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Super Tuesday: No clear winner in Democratic Party
McCain set to claim Republican nomination
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

Super Tuesday ended with no clear winner in the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination and a septuagenarian senator in the lead to claim the Republican Party’s nomination for the election in November.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton notched significant victories, while Senator Barack Obama won in smaller states, ensuring that the Democrats’ battle for the nomination is far from over.

On the Republican side, Arizona Senator John McCain emerged the front-runner, with one-time favourite Mitt Romney, a former Governor of Massachusetts, coming in second in the electoral contest.

In the Democratic field, Obama won Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. Clinton won Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The result in New Mexico was unclear on Wednesday morning, however, Obama was leading in the state.

In the Republican contest, McCain won Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma. Romney was leading in Alaska, and won Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Utah. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Twenty-four states participated in the so-called Super Tuesday contest. The Democrats were contesting in 22 states. The party’s candidate requires 2,025 delegates to win the nomination. Clinton had 783 delegates to Obama’s 709, according to a CNN tally.

Despite endorsements for Obama from prominent Massachusetts Senators Edward Kennedy and John Kerry, Clinton won the state and most of its neighbours in the Northeast. She won the night’s big prizes - California, and her home state of New York - both of which have a significant number of delegates.

On Tuesday night, Obama won more states, but Clinton won states with higher delegate counts.

Clinton and Obama are locked in a historic contest that could result in either the first African American or the first female presidential nominee for the Democratic Party.

Both Clinton and Obama sounded like victors on Tuesday night. “Tonight is America’s night,” Clinton said at a rally in New York.

In Chicago, Obama told supporters: “There is one thing on this February night that we do not need the final results to know. Our time has come. Our movement is real. And change is coming to America.”

Obama won his home state of Illinois. In an e-mail sent to supporters early on Wednesday morning, Obama said he had won “more states and delegates” than Clinton.

“The votes will be counted into the night and into tomorrow, but today we won states and we won delegates in every part of the country,” he said.

“It’s a remarkable achievement we can all be proud of.”

Clinton also sent a note thanking supporters. “From Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Arkansas, to New Jersey, Massachusetts, and my home state of New York, the good news just keeps coming in,” she said.

In recent weeks, McCain has resurrected his floundering campaign and on Tuesday night, buoyed by his recent wins, declared himself the front-runner for the Republican Party’s nomination.

“Tonight I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination of President of the USA. And I don’t really mind it one bit,” McCain told supporters who chanted “Mac is back!”

Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, fared well in conservative Southern states. He hailed his “wonderful, wonderful win here at home” in Arkansas.

“You know, over the past few days a lot of people have been trying to say that this is a two-man race,” he told his supporters in a suburb of Little Rock, Arkansas. “Well, you know what? It is. And we’re in it!”

Romney, who has invested a considerable amount of his personal fortune into his campaign, said he was not about to drop out of the race.

“This campaign’s going on...We’re going all the way to the White House,” he told supporters in Massachusetts.

The Republicans need 1,191 delegates to stitch up the nomination. McCain had 559 delegates to 265 for Romney and 169 for Huckabee, according to the CNN count. The presidential races head to key primaries in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, next Tuesday.



Indian-Americans play crucial role

Washington, February 6
The three million-strong Indian-American community is believed to have swung the electoral fortunes of major US Presidential hopefuls. For Democratic Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, the community has not only played a crucial role in the run-up to the primaries both by way of physical and financial support but also with their huge concentrations in big and diverse states may have played even a “swing” role.

Indian-Americans are well dotted across the states of New York and New Jersey, the two major states going to Clinton.

In California, especially where the Indian-American community is present in large numbers, their voting impact has certainly helped Clinton get this huge state that offered as many as 441 delegates to the national convention. Exit polls in California showed that Clinton did very poorly among the White and African American population but did spectacularly well with the Asian American community by a three-to-one margin. — PTI



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