M A I N   N E W S

Obama closes in on Hillary
Huckabee strikes back in Kansas
Ashish Kumar Sen writes from Washington

Barack Obama on Saturday won all four Democratic contests, cutting Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead.

Obama notched convincing victories in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state. He also won the Virgin Islands caucus. Obama has won 18 out of 28 states contested so far. According to a CNN tally, Clinton now has 1,100 delegates and Obama has 1,039. It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

If neither candidate hits the 2,025 mark — which seems increasingly likely at this point — their fate falls into the hands of 796 ‘super delegates’, so called because they are free to cast their votes for either candidate at the party’s convention in the summer. Both the Clinton and the Obama camps have begun actively wooing these super delegates.

In the Republican Party contests, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was the big winner trouncing Arizona Senator John McCain in Kansas and was projected to win Louisiana. Early on Sunday morning, the Republican election in Washington state was still too close to call. McCain is the presumptive presidential nominee with 719 delegates. Huckabee has 234. A Republican candidate requires 1,191 delegates to secure the party’s nomination.

Obama is expected to win Maine contest on Sunday. After that the next big battle for Obama and Clinton is on Tuesday in the Potomac Primaries - in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, situated along the Potomac River. Obama is considered well positioned in all three contests.

Clinton and Obama were now drumming up support in Virginia. Addressing a hugely pro-Obama crowd of Democrats at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond, Virginia, the Illinois senator said, “People want to turn the page. They want to write a new chapter in American history.”

Speaking before Obama at the same event, Clinton targeted her speech mainly at President George W. Bush. She said Bush’s way was “to hoard power, disregard science, shred the Constitution, smear dissenters, impugn patriots, go it alone in the world wherever you can and cooperate only when you have to.”



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