Obama, Clinton duel to a draw on Super Tuesday
He won more states; she won more big states and a few more delegates. Battle to last through March at least, analysts say.
The Democratic presidential contests on Super Tuesday turned out a couple of surprises: Hillary Rodham Clinton won Massachusetts despite Barack Obama's endorsement by some of the state's leading political figures, and Senator Obama beat Senator Clinton in Connecticut, next door to her adopted home state of New York.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
But mostly the day ended as it began: a muddle. Obama won 13 states to Clinton's eight, but she won more populous states, giving her an edge in the delegate tally.
The night's only casualty was the prediction, made by Clinton as recently as December, that the fight for the Democratic nomination would end with the crush of coast-to-coast contests Tuesday.
"Nothing decisive happened tonight," says William Mayer, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston who is an expert on the party nomination process. "If I happened to be running a campaign, I'd say, 'OK, what's the next primary? Get a good night's sleep because tomorrow we're getting up.' "
Obama won his home state of Illinois and its neighbor, Missouri, a national bellwether for the general election. He also racked up victories in the heavily black states of Alabama and Georgia and across a broad arc of the Midwest and Rocky Mountains that included Republican-tilting states like Kansas, Colorado, and Idaho.
Clinton took most of the night's biggest delegate lodes with wins in California, New York, and New Jersey. She also won Arkansas, where she was first lady, and two of its neighbors, Oklahoma and Tennessee, as well Arizona, with its heavy concentration of Latino voters.
The vote in New Mexico was being counted and too close to call.
The Democratic Party awards delegates in proportion to the vote within states. Clinton won 584 Tuesday, compared with 563 for Obama, according to Associated Press estimates. That gives Clinton a total of 845 delegates to date and Obama 765 – still a long way from the 2,025 needed for the nomination.
Analysts expect the political duel to last at least through March and possibly through the April 22 primary in Pennsylvania, though few were yet predicting a brokered convention, which would be the first for Democrats in about a half-century.