WASHINGTON (CNN) - As South Carolina Democrats headed to the polls, the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each sought to raise the expectations of their rival while lowering their own, in dueling memos circulated to reporters Saturday.
Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson all but declared the New York senator will lose the state, and he said the Democratic race will shift to Florida afterwards - a state where Clinton holds a wide lead but whose primary has been rendered essentially meaningless by party sanctions.
"Regardless of today’s outcome, the race quickly shifts to Florida, where hundreds of thousands of Democrats will turn out to vote on Tuesday," Wolfson wrote. "Despite efforts by the Obama campaign to ignore Floridians, their voices will be heard loud and clear across the country, as the last state to vote before Super Tuesday on February 5th."
Wolfson's comments come a day after the Clinton campaign formally called on her party to seat Florida's delegates at the convention - a privilege the state had lost for holding it's primary contest before February 5, in violation of national party instructions. Obama's campaign quickly criticized the move, trying to "assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates and where no campaigning has occurred."
Also on Saturday, Obama's campaign circulated a memo form Joe Erwin, a supporter of the Illinois senator and the former chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, that notes Clinton's efforts to win the Southern state.
"The truth is Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is pulling out all the stops to win in South Carolina," he wrote. "And it includes saying and doing just about anything to win."
The memo went on to note the significant resources the New York senator's campaign has invested in the state, Bill Clinton's fervent campaigning there over the last week, and a recent declaration by a Clinton surrogate that she would win the state.
Responding to Wolfson's contention that the Democratic race will soon shift to Florida, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "It should not be surprising given recent events that the Clinton campaign would in one breath say the election is about winning delegates and then tout their success in states that don’t award any delegates in the next breath."
"The DNC has made clear that the winner of the contest in Florida will not receive any delegates, so the next step in this nominating process is February 5th. If the Clinton campaign's southern strength rests on the outcome in a state where they're the only ones competing, that should give Democrats deep pause," he added.