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Number-crunching in full swing as presidential primary dawns

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The race for the White House is ready to make a stop in the Sooner State as the presidential primary is Tuesday.

New York senator Hillary Clinton has a lead in Oklahoma polls. The latest poll from TVpoll.com finds Clinton ahead of John Edwards 35 percent to 26 percent among likely voters. Barack Obama comes in with 15 percent, which is below a large number of undecided voters at 21 percent.

"She (Clinton) appeals to what is now the status-quo base of the state Democratic Party," said Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma political science professor and TVpoll.com vice president.

WOMEN
Clinton's support also comes from the same group that helped her win in New Hampshire and Nevada: women.

"Without question, as the senator has demonstrated in other contests, there is a very key core of voters here " and that is women " and women tend to vote," said Oklahoma Secretary of State Susan Savage, a key Clinton supporter.

"She is talking about the issues that resonate with all of us, and resonate especially with women like health care and earning power."

REPUBLICANS
On the Republican side, the race is closer between former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain. In early January, Huckabee had a 21-point lead over McCain. The latest TVpoll.com survey shows that lead has dwindled to five points.

"The 'Hucka-boom' bust has occurred as it has everywhere," Gaddie said. "He's still strong and still in first, but not by much. McCain is up and no one else is doing anything." "Scott Cooper

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