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Clinton's troubles are felt in California

January 8, 2008 |  7:08 am

The Times' dogged Dan Morain did some talking to California politics in recent hours and he found some very interesting political tremors, even this far away from Iowa and New Hampshire.

"It's going to be very difficult for her (Hillary Clinton) to win in New Hampshire," admitted Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. "We need to evaluate, look at those states where we're strong, and that's where we need to spend our time right now." He suggested Clinton must "cut her losses" and focus only on states where she can still win. She could win in Nevada, he said, but maybe not South Carolina.

"Is everybody concerned and nervous?" asked a Los Angeles political consultant who represents a major Clinton donor. "Yes!" Several other Clinton backers told Morain they fully expect her to lose in New Hampshire today, perhaps by double-digits. They also anticipate a major shake-up of the campaign organization, possibly as early as Wednesday, and that the New York senator would pivot away from investing time in South Carolina.

While Clinton's contributors may not be bolting to Barack Obama yet, a Californian who's raised significant sums for the Illinois senator was already preparing a fundraising appeal aimed at wooing Clinton donors. As it happens, Obama has planned a major California fundraising trip next week, with stops in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. And that could turn into a victory lap after two early wins.

"You may see less of a bolting and more covering of all bases," said Andy Spahn, an L.A. consultant whose clients include Clinton backer Steven Spielberg and Obama backer David Geffen.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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