Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) apparently continues to hold a slight lead over Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.) in today's important presidential primary in Ohio.
Both of the major candidates roamed the state yesterday in search of undecided voters. At stake are 153 delegates, the fifth largest state delegation traveling to the Democratic convention in Miami Beach in July.
Delegates will also be chosen today in contests in Indiana (76), Alabama (37) and the District of Columbia (15). Humphrey and Governor George C. Wallace (D-Ala.) are locked in a close struggle in Indiana.
Focus on Ohio
But most attention will center on the returns from Ohio tonight, where both McGovern and Humphrey are looking for a strong showing to give them momentum for crucial up-coming primaries in Michigan, California and New York.
Senator Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) has been campaigning hard in Ohio, but he is not expected to do well there. The battle for delegates is somewhat confused because the voters will have a choice of five delegates slates today: those pledged to Humphrey, McGovern and Jackson, as well as Senator Edmund S. Muskie (D-Me.) and former Senator Eugene J. McCarthy.
Muskie has not campaigned in Ohio after withdrawing from the unfriendly primary trail last week. But the Muskie slate is comprised of many well-known Ohio politicians, led by Governor John J. Gilligan.
Humphrey: "Plainly Worried"
Humphrey has concentrated on the same elements in Ohio that gave him victory in next-door Pennsylvania last Tuesday: the labor unions, the blacks, the Jews and the elderly. But Humphrey has been forced to divide his time between Ohio and Indiana, and CBS News last night described the former Vice-President as "plainly worried" about both states.
In contrast, McGovern has been trying to expand on the political base that helped him win in Wisconsin and Massachusetts. McGovern has been touring factories and wooing blue-collar workers frantically in the Buckeye State, and he has earned the endorsement of several important black leaders, including Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Julian Bond of Georgia and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Kathleen Kennedy '73 has been campaigning vigorously for McGovern in Ohio, making daily appearances with the Senator at large rallies. The eldest daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy usually only speaks for two or three minutes before McGovern begins his address.
"It's really pretentious to say that I am really being helpful," Kennedy admits. But her activity is an open indication of the way the Kennedy family feels about McGovern, amid rumors that her uncle Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) will endorse the South Dakotan if Humphrey begins to develop a strong surge before the convention.