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New polls lift Clinton as key votes loom

world Updated: May 06, 2008 14:59 IST

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama skipped between Indiana and North Carolina, racing the clock ahead of today's fateful primaries which will shape the endgame of their tense White House duel.

The former first lady was cheered by new polls giving her a shot of staving off the Illinois Senator's latest attempt to knock her out of a race that threatens to split the Democratic Party.

Clinton, 60, started the day in North Carolina, where she is giving her rival a closer than expected race, before flying to midwestern Indiana, where she is seen to need a win to quell calls for her to quit the race.

"Think about who you believe, think about who you can count on," Clinton told supporters at a fire station here in one of Indiana's Chicago suburbs.

"If you go vote for me tomorrow (Tuesday), I will never forget you."

Obama was up at dawn in Indiana, at a construction site, canvassing the kind of blue-collar voters who have sided with the former first lady in past contests, and frustrated his attempts to clinch the nomination.

"This is going to be a tight election here in Indiana, every poll shows a dead heat, we need every single vote," he said, before later heading to North Carolina on another get-out-the-vote mission.

A new USA Today poll out yesterday found that Obama, vowing to become America's first black president, had been damaged by the fallout of racially tinged remarks by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright.