. LINK
McCain Hints at Strategy LINK
Condoleezza Rice in Baghdad LINK
Pa. Primary Showdown LINK
The Green Room: Better Bacon LINK
McCain on Economy, Health Care and Patriotism LINK
Roundtable: Classic Reunion LINK