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Obama Rattles Clinton in Democratic Primaries

Posted February. 12, 2008 03:02,   


Illinois Senator Barack Obama could take the lead in the Democratic presidential race this week in the wake of his upset win over rival Hillary Clinton in Maine.

Clinton, who had lost in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday, had set her hopes on Maine, where exit polls predicted her victory. Obama handed her another setback, however, by claiming Maine with 59 percent.

Experts predict a number of possible scenarios for Tuesday’s Potomac Primary, named for the river flowing through Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., and that this will determine voter preference for candidates.

His clean sweep of all five weekend contests puts him almost on equal footing with Clinton in their nomination battle.

Her losses have prompted the New York Senator to overhaul her campaign team ahead of “Mini-Super Tuesday” March 4, which will include primaries in Texas and Ohio.

Long-time Clinton aide Maggie Williams has taken over as campaign manager after Patty Solis Doyle’s resignation. The switch came after Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, asked her to do so after her third-place finish in Iowa Jan. 3.

Her side cited her losing streak and poor management of campaign funds for the reshuffle. Bill Clinton is also known to have disliked Doyle’s management style.

Doyle, a daughter of a Mexican immigrant, played a crucial role in Clinton’s strategy to attract Hispanic voters, but caused a financial strain for the campaign due to mismanagement of campaign funds.

At the same time, competition is growing between the two Democratic candidates for the endorsement of John Edwards, who earlier dropped out of the race.

The Clinton camp confirmed that its candidate visited Edwards’ home in North Carolina. Obama also announced plans to fly there Monday.

A CNN poll Sunday said Obama has a 986-924 lead in the number of delegates over Clinton. A CBS survey said the lead is 975-907, while NBC News said 861-855 for the Illinois senator.

According to an Associated Press survey, Clinton had 243 super delegates and Obama 156, giving the New York senator an overall edge in her party’s delegate race overall.