CLEVELAND – After another clean sweep, Democratic front-runner John Kerry (search) is going on the offensive against President Bush over jobs lost to foreign countries.
The Massachusetts senator easily defeated North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (search) in the primary and caucuses in Utah, Idaho and Hawaii on Tuesday night. That makes Kerry's win record 18-2.
Both candidates chose not to campaign in the three states and instead focused on the 10 delegate-rich states that hold races on March 2, also known as Super Tuesday. Kerry aides have not ruled out a clean sweep on Super Tuesday but remain cautious about Edwards' prospects in Georgia.
On Wednesday, Kerry tried to appeal to Ohio voters by saying he would require companies to give their employees a three-month warning before sending their jobs abroad. Voters there go to the polls on Super Tuesday; Ohio offers up 140 delegates.
"Companies will no longer be able to surprise their workers with a pink slip instead of a paycheck — they will be required to give workers three months notice if their jobs are being exported offshore," Kerry said during a speech in Toledo.
Bush spokesman Scott Stanzel criticized Kerry, saying, "his plans for higher taxes, more regulation and more litigation would kill jobs in this country. John Kerry would put the brakes on our economic recovery."
He earlier Kerry told 30 workers at a steel plant in Cleveland that, if sent to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he would review all trade agreements in his first four months in office and that he wouldn't sign trade agreements without labor and environmental protections.
"I don't want to be protectionist because I think that's the wrong thing to do for America, but I think what we have to do is be smart," he said.
Kerry's campaign also launched a new campaign ad in Ohio in which he describes Bush's economic policy as "an astonishing failure" and promises to protect U.S. jobs. The commercial, which also was to run in upstate New York, was meant to soften criticism of Kerry's vote for NAFTA (search).
Edwards campaigned in the California cities of Claremont, Fresno and Sacramento. California is the biggest prize on March 2, offering up 370 delegates.
It's not out of question that Edwards could serve up an upset in Ohio, since his jobs message seems to be hitting home for residents there. During the Bush's tenure in the Oval Office, 270,000 Buckeye State workers have lost their jobs.
Kerry has the lead in the polls in most Super Tuesday states.
A California poll of almost 500 likely Democratic voters gives Kerry 60 percent of the vote. An American Research Group poll of 600 likely Democratic voters in Georgia had Kerry and Edwards in a close race with 45 percent and 37 percent, respectively.
Two New York polls conducted by American Research Group and Quinnipiac gave Kerry 54 percent of the vote and 60 percent, respectively. An ARG Ohio poll gave Kerry 47 percent of the vote and Edwards 26 percent.
"We're gonna try to win as many of them as we can," Steve Elmendorf, Kerry's deputy campaign manager, said of the Super Tuesday states. "We feel pretty good about where we're at."
Edwards' 'Tough Road Ahead'
Senior Democratic sources told Fox News that Kerry will pick up the endorsements of Florida Sens. Bob Graham and Bill Nelson Tuesday and will celebrate what are expected to be numerous Super Tuesday victories in Florida.
This may renew speculation about Graham's potential as a running mate for Kerry. Graham had been on Al Gore's shortlist in 2000, and some top Gore advisers said including Graham could give Gore a crucial advantage in Florida. Gore instead chose Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.
Graham ran briefly for the presidency this year, but dropped out before any votes were cast and is not running for re-election to the Senate.
Former astronaut and retired Sen. John Glenn (search) also threw his support behind Kerry.
The candidates have scheduled debates in Los Angeles and New York this week.
Edwards is banking on winning delegates in Georgia, Ohio and upstate portions of New York to slow Kerry's rush toward the nomination.
Kerry began airing an ad in the Peach State on Wednesday, aimed at veterans. It includes former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a Vietnam veteran and triple amputee, praising Kerry.
"He's been tested on the battlefield, he's been tested in the United States Senate, and now he's ready to be president of the United States," Cleland says of Kerry.
Kerry's camp, while not coming out and saying that they're sure to win the nomination, says their boss will fight for every vote and that Edwards needs to win somewhere.
"It's not our place to tell people to get out of the race, but at some point, John Edwards is going to have to win a race and do better than just exceed expectations," Elmendorf said. "He's gonna have to start winning delegates ... he's got a tough road to go if he wants to stay in this."
Going After Bush
In their latest attacks against Bush, Kerry and Edwards said the incumbent is trying to divide the nation over gay marriage with his support of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex matrimony. Both candidates oppose gay marriage but support same-sex civil unions.
"I think he's a president in trouble and he's just looking for a political change of subject," Kerry said in a television interview Wednesday. "He doesn't want to talk about the real issues in front of the nation."
But GOP strategist Rick Davis said, "I think this discussion of a constitutional amendment, or at least some legal limitations on gay marriage ... is a legitimate topic for the nation."
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee attacked Kerry's record and his supposed flip-flops Wednesday after days of fighting between the Bush-Cheney and Kerry camps over Kerry's voting record on defense and military issues.
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said "we've got to set the record straight" after Bush took a pummeling from Democrats for months over questions about the war, economy and his National Guard service, among other things.
"Most any politician who's been around as long as Kerry has had a long record and you can selectively pick it out — he's going to have problems with it," Democratic strategist Bob Beckel told Fox News.
"Bush threw his first punch out, now I think Kerry understands it and Kerry's going to have to start to respond to it."
Fox News' Carl Cameron, Major Garrett, Kelly Wright and The Associated Press contributed to this report.