Vt., R.I. primaries take back seat
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

MONTPELIER, Vt. - When voters in Vermont cast their ballots in the state's presidential primary Tuesday they won't be the center of national attention, unlike in elections past.

Instead this year's March 4 primaries in Vermont and Rhode Island will take a back seat to the nominating contests that day in the delegate-rich states of Ohio and Texas, Gannett News Service reported Friday.

Although Vermont and Rhode Island won't be in the national spotlight, the campaigns of Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be paying close attention to the results.

With the two senators in a tight race to be at the top of their party's ticket, Obama and Clinton have opened campaign offices in Vermont. Obama has seven offices in the Green Mountain State while Clinton has two.

"It's about amassing the most delegates and, to do that, you've got to campaign hard everywhere," said Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

Clinton, who has lost 11 of the previous state nominating contests to Obama, plans to visit Vermont on Tuesday.

"We have extremely committed volunteers, and we feel really good about what we have going on the ground and the energy that we have here," said Carly Lindauer, Clinton's Vermont spokeswoman.

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