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Campaign Notebook

Hoping to build on Kennedy's nod, Obama plans rally in Mass.

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January 31, 2008

Senator Barack Obama will come to Boston on Monday to woo voters ahead of the Super Tuesday primary, the Obama campaign confirmed yesterday.

The details of the event have not been finalized, but the plan is to hold an evening rally, a campaign spokesman said.

Obama scored a plum endorsement earlier this week, when Senator Edward M. Kennedy threw his support behind the man he said would carry on the ideals and goals of his late brothers, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Massachusetts is a key battleground in the Democratic presidential nominating fight; 22 states will hold Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses on Tuesday. Recent polls suggest Senator Hillary Clinton has a healthy lead in Massachusetts, and she drew a crowd of an estimated 5,000 in Springfield this week. But Obama supporters hope the Kennedy endorsement - along with the institutional credibility and advice the senator offers - can help Obama pick up support in the Bay State.

Tomorrow, Representative Bill Delahunt, a Quincy Democrat, will be campaigning for Obama in Massachusetts with Tony Lake, a former Clinton administration official who is now advising Obama on foreign policy.

SUSAN MILLIGAN

Obama ad to air locally during the Super Bowl
Local viewers who tune into the Super Bowl on Sunday will see the usual barrage of beer and snack ads - and a pitch from Barack Obama.

A spokesman for WFXT-TV confirmed yesterday that the Obama campaign has purchased a 30-second spot in a local advertising block during Sunday's game. That means the ad will not be seen by viewers nationwide, but it will appear on Fox 25 two days before Massachusetts holds its presidential primary.

TVWeek reported last week that Fox would not sell national ad space, which runs about $3 million for 30 seconds, to presidential candidates. No campaigns had tried to purchase the spots, anyway. Local ad space costs considerably less.

Both Obama and Hillary Clinton have purchased at least one ad during the pregame Super Bowl programming between 2 and 6 p.m., a Fox spokeswoman said.

JOANNA WEISS

Republican voter turnout led at polls across Florida
Florida, where there was a contentious Republican primary and not a real Democratic one, turned out to be the first state with contests in both parties where more Republicans turned out.

The turnout figures on both sides, however, far exceeded recent totals, demonstrating again the remarkable interest in this presidential race.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, more than 1.9 million Republicans voted on Tuesday, compared to about 700,000 in 2000, when there was the last contested GOP primary.

More than 1.7 million Democrats went to the polls, even though none of the candidates campaigned in the state and no delegates were at stake. That is far more than the 754,000 in 2004 and the 552,000 in 2000.

GLOBE STAFF

Nader launches website for exploratory committee
Ralph Nader, the consumer activist whom many Democrats blame for costing them the White House in 2000, launched an exploratory committee website today.

The site, naderexplore08.org, asks "Which side are you on?" and features a litany of criticisms of corporate America.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but was edged out in the Electoral College by Republican George W. Bush after the US Supreme Court stopped a recount in Florida. Nader, the Green Party candidate, won nearly 3 percent of the vote. But his vote in close, key states such as Florida helped swing the election to Bush.

GLOBE STAFF

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