Clinton camp says Obama should win Pa.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (N.Y.) campaign fired back in the Pennsylvania expectations game just hours before the polls close there, arguing that given the resources rival Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) devoted to the state’s Democratic primary, he should be the winner Tuesday night.

In a campaign memo, the Clinton campaign again noted Obama’s efforts in the state, making the case that given his front-runner status, overwhelming fundraising advantage and barrage of “negative” ads, the Illinois senator cannot set the expectations so high for Clinton.

Earlier on Election Day, the Obama campaign circulated a similar memo saying that Clinton needs a “blowout” win in the state to stay competitive. Given her prior relationships to Pennsylvania, Obama’s camp added, she should have no problem in achieving that Tuesday night.

“Sen. Obama's supporters — and many pundits — have argued that the delegate ‘math’ makes him the prohibitive front-runner,” the memo reads. “They have argued that Sen. Clinton’s chances are slim to none. So if he’s already the front-runner, if he’s had six weeks of unlimited resources to get his message out, shouldn’t he be the one expected to win tonight? If not, why not?”

The Clinton camp’s answer to that question is that a Keystone State loss for Obama would “raise troubling questions about his candidacy and his ability to take on [Sen.] John McCain [R-Ariz.] in the general election.”

Clinton was favored to win the contest according to almost all polls, and while the campaign sought to manage expectations, there was still a degree of confidence emanating from it.

“The vote in the bellwether state of Pennsylvania is another head-to-head measure of the two candidates and of the coalition they will put together to compete and win in November,” the memo states. “No amount of spin from the Obama campaign will change that — nor will it explain away anything less than a victory by Sen. Obama.”