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Obama Readies for Tuesday's Contests

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

CHICAGO -- On the day before primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island, Barack Obama makes his final push through Texas in hopes to secure the majority of the state's 193 pledged delegates. The race in Texas remains tight, with yesterday's Mason-Dixon/McClatchy/MSNBC poll showing Obama (46%) and Hillary Clinton (45%) virtually tied.

On the trail, the campaign remains cautiously optimistic about tomorrow's contests, but Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe appears to be more confident. On a conference call with reporters earlier this week, he argued that Clinton must win by big margins tomorrow in order to close in on Obama's pledged delegate lead.

"The Clinton campaign has one task on March 4th, and that is to really seriously erode our pledged delegate lead and they are going to fail by that measure and fail miserably," Plouffe said, disputing the Clinton campaign notion that she and Obama will be in a virtual tie after Tuesday.

"Our number one goal is to maintain and, if we can, to build on our pledged delegate lead and we think made rapid progress in Texas and Ohio," said Plouffe. "She had huge leads in all of those states just a matter of weeks ago and those are now turning into very close contests."

Obama has three campaign stops in Texas today, where he will be focusing on veterans' issues and college affordability. Michelle Obama will also be campaigning in the state as well and will join her husband tonight for a rally in Houston.