Obama Seeks to Continue Streak in Ohio

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has won the last 11 nominating contests over rival Hillary Clinton. His momentum will be tested on Tuesday when voters in Ohio and three other states head to the polls.

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JACKI LYDEN, host:

And we turn now to NPR's Don Gonyea, who's traveling with the Obama campaign, which is also in Ohio. Hi there, Don.

DON GONYEA: Hi. And, Jacki, they're tearing the set down around me so that's the noise. But glad to talk to you.

LYDEN: Don, you were there for the senator to speak in Westerville. Is this just a coincidence that the two candidates were in the same town?

GONYEA: Oh, nothing is a coincidence on the campaign trail is how we look at it. It is officially the line that it is a coincidence. But what's going on here is that these two campaigns are both working hard in Ohio. They're targeting specific kinds of voters in Ohio. And we're about a half an hour or so outside of Columbus just to the north here in Westerville.

And, you know, it's kind of a rural/suburban area, and it's an area where both campaigns have determined that there are votes to be had, important votes to be had, people who are likely to turn out.

I can tell you that in the past several days or so these candidates have followed one another to San Antonio and to Fort Worth. So it's just an example of how they're all hitting the same pockets looking for votes.

LYDEN: You think there's any sense in the Obama camp that the senator took a few hits this week from Senators Clinton and McCain?

GONYEA: Well, they know they're under fire. Obama knows he is being targeted and that he is getting it from Hillary Clinton but also from John McCain. But he seems to enjoy it. John McCain has gone after him on Hillary Clinton. He uses that ad that she has been using attacking him showing a red phone ringing in the White House, raising the specter of his lack of experience in dealing with foreign policy issues. And he says that phone has already been ringing. It rang on the Iraq issue and she gave the wrong answer.

So he's using both of these attacks as a way to turn it on his opponents. And...

LYDEN: Don, you're in the final hours there in Ohio. Is there one message that Barack Obama seems to be banking on to close the deal?

GONYEA: He is really highlighting the differences between himself and Hillary Clinton. And he delivered what almost felt like a valedictory here at the end, which could be his final Ohio campaign stop before voting on Tuesday. We got to Texas next.

And he said, you know, he's tried to focus on the positive, he's tried not to highlight negatives about his opponents. But then he said but what Senator Clinton has missed is that people want someone who can bring America together and who can talk about how they are bringing America together. He said that is why he's been successful and that's the point he's really driving home.

LYDEN: NPR's Don Gonyea with the Obama campaign in Ohio. Thanks a lot, Don.

GONYEA: It's a pleasure.

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