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Obama overtakes Clinton, sweeps Potomac

Feb 13, 2008 11:46 AM IST India India

Washington: Democrat Barack Obama easily won two more nominating contests on Tuesday, extending his winning streak over rival Hillary Clinton and building momentum in a hard-fought US presidential race.

Obama rolled to decisive victories in Virginia and the District of Columbia, running his hot streak to seven consecutive wins and expanding his lead in the pledged delegates who select the party's nominee.

While Obama won 1208 delegates, Clinton managed 1185 delegates. Exit polls indicate heavy black voter support for Obama. The exit poll survey also shows Hispanic community favouring Clinton in a big way.

“Today, the change we seek swept through Chesapeake and over the Potomac,” a victorious Obama said. “We won the state of Maryland. We won the Commonwealth of Virginia. And, though we won in Washington D.C, this movement won't stop until there is change in Washington, D.C. and tonight we are on our way.”

Republican front-runner John McCain narrowly defeated his last major challenger, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in Virginia, US media projected, as McCain tried to move closer to clinching the party's nomination for the November election.

The March round of voting in states like Texas will be crucial. Since 1952 the Democrats have not gone to a convention without a known nominee, but the chances of that happening this year are highly likely. Which candidate gets the nomination depends on Super Delegates.

Super Delegates are party office bearers who vote in the national convention. This year there are 796 Super Delegates, which accounts for roughly 20 per cent of all Democratic delegates.

An undismayed Hillary Rodham Clinton is already looking beyond the results of the Potomac primaries and aiming for the must-win state of Texas.

“We're going to sweep across Texas in the next three weeks, bringing our message about what we need in America, the kind of president that will be required on Day One to be commander in chief to turn the economy around. I am tested, I am ready, let’s make it happen,” Clinton said before leaving for Texas even before Washington DC area voting had closed.

For the Democrats, a candidate needs to win 2025 votes to win the nomination, however presently no one's even close to that.

(With agency inputs)