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For Obama and Clinton, it's back to the future in Florida

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With Clinton's road to the nomination now all but closed off by Obama's lead in delegates, a decision to count Florida's Jan. 29 primary remains her best chance to slow – though in no way overtake – Obama.

On May 31, a rules panel of the Democratic National Committee is expected to decide whether, and how, to seat convention delegates from Florida and Michigan, whose primaries were held earlier than party rules allow. Clinton won both states. But in deference to the rules neither candidate campaigned in them and Obama withdrew his name from the Michigan ballot.

If the candidates' dueling visits this week foster a sense that Florida Democrats are too disaffected to unify, it could boost pressure on the rules panel to seat the state's delegates in proportion to the popular vote. The Obama campaign has resisted such a plan.

Clinton's Florida piggyback visit comes just as Obama was hoping to savor another milestone in his march toward the nomination: The primaries in Oregon and Kentucky Tuesday were expected to give him a majority of pledged delegates nationally.

The campaign events Wednesday – Obama in Tampa and Clinton in South Florida – will create the unusual spectacle of a nomination fight in a state whose primary took place nearly four months earlier.

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