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In Final N.H. Pitch, Clinton Goes for the Head and the Heart


 If you attended Hillary Clinton’s campaign stops over the weekend, it wasn’t hard to find Clinton supporters who don’t expect Clinton to win Tuesday.

Mary Ruedig lives in Concord. She’s had repeated contact with the Sanders campaign since last summer. The retired teacher says canvassers came to her door often, and mailers piled up in her mailbox. 

Ruedig says the Sanders campaign’s energy was moving, even if it couldn’t move her to support Sanders.

“I think Hillary is the much better candidate. I don’t think Bernie is going to win the election if he is the candidate and I’m worried about Planned Parenthood. I’m worried about Supreme Court justices and I’m worried about separation of church and state.”

The Clinton campaign has been making similar arguments, and raising the question of Sanders’ electability for some time. Here’s the candidate herself Saturday afternoon in Concord.

“My hope is that as you think about this election, you will bring both you head and your heart to vote on Tuesday,” Clinton said. “The heart is absolutely critical. The heart is absolutely critical. You know it was the heart that got me off the ground after we lost that battle for universal healthcare coverage. It was my heart which reminded me off all the stories of people we’d met.”

And the Clinton campaign hopes tales of her past political battles will motivate more democrats, and more women, to fight for her.

Late-breaking support from women allowed Clinton to come from behind eight years ago when she beat then-Senator Barack Obama in the New Hampshire primary. Polling this year, suggests Clinton and Sanders splitting he women’s vote evenly here. Sanders may even hold a slight edge.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright was blunt on Saturday when she asked women to back Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton will always be there for you,” she said. “And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

The pitch was different but goal was the same Sunday morning, as Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards revved up a crew of mostly young, mostly female, campaign volunteers at Clinton’s Concord headquarters.

“When she was in the United States Senate, which was not even that long, she introduced eight separate bills to introduce reproductive health care, which is eight more than anyone running for president of the United States this year,” Richards said.

Clinton herself spent most of yesterday outside New Hampshire.

She visited Flint, Michigan, where she called on Congress to provide $200 million to address that city’s lead-contaminated water. The issue is one that Clinton has talked about here, but is also likely to help her states with more with more diverse electorates.

By nightfall Clinton was back, glad-handing voters and grabbing takeout for her staff at the Puritan Backroom in Manchester. As she did, Clinton said her focus on issues important to women them will only be intensifying.

“I’m going to make it a high priority to really go after the issues that are standing in the way of a lot of women really making the best life they can,” Clinton said.

And support from women voters may hold the key for Hillary Clinton achieving the best result she can in tomorrow’s primary.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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