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.
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The vote in New Mexico was being counted and too close to call.Skip to next paragraph
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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.
"Super Tuesday confirmed that we have two very credible Democratic candidates who are going to spend a lot of money beating each other up," says Jack Pitney Jr., a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif.
Each side could – and did – claim some bragging rights Tuesday. Clinton beat back Obama's eleventh-hour surge in the polls in California and New Jersey, and demonstrated a near lock on Latino voters, nearly 70 percent of whom voted for her in California. Latinos will play an important role again in delegate-loaded Texas on March 4.
Obama proved he could win "red states" that will be battlegrounds in the general election and made advances with two groups of voters normally in Clinton's column: women and whites. He still trailed Clinton in those groups Tuesday but by slimmer margins than in past contests, according to exit polls.
In addition, Obama pulled even with Clinton among white men, a step up from earlier contests, and kept up a winning streak with whites younger than 40, underscoring a sharp cross-racial generational divide between supporters of the two candidates.