Clinton Confident on Eve of Pa. Primary

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Sen. Hillary Clinton finishes strong in Pennsylvania, where a big win in tomorrow's primary can end talk of her conceding the Democratic nomination to Sen. Barack Obama.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And now to NPR's David Greene, who joins us from Pittsburgh where he's at an outdoor rally for Hillary Clinton. And David, we mentioned that Senator Clinton has been leading in the polls, but according to some polls not by a whole lot. So what's she trying to do in these last 24 hours before the voting to cement her lead?

DAVID GREENE: Well, part of the strategy, Melissa, is to really work her base, and she started today in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the northeastern part of the state, which is where her family had a cottage. She also spent some time in Johnstown, Pennsylvania - it's a hardscrabble community in the western part of the state, yesterday - has also been going after female voters in Pennsylvania. So she's been really trying to turn out her base and try to get as many people to the polls who'll support her as possible. But also, of course, with some new ads going after whatever undecided voters remain as well.

BLOCK: And the demographic in Pennsylvania should favor her. These are Hillary Clinton voters, or should be.

GREENE: They should be and the Clinton campaign has been speaking about that. This state is similar in some ways to Ohio, which is a state that Hillary Clinton won. It's the kind of state with a lot of working class, a lot of areas of less affluent voters and that's one of the points that the Clinton campaign has been making, that she is doing well among those kinds of voters, voters who are important to the Democratic Party. And so, that's one reason that Pennsylvania has been good for her so far in the polls. But again, Obama has made up some ground.

BLOCK: We talked with Don Gonyea a few minutes ago about the Obama campaign managing expectations for tomorrow. Let's flip that around for Hillary Clinton There has been a lot riding on her performance in the Pennsylvania primary.

GREENE: Yeah. Clinton doing the exact same thing, I mean, one of the things her advisers are saying is that the standard of victory is victory. They're trying to downplay this idea that she has to win by 15, 20 points to come out of Pennsylvania with a big - that she has to come out of here with a big victory.

They've also been trying to shift some of the pressure to their opponent, suggesting that Barack Obama has poured a lot of money into this state. As one of her advisers put it, he's put his brand on the line here in Pennsylvania. So, trying to make it seem like there's a lot at stake for both candidates. But given the delegate deficit that Hillary Clinton has right now in terms of pledge delegates, very important for her to do well here.

BLOCK: And what are some possible post-Pennsylvania scenarios, David?

GREENE: Well, the Clinton campaign has already said that she's on to Indiana on Thursday, which I think was trying to send a message that if anyone's thinking that this campaign could be in trouble, and in Pennsylvania, don't think that way. She's suggesting that she's already planning out the next steps. Indiana and North Carolina have primaries coming up in two weeks. But the campaign realizes that they have to do more than win. They have to control the storyline after this primary. And you're already hearing that discussion start.

The campaign is saying, look, the types of voters who are supporting Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, less affluent, working-class Democrats are crucial to the party because they're the kinds of voters who have gone over to the Republican side in past election. They're saying that Hillary Clinton, if she can hold on to those voters in Pennsylvania, it's an important statement about what she might be able to do in a general and what Barack Obama - his potential weakness may be.

BLOCK: Okay, NPR'S David Greene at a Hillary Clinton rally in Pittsburgh. David, thanks a lot.

GREEBE: Thank you, Melissa.

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