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Kerry Seeks to Consolidate Lead Ahead of 'Super Tuesday' - 2004-02-25

The Democrats running for president are campaigning for votes in advance of next week's so-called 'Super Tuesday' primaries in which ten states will choose delegates to the party nominating convention in July. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry continues to have a major advantage over North Carolina Senator John Edwards heading into next week's voting.

With less than a week to go until the Super Tuesday voting, Senator Kerry took his campaign to Ohio, another state that has been hit hard by job losses in recent years.

"And if I'm in the White House, no one, no matter how powerful, no matter how well-connected, will get government's help to put private profit over the public good of this nation. That is over!" he said.

During his visit, Senator Kerry was endorsed by former U.S. Senator John Glenn, the latest in a string of high profile endorsements for the front-runner for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

On Tuesday, Senator Kerry scored three more victories in the nomination battle by winning a primary in Utah and Democratic caucuses in Idaho and Hawaii. He has won 18 of the 20 Democratic contests so far.

Recent opinion polls also suggest Senator Kerry leads Senator Edwards in almost all of the ten states holding primaries or caucuses next Tuesday, including the delegate-rich states, California and New York.

The polls suggest the Kerry lead over Edwards is smaller in Georgia and Ohio. Most political experts give Senator Kerry a big advantage in terms of money and organization in next week's vote.

American University expert Allan Lichtman also says Senator Edwards is simply running out of time in his quest to slow down and overtake Senator Kerry.

"He has got a long way to come in states like New York and California and he really doesn't have the money to put on a major media blitz in either of those states," he said. "At some point it is likely that Edwards is simply going to run out of time. Kerry is just going to amass too many delegates and there will not be enough contests left to make a come-from-behind run."

Senator Kerry seeks to solidify his front-runner status by aiming his attacks at President Bush instead of Senator Edwards. And now the White House is getting more aggressive at firing back.

Presidential spokesman Scott McClellan is taking issue with complaints about the president's record on the economy.

"From day one of this administration, this president has acted to strengthen our economy and to create as robust an environment for job creation as possible," he said.

An increasing number of political experts and strategists from both parties believe jobs and the economy will become a central issue in the November election campaign.