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Bill Clinton stumps for Hillary Sunday; Sanders up in new polls

Bill Clinton speaks at Rock of Ages Baptist Church in west suburban Maywood to campaign for Hillary Clinton on Sunday. | Lynn Sweet/Sun-Times

With Bernie Sanders catching up with Hillary Clinton in Illinois, former President Bill Clinton hit two black churches on Sunday — in west suburban Maywood and South Shore — to spur crucial African-American voter turnout.

The Clinton campaign sent a team of high-profile surrogates to fan out across the Chicago area as two new polls point to the potential of a Sanders’ win in Illinois, turf long seen as solidly for Clinton.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll gives Hillary Clinton only a narrow Illinois lead — 51 percent to 45 percent — while a CBS News survey gives Sanders the lead with 48 percent to 46 percent for Clinton.

Bill Clinton invoked the police shootings in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore and the slaughter in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in pitching his wife at the Rock of Ages Baptist Church in Maywood.

RELATED: Sanders’ final push for Illinois win: Election eve Chicago rally

He was introduced by Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., an Arkansas native who helped Bill Clinton in his 1992 Illinois presidential primary bid.

“Hillary believes responsibility is more important than blame,” Bill Clinton said. “. . . Hillary believes we have to find a way to stand our ground and find common ground.”