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Obama wins in Vermont

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.elpasotimes.com/politics/ci_8396327 Obama wins in Vermont By David Espo / Associated Press Article Launched: 02/28/2008 03:33:31 PM MST WASHINGTON
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2008

      Obama wins in Vermont
      By David Espo / Associated Press
      Article Launched: 02/28/2008 03:33:31 PM MST

      WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham
      Clinton in the Vermont primary Tuesday night, and the
      two Democratic rivals dueled in Ohio, Texas and Rhode
      Island in their riveting race for the party's
      presidential nomination.

      The Vermont victory was Obama's 12th straight over the
      former first lady, desperate to rebound later in the
      night in the other three states holding elections.

      The Associated Press made its calls based on surveys
      of voters as they left the polls.

      In all there were 370 Democratic delegates at stake in
      Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and in Texas, which used
      an unusual primary-caucus system.

      Hispanics, a group that has favored Clinton in earlier
      primaries, cast nearly one-third of the Election Day
      votes in Texas, up from about one quarter of the
      ballots four years ago, according to interviews with
      voters as they left their polling places. Blacks, who
      have voted heavily for Obama this year, accounted for
      roughly 20 percent of the votes cast, roughly the same
      as four years ago.

      The economy was the No. 1 concern on the minds of
      Democratic voters in Texas, Rhode Island and
      especially in Ohio. But in Vermont, almost as many
      voters said the war in Iraq was their top concern.

      More than three-quarters of Ohio Democrats said
      international trade had cost their state more jobs
      than it had created. The interviews did not take into
      account early voting, which was heavy in Texas and in
      parts of Ohio.

      Roughly six in 10 of the Democrats who were questioned
      said that so-called superdelegates, who are party
      officials, should vote at the national convention
      based on the results of primaries and caucuses. That
      was unwelcome news for Clinton, who trails Obama among
      delegates picked in the states but holds a lead among

      After 11 straight victories, Obama had the momentum
      and the lead in the delegate chase in The Associated
      Press count, 1,389-1,276.

      His margin was larger - 1,187-1,035 - among pledged
      delegates chosen in primaries and caucuses. The former
      first lady had an advantage among superdelegates, but
      Obama picked up three during the day, narrowing her
      advantage to 241-202.

      That left Clinton in desperate need of a comeback with
      time running out - if it hadn't already.

      Some of her supporters, her husband the former
      president among them, said she needed to outpoll Obama
      in both Texas and Ohio to sustain her candidacy.

      Without conceding anything, Obama's allies said even
      that wouldn't be enough, given his lead in the
      delegate count and party rules that virtually assure
      primary losers a significant share of the spoils.

      Nevertheless in appearances Tuesday, Clinton sounded
      like she might continue her campaign if she won only
      Ohio, and Obama sounded almost resigned to an
      extension of the nomination battle.

      "You don't get to the White House as a Democrat
      without winning Ohio," Clinton said in Houston.

      "My husband didn't get the nomination wrapped up until
      June (in 1992). That has been the tradition," she
      added, without mentioning that this year most
      primaries were held much earlier than in 1992. "This
      is a very close race."

      In San Antonio, Obama called Clinton "a tenacious and
      determined candidate" and predicted little shift in
      his delegate lead no matter who won Texas and Ohio,
      "which means that either way, we'll go on through
      Mississippi and Wyoming next week." Pennsylvania, the
      biggest single prize left, follows on April 22.

      "All those states coming up are going to make a
      difference," he said. "What we want to do is make sure
      we're competing in every single state."

      It takes 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic
      nomination, and slightly more than 600 remained to be
      picked in the 10 states that vote after Tuesday.
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