Clinton wins Ohio and Texas as McCain claims Republican mantle
Democrat Hillary Clinton racked up stunning primary victories over
Barack Obama in Ohio and Texas, resurrecting her flagging White House
hopes and setting the stage for an epic nominating end-game.
Clinton's comeback prolonged the longest and costliest nominating
race in US history and ensured weeks or months more of bruising battle
for the right to face John McCain, who clinched the Republican mantle
"I think what's important is this campaign has turned a corner. It is
about who is strongest against the Republican nominee John McCain. ...
What happened yesterday is that voters said, look, we want somebody who
can go toe-to-toe with John McCain on national security," Clinton told
CNN television early Wednesday.
President George W. Bush was scheduled to welcome McCain for lunch at
the White House Wednesday and was expected to endorse his one-time
rival, addressing the media alongside the man he hopes will succeed him
in January 2009.
The feisty senator and former first lady, her campaign threatened
with oblivion, took Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island, ending Obama's
12-contest win streak after he started the evening with a victory in
Basking in the unaccustomed role of underdog, Clinton, 60, crowed
that the results heralded a "new chapter in this historic campaign" and
told a rally in Ohio that "we're going all the way" to the White House.
But Obama, 46, a freshman senator from Illinois, stressed she still
faced tough odds to overhaul his lead of about 100 in the race for the
2,025 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
"The bottom line though is we come out of the evening essentially the
same lead in delegates as we had going in," Obama told Fox television
Wednesday. "We are in a strong position to get the nomination," he
Obama, seeking to become the first black US president, and Clinton,
vying to be the country's first woman chief executive, turned their
sights on their next big showdown in Pennsylvania on April 22.
But some analysts predicted that given the Democrats' system of
attributing delegates by proportional vote, the fight could go all the
way to the Democratic convention in August with the outcome decided by
non-elected superdelegates" - party luminaries who can vote as they
With nearly all precincts reporting in Ohio, Clinton had a 54-44
percent edge over Obama. She led 51-47 percent in Texas, which followed
its primary vote with caucuses in a two-step delegate selection process.
Clinton came up big after launching an all-out attack on Obama's
ability to protect the United States, including a controversial ad aired
three days ago featuring children sleeping as a crisis broke over the
Obama accused Clinton of fear-mongering but some analysts suggested
the tactic worked. Texas exit polls showed more than 60 percent of
people who made up their minds in the last three days opted for Clinton.
Washington, Wednesday, AFP