Clinton needs some breaks, advisers say

March 20, 2008 at 8:00 AM

WASHINGTON, March. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., faces a narrowing path to the Democratic presidential nomination, needing some breaks along the way, her advisers say.

Clinton must defeat Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., by a substantial margin in Pennsylvania in April, she must lead in total popular vote after primaries end in June and she needs something to rattle confidence in Obama so superdelegates reverse his lead among pledged delegates, Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn told The New York Times.

Clinton's path apparently became more constricted as Michigan Democrats on Wednesday indicated they probably won't have a new primary. Michigan and Florida lost their Democratic National Convention delegates for advancing their primaries. Florida earlier indicated it wouldn't seek a re-vote.

Clinton trails Obama by about 150 delegates of the 2,025 needed to be nominated, the Times said.

Penn said the campaign also hopes her message about Obama being untested gets through to primary voters and superdelegates.

"The superdelegates are not going to really decide until June," Penn said to the Times. "He's just going through a vetting and testing process that didn't happen a year ago and is now happening. The whole vetting and testing process will make a big difference."

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