Obama Makes Last Minute Pitch


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

HOUSTON – Stumping for last minute votes in Texas, Barack Obama stopped by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo today, where he hopped on a tractor and talked with a Future Farmers of America group. He said he feels good about his chances tonight, but his demeanor yesterday indicated otherwise.

"Sometimes I think during the course of a campaign, particularly one that has been successful, there's a tendency for feeling that things are always going to go the way they should," Obama said. "What makes this powerful is not that things are always going to go easy, rather that we are going to go forward even when it's hard."

The campaign appears to be bracing for some losses tonight, but they argue that their pledged delegate lead will be unaffected. "The Clinton campaign said this race was all about delegates and that they would be tied or ahead by morning," said campaign spokesman, Bill Burton. "But despite the 20 point lead in Ohio and Texas that Senator Clinton had just two weeks ago, we will still be well ahead in delegates tonight and they will have failed at achieving their plainly stated goals."

Since 334 pledged delegates are at stake in Texas and Ohio, Obama is hoping to mobilize his support there. Labor allies, such as the Teamsters, will organize in Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Toledo in an effort to boost the turnout. In Texas, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and other supporters will be doing local radio and television interviews. The campaign will be reaching out to Hispanic communities and college campuses as well.

Bad weather is expected in parts of Ohio and Texas, which could affect voter turnout. Obama performs better in a high turnout situation, but campaign strategist David Axelrod is not worried. "We've generally done well in bad weather," Axelrod said, citing Maine and Wisconsin as examples.

No matter what happens, Obama with stick to his Election Day ritual: he'll play basketball with staffers this afternoon in San Antonio.