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Western Pennsylvania last-minute battleground before primary

| Monday, April 25, 2016, 3:33 p.m.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton reacts during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton reacts during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton reacts during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton reacts during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Hillary Clinton poses for a photo with Parker Napierkowski of Allison Park during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review
Hillary Clinton poses for a photo with Parker Napierkowski of Allison Park during a campaign rally at Westmoreland County Community College on April 25, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election during a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election after a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Sen. Bernie Sanders greets supporters on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election after a campaign event at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
18-month-old, Brigid Corcoran, stands in the crowd at a campaign event for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
18-month-old, Brigid Corcoran, stands in the crowd at a campaign event for Sen. Bernie Sanders at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Supporters listen to Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at a campaign event on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Justin Merriman | Tribune Review
Supporters listen to Sen. Bernie Sanders speak at a campaign event on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary election at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House in Oakland on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets the crowd as he leaves a campaign stop at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets the crowd as he leaves a campaign stop at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Brian Heckmann of Wexford asks Ohio Gov. John Kasich a question as the presidential hopeful campaigns at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Brian Heckmann of Wexford asks Ohio Gov. John Kasich a question as the presidential hopeful campaigns at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets the crowd as he leaves a campaign stop at Montour High School in his Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich greets the crowd as he leaves a campaign stop at Montour High School in his Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs a high school history book for a supporter at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signs a high school history book for a supporter at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes to the stage to campaign at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes to the stage to campaign at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
From left to right, Barb Vojtecky, 52, Ron Kushner, 51, Tracy Bofo, 47, and Ray Kushner, 58, protest the arrival of Ohio Gov. John Kasich outside of Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016. 'Kasich, he's part of the system,' said Ron Kushner. 'He's there to deny Trump the nomination.'
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
From left to right, Barb Vojtecky, 52, Ron Kushner, 51, Tracy Bofo, 47, and Ray Kushner, 58, protest the arrival of Ohio Gov. John Kasich outside of Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016. 'Kasich, he's part of the system,' said Ron Kushner. 'He's there to deny Trump the nomination.'
People react as Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes the stage to speak at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
People react as Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes the stage to speak at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
People line up outside of Montour High School in Robinson Township to hear Ohio Gov. John Kasich speak on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
People line up outside of Montour High School in Robinson Township to hear Ohio Gov. John Kasich speak on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Christina Brussalis, 41, of Gibsonia, holds her son William, 7 months, as they arrive to hear Gov. John Kasich speak at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016. 'He's done a wonderful job in Ohio,' said Brussalis. 'I think he's the one who can win in November.'
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Christina Brussalis, 41, of Gibsonia, holds her son William, 7 months, as they arrive to hear Gov. John Kasich speak at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016. 'He's done a wonderful job in Ohio,' said Brussalis. 'I think he's the one who can win in November.'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on the evening before the Pennsylvania primaries on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich hugs his uncle, George Kasich, 90, after sharing a story about him as he spoke at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ohio Gov. John Kasich hugs his uncle, George Kasich, 90, after sharing a story about him as he spoke at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Ed Majors, 53, and Geralyn Majors, right, 54, of Zelienople, listen as Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Ed Majors, 53, and Geralyn Majors, right, 54, of Zelienople, listen as Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at Montour High School in Robinson Township on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Diane Blanton, of Fox Chapel, holds her Senator Hillary Clinton bobble head she had brought with her, just in case she could collect an autograph, during a Clinton campaign stop at Westmoreland Community College in Youngwood on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Evan R. Sanders | Tribune-Review
Diane Blanton, of Fox Chapel, holds her Senator Hillary Clinton bobble head she had brought with her, just in case she could collect an autograph, during a Clinton campaign stop at Westmoreland Community College in Youngwood on Monday, April 25, 2016.

Western Pennsylvania was a last-minute battleground for three presidential candidates campaigning the day before Pennsylvania's primary election.

Both Democratic candidates made final pitches for support.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton rallied a diverse crowd of 1,500 at Westmoreland County Community College.

“If you vote for me tomorrow, I will stand up and fight for you every day,” said Clinton, who emphasized repeatedly a pledge to grow the economy and improve the lot of working Americans.

In the audience were two women at opposite ends of the electoral spectrum: Angie Sassos, 87, of Greensburg cast her first presidential ballot for Harry Truman; Taylor Koziel, 20, of New Eagle will cast her first presidential ballot Tuesday. Koziel is undecided; Sassos said she expects to see Clinton become the first woman president.

At the same time, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke at the University of Pittsburgh about college affordability, pay equity and climate change to several hundred students.

“We have some important things to talk about, and a lot of it has to do with your future,” Sanders said to cheers.

It was a much smaller crowd — but no less enthusiastic — than the nearly 8,500 who attended Sanders' last visit to Pittsburgh in March.

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island also hold primaries Tuesday.

Monday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich returned to his hometown of McKees Rocks for a rally.

Kasich began his town hall event surrounded by family, friends and supporters who filled the Montour High School gym. He delivered an emotional speech centered on his 90-year-old uncle George, a World War II veteran who held the family together after the death of Kasich's parents in a car crash in the 1980s.

“I want to thank God for you,” Kasich said to his uncle, who sat in the front row.

Kasich listed his accomplishments as governor, reducing taxes, rolling back regulations, building a budget surplus, helping the poor and growing jobs.

“I don't like big government, big unions and big business. I just don't like big,” Kasich said to big applause.

Kasich and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced late Sunday night an unprecedented agreement to coordinate primary strategies in three of the 15 remaining primary states.

Kasich will step back in the May 3 Indiana contest to let Cruz bid without interference for voters who don't like Trump. Cruz will do the same for Kasich in subsequent contests in Oregon and New Mexico.

The shift offers Trump foes a glimmer of hope in the fight to keep him from amassing enough delegates to secure the nomination and avoid a contested national convention in July.

Trump is the only Republican candidate who can clinch the GOP presidential nomination before his party's national convention, but his path is narrow. Trump is 392 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to represent his party in the general election in November. Eliminated from reaching that total in the primaries, Cruz and Kasich can only hope to block Trump from reaching a majority — and a first-round convention victory — and thus force a contested convention where delegates could select a different nominee.

The plan carries risks — especially as Trump bashes a “rigged” nomination system.

Trump lashed out Monday at what he called collusion by desperate rivals, intensifying his attacks on the GOP presidential nomination system.

“It shows how pathetic they are,” he said of his Republican rivals.

Kasich sent mixed messages as he addressed the pact for the first time Monday. Asked what Indiana voters should do next week, the Ohio governor urged them to vote for him.

“I've never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me,” Kasich said. He said he had simply agreed not to spend “resources” in Indiana.

Cruz declared Monday: “We are headed to a contested convention. And at a contested convention, Donald Trump is in real trouble.”

Trump also was the target on the Democratic side as Hillary Clinton assailed him as being out of touch with average Americans.

“If you want to be president of the United States, you've got to get familiar with the United States,” Clinton said. “Don't just fly that big jet in and land it and go make a big speech and insult everybody you can think of.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Salena Zito and Debra Erdley are Tribune-Review staff writers.

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