McCain Makes It Official With Wins in Four States
Illinois Senator Barack Obama won easily in Vermont, putting more pressure of Hillary Clinton.
Republican John McCain clinched his party's presidential nomination on Tuesday with four big victories over his last major rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The wins in Vermont, Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island gave him more than the 1,191 delegates needed to win the nomination, according to media delegate counts. President George W. Bush was expected to endorse McCain at the White House on Wednesday.
In the Democratic race, Barack Obama scored an easy win in Vermont and rival Hillary Clinton battled to save her presidential candidacy on Tuesday in big-state showdowns in Ohio and Texas.
The Vermont win for Obama, an Illinois senator, gave him 12 straight victories in his hard-fought duel with Clinton to be the Democratic nominee in the November presidential election.
Clinton was under pressure to score wins in the two biggest states, Ohio and Texas, to keep her White House hopes alive and prolong the hotly contested Democratic campaign with Obama.
Turnout was heavy in all four states, and the Democratic campaigns of Obama and Clinton traded accusations of irregularities at the polls in both Ohio and Texas. An Ohio judge granted a request from the Obama campaign to extend voting in some Cleveland-area precincts. Few returns were available yet in Ohio, and Obama had a lead in slight, early returns from Texas.
For Clinton, a New York senator, wins in both Ohio and Texas would rejuvenate her campaign and send the race on toward the next major contest -- Pennsylvania on April 22.
Losses in both, or possibly even one, could set off a stampede of party support for Obama, raise pressure on Clinton to drop out and make it even tougher for her to cut Obama's lead in the pledged delegates who will choose the Democratic nominee to contest November's presidential election.
March 4, 2008 - posted at www.wtam.com