In addition to the MSNBC/McClatchy/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette poll, which has Clinton up by five over Obama (48%-43%), there are two other surveys out. Quinnipiac has Clinton leading by seven points (51%-44%), and Suffolk University has her up by 10 points (52%-42%).
The New York Times: "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." More: "The intensity of Mr. Obama's campaign and his willingness to air negative attacks in recent days suggest he harbored hope of ending the Clinton campaign here or avoiding a major loss that would keep the race alive."
And attention 2008 history book writers: "Neil Oxman, a media consultant here, estimated that by the end of the six-week campaign, Mr. Obama will have spent more than $9 million on television and Mrs. Clinton will have spent almost $4 million.
The Washington Post has similar piece: "The volleying in the final hours reflected the high stakes in Tuesday's contest. Clinton is favored to win, but the senator from New York may still face renewed pressure to end her candidacy unless she rolls up a sizable margin in the popular vote and significant gains in the overall delegate count. As the candidates jostled with one another, their advisers mounted a final effort to shape expectations for what will constitute victory on Tuesday. The Pennsylvania race has forced Obama to rewrite his script from earlier contests, with the result being a more aggressive tone and style in the final hours of this campaign than had been the case in previous states. Far more than at any other time in the campaign, Obama has applied pressure to Clinton, both on the stump and in his increasingly negative advertising.
The Boston Globe: "The exchange highlighted a sharp negative turn in the Democratic presidential campaign before tomorrow's primary in Pennsylvania, where some recent polls have shown Clinton's lead shrinking to single digits."
Per NBC/NJ's Athena Jones, Clinton yesterday criticized Obama for what she described as his compliments for John McCain. "Sen. Obama said today that John McCain would be better for the country than George Bush," she said. "Now, Sen. McCain is a real American patriot who has served our country with distinction, but Sen. McCain would follow the same failed policies that have been so wrong for our country the last seven years."
Clinton then did something she does often. She asked the audience a series of questions in a shout-and-response style we've seen many times before, starting Iowa with "Are you ready for a president who..." and more recently "Who will you hire to..." The exercise revs up the crowd, as it did today. "Sen. McCain thinks it's okay to keep our troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. Is that better than George Bush?" she asked eliciting a big "No!" from the audience. "Sen. McCain will continue the failed economic policies of George Bush that have brought us deficit and increasing debt. Is that better than George Bush? (Crowd: No!) Sen. McCain does not have a health-care plan that will cover every American. In fact, we will have more and more uninsured Americans. Is that better than George Bush? (Crowd: No!) Sen. McCain has no plans to end the housing foreclosure crisis or cut the cost of gas at the pump. Is that better than George Bush? (Crowd: No!) We need a nominee who will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain, and I will be that nominee."
Of course, Clinton herself complimented McCain a few weeks ago when she said that McCain had passed the commander-in-chief test -- as had she -- but that Obama had just given one speech. Bill Clinton also has praised McCain on the stump.
The New York Daily News: "Many observers believe Clinton has to do decisively well in Pennsylvania to keep party insiders from backing her rival, Barack Obama, and pushing her to drop out of the contest. Clinton needs 'blowout numbers,' says Peter Fenn, a Democratic consultant who isn't affiliated with either campaign."
And watch those late deciders. "If the pattern of previous primaries and caucuses holds, the biggest procrastinators -- those who make up their minds on Tuesday -- will probably break for Senator Hillary Clinton. If they side with her again in Pennsylvania, it may help Clinton hold off Senator Barack Obama with a big-enough victory to save her candidacy, again."