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Obama Wins N.Carolina; Clinton Wins Indiana

Posted May. 08, 2008 08:27,   


U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama won the North Carolina primary yesterday while his rival Hillary Clinton won a narrow victory in Indiana.

The two states had been considered the biggest battlefields for the two senators in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Obama romped to victory in North Carolina with 56.2 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 41.5 percent. Clinton, however, squeaked out a razor-thin win in Indiana, 50.9 to 49.1 percent.

The New York Times and other U.S. media said the results were far from a tie, saying Obama’s prospects have increased while those of Clinton have gone down.

▽ Obama widens lead, Clinton defiant

Tuesday’s primaries tested how competitive Obama will be in the presidential election. The Illinois senator has weathered attacks due to a number of controversies, including his relations with his outspoken former pastor Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., racial problems and questions over his patriotism.

Unlike predictions that said Obama would fall while Clinton would rise, support for Obama turned out stronger than expected. In North Carolina, 91 percent of black voters cast their ballots for Obama.

Clinton’s victory in Indiana was enough to encourage her to stay in the race until the primary season ends in early June. The narrow win, however, is unlikely to help Clinton to turn down requests to quit the race and lead to more donations for her campaign.

She pledged not to quit, however, saying she won a state that Obama was expected to claim.

▽ Superdelegates

CNN said Obama, who has added five more pledged delegates, commands a net lead of 148 delegates over Clinton. Obama has secured 1,820 delegates to Clinton’s 1,672.

There are 217 delegates at stake in the six primaries to come. The “magic number,” or the number of pledged delegates needed to earn the Democratic Party’s nomination, is 2,025. None of the two candidates, however, are likely to hit that magic number.

This means the decision will be up to superdelegates, many of whom say they will choose the candidate most supported by voters.

Clinton would have to win nearly 70 percent of the remaining pledged delegates and superdelegates to win the nomination, an incredibly unlikely scenario which only seems possible if a sudden disaster were to befall Obama.

sechepa@donga.com triplets@donga.com