Important Vote on Tuesday
Texas and Ohio delegates could determine Democratic nominee
Democratic presidential hopeful, Senator Hillary Clinton addresses the crowd at Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, Sunday, March 2, 2008. (AP Photo/Phil Long)
The fate of 444 more Democratic delegates is hanging in the balance. How many will Senator Barack Obama be able to claim, and how many will Senator Hillary Clinton add to her tally? Tuesday's critical presidential primary elections in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont will provide the answer.
Who wins the bulk of the 444 delegates is in the hands of voters in Ohio and Texas, the two states where Hillary Clinton has staked her future as a presidential candidate.
With the entire race potentially at stake, she and Obama campaigned hard in these two delegate rich states this weekend.
Clinton addressed a crowded auditorium at Garfield High School in Akron, Ohio, on Sunday.
Among the people in the audience was Jeff Crowther, a Vietnam veteran and a volunteer with Veterans For Hillary.
"The reason veterans are supporting Hillary is because she has a program on her platform to screen veterans, number one, for post traumatic stress disorder and number two, brain injury when soldiers exit the service," he told Scholastic News. "This would allow veterans to qualify for mental health insurance, if necessary."
Clinton spoke with great emotion about her proposals to help veterans.
"I will raise the death benefit for veterans to $500,000," she said. Currently the death benefit is only $6,000. She also said she would end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home within 60 days.
In her speech, Clinton also promised to strengthen the middle class and eliminate tax benefits for companies that ship jobs to other countries. She wants to make college tuition affordable for everyone who wants to go to college and provide health care for every American. She also talked about creating more jobs through clean energy programs.
Scholastic News asked Clinton about her views on funding schools. "I'm going to help with facilities and teacher salaries," she promised. "I will be a President we can count on. I will work my heart out for you."
So will Americans finally choose a woman as President? This crowd certainly felt the time has finally come. Many also talked with excitement about Obama's campaign and the possibility that he may become the first African-American President.
Ernest Talbert, who works at a gas station, and his son Steven have been traveling and supporting Clinton ever since she first announced her candidacy last year.
"I think it is really time that we have a woman President, plus she has a lot of experience and is well-prepared," Talbert said.
Clinton addressed this very subject in her speech.
"Whom will you hire for this job when voting?" she asked. "I know we have never hired a woman for this job before, but why would so many people endorse me and support me unless I was the best person for this job?"
Mary Woodbury said she will be voting to "hire" Clinton as President.
"She can bring our country back to its feet, so it can be admired by the world again," she said.
When asked what the elections this year meant to him, Gavin Jackson, a photo-journalism student attending Kent State University in Ohio, pointed out how historic the race is this year.
"This election is pretty much about what it means to be American, seeing as these people have never done this (running for president) before," he said.
Either Obama or Clinton will likely face Republican candidate Senator John McCain in the general election on November 4. Texas and Ohio could very well determine on Tuesday which Democrat is eventually nominated to run in the fall, at the Democratic convention in August.
Scholastic Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail. Keep up with the latest election news in this special report.
MORE FROM SCHOLASTIC KIDS PRESS CORPS
Read all the Scholastic Kid Reporters reports on election action in the "Final Stretch States" here.