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Sanders rally at Chicago State University on Thursday

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a rally on Feb. 19 in Elko, Nev. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

WASHINGTON — Focusing on the March states as Hillary Clinton appears headed to a South Carolina win on Saturday, Bernie Sanders will headline a rally at Chicago State University on Thursday.

The location of the Sanders rally in advance of the March 15 Illinois primary is telling as the Vermont senator seeks the votes of youths and African-Americans — and as Democrats in Illinois are united against GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The rally at the Jones Center, 9501 S. King Dr., is open to the public, first-come, first-served.

CSU serves mostly black students. The school is so cash-strapped by the ongoing budget stalemate between Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly that it is cutting the semester short to save money by skipping spring break.

Also on Thursday, Sanders, a graduate of the University of Chicago, will return to his Hyde Park school to guest on MSNBC’s College Tour with Chris Matthews at the Quadrangle Club, 1155 E. 57th St. The U. of C. event is open only to students, and only by invitation.

Clinton and Sanders are making big pitches for black voters, talking about race during CNN’s Town Hall in South Carolina on Tuesday night. Clinton is putting enormous emphasis on wooing African-Americans.

Campaigning in the Bronzeville neighborhood on Feb. 17, Clinton lit into Rauner and his “Turnaround Agenda.”

“His plan would turn Illinois around, all right,” Clinton said. “All the way back to the time of the robber barons at the start of the 19th century.”

Clinton and husband Bill are headlining South Carolina get-out-the vote rallies on Thursday and Friday. After a morning in South Carolina on Wednesday, Sanders moved on to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a March 1 vote, and Kansas City, Missouri, holding a March 15 primary. Sanders returns to South Carolina on Friday for turnout events.