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Clinton Wins Close Battle In Texas

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.kfoxtv.com/politics/15483166/detail.html?treets=elp&tml=elp_natlbreak&ts=T&tmi=elp_natlbreak_1_12090203052008 Clinton Wins Close Battle In Texas
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4 10:25 PM
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      http://www.kfoxtv.com/politics/15483166/detail.html?treets=elp&tml=elp_natlbreak&ts=T&tmi=elp_natlbreak_1_12090203052008

      Clinton Wins Close Battle In Texas
      Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island Voters Speak

      UPDATED: 11:06 pm MST March 4, 2008

      Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama dueled
      late into the night in the Texas Democratic primary
      after each claimed victories earlier in other states
      and Sen. John McCain clinched the Republican
      presidential nomination. Clinton was projected the
      winner of the Texas primary late Tuesday night.

      Clinton claimed victory in Ohio and Rhode Island,
      Obama won in Vermont, while McCain was projected to
      win those three states and Texas.

      Clinton, who had been beaten by Obama in 11 straight
      contests before Tuesday, was greeted by raucus
      supporters at a rally in Ohio.

      "We're going strong and we're going all the way," she
      said to supporters as confetti rained down. She told
      the crowd her performance was a victory for everyone
      who's been "counted out but refused to be knocked
      out."

      Despite the turn of fortune, Clinton still has an
      uphill fight to overcome Obama's lead in delegates.

      Speaking to supporters in San Antonio, Texas, Obama
      congratulated Clinton on her victory, but predicted he
      would ultimately be the Democratic nominee.

      "We have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this
      morning and we are on our way to winning this
      nomination," he said.

      For McCain, it was an extraordinary comeback for a
      candidate whose White House hopes were dashed eight
      years ago and whose second bid was left for dead eight
      months ago.

      According to The Associated Press count, the four-term
      Arizona senator surpassed the requisite 1,191 GOP
      delegates as voters in Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and
      Texas put him over the threshold.

      The triumph came one month after his Super Tuesday
      coast-to-coast victories gave him an insurmountable
      lead in the delegate hunt and forced his chief rival,
      Mitt Romney, to drop out of the race.

      "It's a very humbling experience," he said of finally
      clinching the nomination in an AP interview.

      "The big battle's to come," he said of the general
      election. "I do not underestimate the significance nor
      the size of the challenge."

      McCain planned a White House meeting Wednesday with
      President George W. Bush, the man who defeated him in
      2000.

      His sole major remaining rival, former Arkansas Gov.
      Mike Huckabee, had 257 delegates dropped out of the
      race Tuesday night, calling McCain an honorable man
      and pledging to support McCainÂ’s campaign for the
      presidency.

      It was McCain's second run at the nomination, after
      his loss to George W. Bush in 2000. The Arizona
      senator was the early front-runner in the GOP race
      this time, but his campaign nearly imploded last
      summer. He regrouped, reassuming the underdog role
      that he relishes, and methodically dispatched one
      rival after another in a string of primaries in
      January and early February.

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

      Obama Leads Democrats In Delegates

      After 11 straight victories Obama had the momentum and
      the lead in the delegate chase going into Tuesday's
      elections 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 her wins in Ohio and Rhode Island, she may have
      achieved that goal.

      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 earlier Tuesday in Texas,
      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.

      Poll Glitches Reported

      The Ohio secretary of state's office said Obama's
      campaign has filed a federal lawsuit to get a voting
      extension in Franklin and Cuyahoga counties, alleging
      a shortage of ballots.

      Heavy rain, sleet and ice forced at least 10 Ohio
      precincts to request permission to move, and a few
      polling spots were running on generators because of
      power outages.

      An ice storm struck Cleveland during rush hour,
      prompting non-profit groups to stop roving election
      monitors. "It is treacherous out there now. It's just
      too dangerous for them to drive around," said Candice
      Hoke, director of Cleveland State University's Center
      for Election Integrity.

      Polls across all four states reported heavy turnout
      Tuesday, with lines forming in some places before
      dawn. Things appeared calm, except for sporadic
      glitches in Ohio.

      Earlier Tuesday, volunteer election monitors in
      Cuyahoga County reported shortages of poll workers in
      some precincts and nonfunctioning touch-screen
      machines set aside for disabled voters.

      In Texas, the Obama and Clinton campaigns sniped at
      each other over allegations of caucus violations,
      prompting the Democratic party to issue a stern
      reprimand ordering both campaigns to follow the
      often-quirky rules of Texas precinct caucuses.

      Both camps claimed staffers were signing up caucus
      member before the polls close, which is prohibited.

      Voting advocates said Texas' hybrid system of precinct
      caucuses and private ballots could also delay tallies.
      Under an arcane set of rules, precinct caucuses, which
      decide 30 percent of delegates, cannot be held until
      the polls close at 7 p.m. Anyone in line at that point
      must be allowed to cast a ballot, however, meaning
      possible delays. Final results may not be known until
      early Wednesday.

      Exit Polls Detailed

      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
      superdelegates.

      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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