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Clinton and Obama Supporters Scramble for Last Minute NY Support

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March to Super Tuesday

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On Saturday afternoon, Barack Obama supporters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge shouting the senator's slogan "Yes We Can." A short subway ride away on the No. 6 train, Hillary Clinton backers put on a rally in Manhattan's Union Square where "Madame President" echoed throughout the park.

In a city where the Giants and their Super Bowl heroics loomed large, there seemed to be as much conversation - and action - generated by the pre-election hoopla for Super Tuesday.

The chatter was everywhere: coffee shops, bars, parks, doughnut shops, Mexican restaurants and barber chairs.

New York is a Democratic stronghold, and there were plenty of sparks between the party's two remaining candidates, who, like the Giants, weren't in New York over the weekend, but whose presence was deeply felt.

Obama supporters, knowing their man is an underdog in Clinton's New York stomping grounds, waged a major effort, substituting youthful energy and on the fly creativity for an established political machine.

They organized some 80 events as they hit more than 1,000 churches around the state - and even trolled Manhattan bars for beers and votes. There also was a 14-vehicle caravan, organized by Latinos Con Obama that brought a typical Latin American-style political tactic to the streets of New York in an effort to reach the Latino vote in Clinton territory.

"Obama speaks for everybody, all ethnicities," said 27-year-old M. Sosa, who recently recorded an Obama-inspired song. "We're going to make history this year and redirect the country on the right path."

The events for Clinton, including a march down Broadway to Times Square, were highly attended, well-organized affairs with strong showings of elected officials, including Geraldine Ferraro.

While Obama supporters constantly cited his charisma and the need for change, Clinton backers countered with some hard numbers: 35 years of experience and a promise the former First Lady will be ready to lead from Day One.

Obama's volunteer army tended to draw a lot of political novices, while Clinton attracted more seasoned political hands that have pulled their share of voting levers.

But this being New York, there are many who defy expectations. One Clinton constituent, a former Marine, said he was going to vote for Sen. John McCain - and hope against hope that McCain chooses Obama as a vice-president.

Even as they clashed over who is the better candidate, Obama and Clinton supporters seemed united on the issues that most concerned them: getting out of Iraq, fixing the economy, improving health care, using more green energy and helping veterans.

"One of the issues that is tearing the heart out of me is seeing our service people come back from the Middle East hurt emotionally, physically, and financially," said Bronx native and former marine Mark Anthony Seda. "And we're doing absolutely nothing to help them."

The reasons the volunteers cited for getting involved ranged from wanting to get the country back on track to making sure that a Republican doesn't win the White House.

But perhaps the most honest answer came from 30-year-old Queens resident Marie Glancy who went on the pub crawl for Obama in the East Village.

"I've been wearing this pin on my bag for the past few weeks and when I get on the subway wearing my pin I feel like I want to be a better person," she said.