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Clinton, Sanders Campaigns Expect Tuesday's Race In Ohio To Be Close


All right, a lot of voting is going to be taking place tomorrow. And one of the big states we'll be focusing on is the state of Ohio. And NPR's Scott Detrow is there. He has been following the race on the Democratic side. Scott, good morning.


GREENE: So Bernie Sanders surprised a lot of people, ended up beating Hillary Clinton in Michigan. This is another industrial state where he is talking about an issue that helped him win in Michigan - free trade. How is this shaping up?

DETROW: Well, a poll that came out from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News this weekend has Hillary Clinton up 20 points in Ohio. And she's been leading in a lot of recent surveys, too. But here's the thing - she was leading in a lot of the Michigan polls as well. Sanders focused on the economy, focused on trade issues. And he was able to pull out an upset there. Ohio and Michigan, very similar - they're industrial, they're Midwestern, they used to make a lot more things than they do now. So the Sanders campaign feels like they can do it again here. And as a result, Sanders is campaigning a lot in Ohio. And Hillary Clinton is taking it really seriously as well. Both of them spending a lot of time to Ohio this week.

GREENE: And it sounds like yesterday was one of those days where they almost crossed paths at the same party dinner, which I know happens from time to time during an election year.

DETROW: Right. They were - they missed each other by about 20 minutes on that stage. And then again later on in the night at CNN they were both on the same stage. At the dinner that I was at, Bernie Sanders stuck to those big economic themes. He called for an increase in the minimum wage, and he also talked a lot about trade.


BERNIE SANDERS: Maybe, just maybe it's time to end our disastrous trade policies - NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China - and tell corporate America that they'd better start investing in this country, not just in China.

DETROW: And NAFTA, of course, was finalized by President Bill Clinton. And Sanders has tried to tie Hillary Clinton to these trade deals as well.

GREENE: Well, I mean, knowing how things went badly in Michigan, I mean, how was Hillary Clinton defending herself on trade right now?

DETROW: She talked a lot about the issue as well but with a lot of detail. She said that the country needs a president who's not just opposed to trade, needs one who knows how to compete as well. That's a reference to her experience at the State Department and elsewhere. She talked a lot about car manufacturing, which happens in Ohio, and called for tougher trade rules when it comes to auto imports. Another really interesting thing that happened last night was that Hillary Clinton really went after Donald Trump. These were some of the most aggressive comments we've heard from her yet on the Republican front-runner.


HILLARY CLINTON: Donald Trump is running a cynical campaign of hate and fear for one reason - to get votes. He's encouraging violence and chaos to get votes.

DETROW: And she kept going. She mentioned Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S., several other things he's talked about on the campaign trail. And she ended by telling a room of Democrats that if you want to shut him down then vote him down. And this sounded very much like a general election message that we're going to hear from her very often if it's a Clinton and Trump campaign this fall.

GREENE: OK, that's NPR's Scott Detrow, who is on the campaign trail in Columbus, Ohio. And Scott, thanks very much.

DETROW: Anytime David.

GREENE: And we should tell you we are going to be broadcasting the show over the next few days from three places. Renee is going to be here in Washington, D.C. I am getting on a plane after the show this morning and heading to the state of Ohio to join Scott. And Steve Inskeep is on his way to Florida. Three places, one show tomorrow and Wednesday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.