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Clinton Gains Support in Polls, Obama Wins Key 'Superdelegates'


The race for the Democratic nomination for president remains uncertain with Senator Hillary Clinton gaining support in most opinion polls in Indiana and North Carolina ahead of primaries there Tuesday. But her rival, Senator Barack Obama,has picked up the support of two former National Democratic Party chairmen. VOA Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.

A confident Senator Hillary Clinton has gotten a bounce in her campaign and a surge in opinion polls since her crucial win more than a week ago in the Pennsylvania primary. Speaking on ABC News, she rejected suggestions from some Democratic Party leaders that the long, tough battle for the nomination is hurting Democrats' chances in the general election against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain.

"We are going to have a great election here in Indiana, people deserve to have their voices and their votes counted," she said. "We are going to go on to the next contests. I am picking up momentum every single day. And I think this has been good for the Democratic Party."

Senator Clinton picked up the endorsement Friday of Indiana's largest newspaper, "The Indianapolis Star", which cited her experience and her grasp of major issues.

Polls show a very tight race in Indiana, and that Senator Obama's comfortable two-digit lead in the polls in North Carolina has dwindled down to single digits. Senator Clinton is hoping that a victory for her in Indiana on Tuesday and a close race in North Carolina would boost her argument that she is the toughest candidate to take on Senator McCain in November.

Clinton has been campaigning hard for votes across Indiana and North Carolina, pushing a proposal she and McCain both back to suspend the federal gasoline tax for consumers during the summer months of June, July and August. Obama has rejected the plan as a political ploy by Clinton and McCain, saying it will only save each family less than thirty dollars over the entire summer, while cutting critical federal funds to repair highways.

"This is not an idea designed to get you through the summer," he said. "It is an idea designed to get them through an election."

After a rough week with several public appearances by his controversial former pastor, Senator Obama has received the support of two influential "superdelegates", former Democratic Party chairmen Joe Andrew and Paul Kirk.

Superdelegates are Democratic party officials and elected office holders who are free to vote as they please for the Democratic nominee at the party convention.

Obama remains the Democratic frontrunner, with a lead in overall pledged delegates, the popular vote and the number of states won. But both he and Clinton are dependent on the support of superdelegates to clinch their party's nomination.

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