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South Dakota, the Last Competitive State


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) gestures for people to sit down at a campaign event in Huron, S.D., May 29, 2008. (Associated Press)

By Perry Bacon Jr.
WATERTOWN, S.D. -- Looking for an upset in a state where key leaders have endorsed her opponent, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in three towns in South Dakota, echoing familiar themes of improving education, expanding health care and the importance of her staying in the race through the final primaries.

While referring by name to the men who she also described as "a friend of mine" (John McCain) and "my Democratic opponent" (Barack Obama), she spoke of them only to give her usual arguments: that she has more experience than Obama and that McCain would govern like President Bush.

"I believe it is important Montana and South Dakota get to have the last say in this important election," she told a crowd here at in this town in the western part of the state.

Although the primaries in Montana and South Dakota, both of which will be held Tuesday, will do little to change Obama's lead in the delegates in the Democratic race, South Dakota is the last competitive state. Clinton is heavily favored to win Sunday in Puerto Rico and Obama on Tuesday in Montana.

South Dakota is full of the white working-class voters who have flocked to Clinton's candidacy, but Obama has dominated in small, mostly Republican states such as Idaho and Wyoming. And he is backed by Sen. Tim Johnson and Rep. Stephanie Herseth, the two Democrats who are elected statewide, as well as former senate majority leader Tom Daschle and former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern.

After finishing her two-day swing here, Clinton heads to Puerto Rico for the weekend ahead of the primary.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 29, 2008; 6:03 PM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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