Democratic rivals Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., will square off for the last debate tonight before Pennsylvania voters got to the polls next week.
Clinton is favored to win Pennsylvania, but a new ABC NEWS/Washington Post poll finds her support nationally has further declined.
Likely Democratic voters, 51-41 percent, say they want Obama to win the nomination — his biggest advantage to date. Obama has also cleared the "electability" hurdle in Democratic minds — 62 percent say he is more likely to win than Clinton.
In more bad news for Clinton, 58 percent of Americans polled said she is not honest and trustworthy. Obama beats her on this attribute by a 23-point margin.
"She flip flops on issues too much and seems like a professional politician whose goal is just to get elected at any cost," said Gene Louin, a Pennsylvania voter standing in line at Geno's Steaks in South Philadelphia.
Added Michael Gold of Westchester, Pa., "I do not think Hillary is trustworthy — not because she's a woman, not because she's a Clinton — not because she's a Democrat, but because she's a politician."
Clinton's Negatives Hit New High
A record high of 54 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the New York senator, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Her husband, former President Bill Clinton's unfavorability rating is almost as high at 51 percent — his highest level since leaving office.
"I love Bill Clinton but I'm not happy with the way he has conducted himself," said Mina Bannett of Cherry Hill, N.J.
The former president will be watching the Democratic debate tonight in Pittsburgh with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County chief executive.
Obama Effectively Distanced Himself From Pastor
The poll finds that Obama has largely moved beyond what seemed to be a big threat to his campaign — his 20-year relationship with his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
In Philadelphia last month, Obama distanced himself from the inflammatory comments of his pastor, who said "God damn America," in a sermon repeated on cable television, among other incendiary remarks.
The poll finds 59 percent of all adults, and 72 percent of leaned Democrats, approve of the way Obama dealt with the Wright controversy. However, nearly 50 percent of Democrats polled said they were concerned the Republicans will use the Wright imbroglio effectively against Obama if he is nominated.
Should She Stay or Go?
Despite more calls this week for Clinton to step out of the Democratic race, the poll finds 55 percent of Democrats say she should stay in the race if she unexpectedly loses the Pennsylvania primary next week.
"She should persevere until it's over and completed," said Sharon Lumb of Philadelphia, whom we met as she shopped for produce at the Italian Market.
Clinton currently trails Obama in the number of states won, the popular vote and the delegate count, according to ABC News' delegate scorecard.
Neither Democratic candidate will reach the 2,024 delegates needed to win the nomination before the Democratic convention this fall in Denver, and both are appealing to superdelegates — those 795 party officials and members of Congress — who may ultimately decide the nomination.
Contrary to the thinking of some officials in the Democratic Party, most rank-and-file Democrats do not think the long battle between Obama and Clinton will hurt their party's chances in the general election fight against presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., this November.
Democratic Race Goes Negative
"I think we're stronger than that and I think, ultimately, everybody will come together in the end," said Madonna Tatano of Washington, Pa.
"I think it's fun, I'm enjoying it, it's really interesting," said Beth Dropkin of Ohio.
More Democrats than ever, however — 41 percent — say the race is mostly negative, and those voters blame Clinton for the race's negativity by a nearly 4-to-1 ratio.
"I blame Hillary," said Carrie Jacobson of Wynnewood, Pa. "She's looking for anything she can to sling mud at Obama — any little thing."
John Taylorings, a Pennsylvania college student, argued Clinton started going negative with her television ad questioning which candidate voters would rather have as president if a 3 a.m. phone call came in to the White House.
"I think it's all a bunch of shenanigans," Taylorings said.
As the Democratic battle continues on into spring, half of Democrats now say their candidates are "arguing about things that really aren't that important," instead of real issues.
"Their stance between the two of them is so similar that it's come to that little nitpicking of things that don't really matter," said Justin Howe, a New Jersey painter.
Caren Zucker, Richard Coolidge and Alison Kartevold contributed to this report.