Obama Sweeps 3 States, Huckabee Takes 2
The Illinois senator narrowed the delegate gap with Sen. Hillary Clinton.
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In overall totals in The Associated Press count, Clinton had 1,095 delegates to 1,070 for Obama, counting so-called superdelegates. They are party leaders not chosen at primaries or caucuses, free to change their minds. A total of 2,025 delegates is required to win the nomination at the national convention in Denver.Skip to next paragraph
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McCain flunked his first ballot tests since becoming the Republican nominee-in-waiting. He lost Kansas caucuses to Mike Huckabee, gaining less than 24 percent of the vote. Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, got nearly 60 percent of the vote a few hours after saying, "I majored in miracles, and I still believe in them." He won all 36 delegates at stake.
Huckabee also won the Louisiana primary, but fell short of 50 percent, the threshold necessary to pocket the 20 delegates that were available. Instead, they will be awarded at a state convention next weekend.
McCain won the third Republican race of the night, Washington's caucuses. None of the state's delegates will be awarded until next week.
For all his brave talk, Huckabee was hopelessly behind in the delegate race. McCain had 719, compared with 234 for Huckabee and 14 for Paul. It takes 1,191 to win the nomination at the national convention.
The Democrats' race was as close as the Republicans' was not, a contest between Obama, hoping to become the first black president, and Clinton, campaigning to become the first female commander in chief.
Preliminary results of a survey of voters leaving their polling places in Louisiana showed that nearly half of those casting ballots were black. As a group, African-Americans have overwhelmingly favored Obama in earlier primaries, helping him to wins in several Southern states.
Obama was gaining about 80 percent of the black votes statewide, while Clinton was winning 70 percent support among whites, the exit poll showed.
One in seven Democratic voters and about one in 10 Republicans said Hurricane Katrina had caused their families severe hardship from which they have not recovered. There was another indication of the impact the storm had on the state. Early results suggested that northern Louisiana accounted for a larger share of the electorate than in the past, presumably the result of the decline in population in the hurricane-battered New Orleans area.
McCain cleared his path to the party nomination earlier in the week with a string of Super Tuesday victories that drove Romney from the race. He spent the rest of the week trying to reassure skeptical conservatives, at the same time party leaders quickly closed ranks behind him.