(CNN) – Hillary Clinton began one of the most crucial stretches of her presidential campaign in debt, newly disclosed financial reports show.
According to campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission over the weekend, the New York senator began the month of April with close to $32 million cash-on hand. But only $9 million of that total are funds that are able to be spent in the primary races. The report also showed Clinton owes more than $10 million, meaning the Democratic presidential candidate was in the red even before she heavily stepped up television advertising in Pennsylvania.
"The numbers are what they are," Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said on a conference call with reporters. "The money continues to come in strongly. We had a very good month last month of fundraising…we are continuing to have a good month this month."
We will of course be honoring the debt in the coming weeks and months," he also said.
The newly released reports offer the clearest picture to date of just how much of an advantage Barack Obama holds over Clinton heading into the final stretch of the prolonged Democratic race for the White House.
(CNN) – John McCain launched a tour designed to appeal to moderate voters Monday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, a landmark of the civil rights movement.
"There must be no forgotten places in America, whether they have been ignored for long years by the sins of indifference and injustice, or have been left behind as the world grew smaller and more economically interdependent," said the presumptive Republican nominee.
The trip will take McCain to areas far from the standard GOP campaign trail, including hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, the Appalachian region of Kentucky, blue-collar Youngstown, Ohio.
Several weeks ago, the Arizona senator drew boos at his address in honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday from protestors angry over his long-ago vote opposing a federal holiday in honor of the slain civil rights leader. He has since said that decision was a mistake.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton appears to have widened her lead over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania with just 24 hours remaining until voters there head to the polls.
According to a CNN average of several polls released over the weekend, Clinton holds a 7 point lead over Obama, 50 percent to 43 percent. That margin, taken from surveys conducted entirely after the contentious ABC News debate last week, is slightly wider than it has been over the last ten days.
A CNN "poll of polls" late last week showed the two Democrats separated by only 5 points and a similiar CNN survey of polls on April 10 suggested Clinton's lead stood at 4 points then.
But Clinton's current 7 point advantage is still down from where it was at the beginning of April when several polls suggested she held a double digit lead over Obama.
The current CNN poll of polls included surveys from Zogby, Suffolk University, and Quinnipiac.
SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. Hillary Clinton called on supporters here in Northeastern Pennsylvania to spend the next hours volunteering, door knocking, calling undecided voters - anything to drive the vote out in tomorrow’s primary.
“People are looking at Pennsylvania,” she told a Scranton audience who interrupted her with chants of “one day to victory.” “All of my plans and all of the hard work that I am offering to make it possible for us to once again to see results of presidential leadership that makes a difference in the lives of Americans can’t happen unless we win, and that’s where each and every one of you come.”
Throughout the Pennsylvania campaign, Clinton has talked at length about her family roots in Scranton and even touched on them in a statewide television ad. Her connection to this region, along with Pennsylvania’s blue-collar core, has made her the favorite in Tuesday’s contest.
Despite her edge, Camp Clinton argues a win here would be a strong rebuke of Sen. Barack Obama given that he is outspending her on television by a wide margin and has spent a considerable amount of time criss-crossing the state.
(CNN) - Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are wrapping up their push in Pennsylvania with sharp attacks a day before the state's crucial primary.
Both candidates have been launching waves of robocalls, tough mailers and matching attack ads, spending an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.
Obama on Monday is scheduled to make his final stops in McKeesport and Pittsburgh, where Clinton has been strong.
READING, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Democrat Barack Obama conceded Sunday that all three leading presidential contenders would be better than President Bush — including Republican opponent John McCain.
"Either Democrat would be better than John McCain," he said. "And all three of us would be better than George Bush."
In the past, Obama has equated a McCain presidency to a "third Bush term."
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
NY Times: Trailing in Pennsylvania, Obama Sharpens Tone
Senator Barack Obama sharpened his tone against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday as the six-week Pennsylvania primary contest raced to a close, with the rivals marshaling extensive resources in a battle for undecided voters and delegates that could determine whether the Democratic nominating fight carries on.
AP: McCain Reports His Best Fundraising Month
Sen. John McCain latest financial reports show him in the best financial condition of his presidential drive with $11.6 million in the bank at the end of March.
WSJ: Party Chiefs Plan Push To Avoid Long Fight
Some party leaders are quietly planning to try to end the clash between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, said people familiar with the matter. After the primaries end in June, these influential Democrats - led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - plan to push the last uncommitted party leaders to endorse a candidate, in hopes of preventing a fight at the August presidential convention, party insiders say.
Washington Post: Justices to Hear Challenge of Law That Affects Self-Funded Candidates
Wealthy, self-financed congressional candidate Jack Davis says the McCain-Feingold Act's "Millionaire's Amendment," which raises the contribution limits for opponents of wealthy, self-financed candidates, is not only unfair but also unconstitutional, and his lawyers will try to persuade the Supreme Court of that tomorrow.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman, CNN Washington Bureau
*Hillary Clinton attends rallies in Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
*John McCain holds a media availability in Selma, Alabama and attends a town hall meeting in Thomasville, Alabama.
*Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.