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Friday, May 30, 2008

Clinton faces new pressure on 2 fronts

Top party officials want her to bow out soon, and campaign insiders are losing faith in her strategy.
By Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON -- Hillary Rodham Clinton is coming under growing pressure from Democratic Party leaders and elected officials to quit the race, while some of her own supporters seem reluctant to rally behind her strategy for salvaging her presidential ambitions.

Intervening in the primary fight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are sending public and private messages to superdelegates urging them to make a choice once primary voting ends Tuesday.

The push, which began this week, is damaging to Clinton, whose fading candidacy would be best-served by prolonging the contest.

Clinton could use the time to press her case to superdelegates -- the elected officials and other insiders whose votes will decide the nominee -- that she is more electable than her front-running rival, Barack Obama. A delay also would improve the odds of a game-changing stumble by Obama.

The party's leadership seems more intent on bringing the protracted nomination fight to an end, so that Democrats can pivot to the general election matchup with John McCain, who has been the presumed Republican nominee for months.

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