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Clinton holsters up for Texas

  • Story Highlights
  • Voters make their primary choices Tuesday in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island
  • Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign is lagging behind that of rival Barack Obama
  • Texas is the state to watch as it awards more delegates than any other still in play
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By CNN's Jonathan Mann
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It's tough to imagine Hillary Clinton giving up her conservative pantsuits and perfect hair for a cowboy hat and holsters on each hip. And so far she hasn't.

But like a gunslinger out of America's mythical past, Texas is where she is making her stand.

Clinton's campaign is in trouble. Barack Obama has beaten her in eleven consecutive primaries and is ahead in votes, opinion polls and money.

Tuesday, voters will decide in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. Even Bill Clinton has publicly acknowledged that "If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If (they) don't deliver for her, I don't think she can be."

Texas is the state to watch, though, because it awards more delegates than any other state still in play and, because, it's Texas - a place with the perfect poetry for a one-on-one do-or-die contest between two determined rivals. Have you ever heard of a shoot-out in Ohio?

Clinton knows Texas

Back in 1972, when she was still in law school, she volunteered to recruit voters along the Rio Grande. Even she concedes that "Hispanics in South Texas were, understandably, wary of a blond girl from Chicago who didn't speak a word of Spanish."

But she persevered. She made friends in Texas politics and cultivated them while husband Bill was governor of neighboring Arkansas and then president.

Obama hasn't got that history, but he has excitement. And Texas has strange rules: excitement is an asset.

Bill Clinton jokes that ``Texas is the only place in America where you can vote twice in the same election without going to jail.''

He's right - Texans can cast a ballot in a voting booth and then vote again at a caucus meeting.

Who would care enough to turn-out twice? People who care passionately about their candidate - Obama supporters.

A few months ago, Hillary Clinton had a clear lead in the public opinion polls conducted in Texas. Now it's a statistical dead heat.

The outcome Tuesday could either restore her campaign, or end it entirely.

Texas may be No Country for Old Men. But it's crucial country for Clinton. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About John McCainBarack ObamaHillary Clinton

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