Sen. Barack Obama trails Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in Pennsylvania by 11 percentage points in one poll, and by 16 in another.
To help their candidate overcome the odds and win this very next Democratic primary, Obama's staff on the ground is identifying sympathetic independent and Republican voters -- trying to persuade them to register as Democrats in a house-by-house appeal, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Only registered Democrats can cast a vote in the Democratic contest.
And something is, indeed, happening. More than 22,000 voters registered as Democrats during the week of March 10, compared with 7,223 in the entire month of January.
"I've never seen numbers like this in one week," said Leslie Amorós, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.
"If she [Clinton] loses Pennsylvania," said Joe Trippi, an adviser to former Democratic candidate John Edwards, "I don't think there are many people left who carry water for her who'll think she has much of a shot."
Meanwhile, about 200 Clinton aides also are combing the same neighborhoods, trying to drum up support for their candidate.
A handwritten sign on a wall at Clinton's Philadelphia office says it all: "Phone All Day, All the Time."
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