Dems Make Final Push for Hoosier State

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Voters in Indiana and North Carolina head to the polls Tuesday to cast their vote for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

The state of Indiana has really turned into a crucial state for both candidates.

Stay tuned to, Tuesday night for live primary coverage.

The Toss-up Primary

Indiana may be known for high school basketball but now there's another game in town - Obama vs. Clinton one-on-one.

The clock is running down and polls show a tight game. It's one of the few states where neither candidate is the favorite. It is literally a "jump ball" in a state whose primary hasn't mattered in 40 years.

The excitement here is palpable. But this race in Indiana is not about the big rallies. It's about trying to connect with working class families who are grumpy and feeling the economic pinch.

Ten thousand jobs were lost in the month of February alone. So Clinton is headed to factories to make her case.

"Now I know that times are tough right now," she said. "Many of you are being squeezed pretty hard in every direction."

Obama's message is similar and the setting is too: small groups of working class people and frank talk.

"The average wage here in Indiana has actually gone down 8 percent since George Bush was in office," Obama said.

There are three key areas where Clinton and Obama will try to capture votes.

Northwest Indiana is considered Obama friendly because it's near Obama's hometown of Chicago where he is well known and popular.

But Clinton knows it's heavily populated with Democratic voters so she'll compete hard there.

The Indianapolis area is voter rich and could swing to either Clinton or Obama.

Then there's the more conservative working class southern part of the state, an area where Clinton is the strongest.

Why Cities Like Marion Matter

In Indiana, manufacturing cities such as Marion have been devastated by the loss of jobs.

Talk to anyone in town, and they can pretty much tell you a story of someone who has lost their job. That's why Obama and Clinton have actually come to Marion and cities like it because they know that if they can win the vote here they are well on their way to winning Indiana primary.

In Marion you find a lot of abandoned buildings. The residents here still believe in Marion, but they want to believe in a candidate who will help bring back the jobs too.

"This is a different place," Marion resident Maurice Gunyon said. "We have lost I don't know how many people, I don't know how many jobs, I don't know how many businesses."

Another resident, Jim Hayes, said, "I'm really looking for someone who's interested in working class people. I think that's been missing."

Many working class voters are still searching for the right candidate.

"Right now we're still in the balance trying to figure out who we want and who can give us what we're looking for," factory worker Jennifer Byrd said.

Clinton is looking for a win which would keep her in the race. Obama is looking for a clean sweep of North Carolina and Indiana on Tuesday.

"If he walks out of May 6 with two wins, it's really going to be hard for Clinton to make the argument that she needs to continue. If she wins Indiana though, why would she stop?" Indiana Star's Matthew Tully said.

That is why Indiana is vitally important to both campaigns and gives people here a front row seat to the greatest game in town.

Indiana resident Gary Black said, "I hope the Democrats fight it out until the end because people deserve to see what kind of candidate they're going to come up with."

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News Sr. National Correspondent

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