But the warning signals for her campaign were clear once those supporters started talking.
Nearly every other parent in the group with voting-age children said the same thing -- a split mirrored most dramatically in the case of two widely respected local Democratic leaders, state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. and his son, state Rep. Eddie Lucio III.
The generational divide runs like a hidden fault-line beneath territory the Clinton campaign had long regarded as solid, and it worries the old-guard local politicians who have dutifully lined up behind Clinton because of her decades-long ties to the predominantly Hispanic south Texas region.
"It's obvious that Obama is real attractive with a lot of the younger generation and even some of the older ones," said Juan Maldonado, chairman of the Hidalgo County Democratic Party. "We are guilty to some degree in assuming that because the leadership leans one way, the rank-and-file are going to follow. But the old patron system, where the boss would tell everybody how to vote, that's gone."
If Clinton is to win the March 4 Texas primary -- a victory that seems even more crucial now if she is to halt Obama's accelerating momentum following his victories Tuesday in Wisconsin and Hawaii -- her advisers acknowledge that she must capture most of the state's key Hispanic voters, who could comprise up to half of the voters in the state's Democratic primary.
Hurdles for Clinton
Yet demographics, dynamics and the peculiarities of the party's primary process are all working against Clinton's need to win not only the state's popular vote but also the lion's share of Texas' 228 Democratic delegates.
For one thing, about 40 percent the state's 8.5 million Hispanic residents are ages 18 to 40 -- a cohort Obama has been consistently winning.
"This is a younger population that is newly registered at a time when the Clintons weren't in office," said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas Democrat. "We think that's fertile ground for Sen. Obama to make inroads."
Then there's the unusual two-stage nature of the Texas Democratic primary -- only 126 of the delegates will be awarded based on the March 4 popular vote, while 35 are unpledged superdelegates. Another 67 delegates will be distributed according to the results of a series of precinct caucuses -- a format that has benefited Obama.
And most perplexing of all to the Clinton campaign is the way the state Democratic Party apportions most of the delegates, based on voter turnout in state senatorial districts in recent elections.
Even though registered Hispanic voters outnumber African-American voters in Texas 2-1, their historically lower election turnout means their influence is diluted. As a result, urban and predominantly black districts in and around Houston, Dallas and Austin -- places where Obama is likely to do especially well -- are more delegate-rich than their mostly Hispanic counterparts along the Mexico border.
"If you're telling me we won't get as many delegates as we get popular votes, that's probably true," said Garry Mauro, a former state land commissioner and Clinton Texas campaign leader. "But Hispanics have shown a tendency to overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton, and our polls in Texas are showing the same thing."
'Having to catch up'
Yet Clinton campaign officials, mindful that other recent Texas polls show Obama pulling even with the New York senator, are clearly concerned about shoring up her support in south Texas. Clinton journeyed to the Rio Grande Valley region last week for a rally, and she came back Wednesday evening, to Hidalgo and Brownsville, for two more.
"I feel so strongly [about] my relationships, my history here, having gone door to door registering voters," Clinton told a cheering crowd of supporters at the Dodge Arena in Hidalgo. "You may have noticed, I love coming to south Texas."
Part of Clinton's problem in south Texas, Maldonado said, is that she took the region for granted, assuming that her past popularity and history of visits here, beginning with a drive to register Hispanic voters back in 1972 and other trips during Bill Clinton's presidency, would be enough.
"The Clinton campaign assumed that the nomination would be over and done with by now," Maldonado said. "Last year, they just came through here for private fundraisers, picked up the money bag and left. They should have spent another hour, that's all they needed, to go where the real people were. But they missed that chance. Now they are having to catch up."
Obama's campaign is looking to exploit the opening. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) campaigned in Edinburg and Laredo on Wednesday, a powerful Obama surrogate in a region where many older Hispanic voters keep portraits of President John F. Kennedy, next to pictures of the pope. And Obama will make his first campaign visit to south Texas on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Lucios -- father and son -- will be stumping vigorously for their candidates.
"Hillary knows our needs and struggles, so I feel she will win this area of the state," said the elder Lucio. "But I respect my son very much, and he's doing exactly what he was reared to do -- be an independent thinker. He came to me early in the campaign and told me he was supporting Obama. I said, 'Son, you follow your heart.'"
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Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are scheduled to debate Thursday at the University of Texas at Austin. The 90-minute televised session, at 7 p.m. CST, is sponsored by CNN, Univision and the Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation.