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Obama Wins Wisconsin, Hawaii; McCain Sweeps Again

By Kevin Robinson in News on Feb 20, 2008 4:41PM

2008_2__obama_wisconsin_ap.jpgIn a race that may be a precursor to the Ohio and Texas Democratic primaries in March, Barack Obama won a decisive victory in Wisconsin last night, leading Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points. He also won Hawaii, taking over 75 percent of the vote in a state where he had campaigned as a "native son." His victories last night mark his ninth and tenth consecutive primary or caucus wins and put his pledged delegate count at 1,140. Clinton has 1,005 pledged delegates. When you add in committed superdelegates, Obama leads Clinton 1,301 to 1,239, with John Edwards's 26 delegates still in play. Chris Bowers at OpenLeft points out that Clinton has now surpassed Jessee Jackson's 1988 total of 1218 delegates. 1988 saw the highest number of delegates ever won by a Democrat who did not win the nomination.

Arizona Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee also won the Badger State last night, winning the state's 13 delegates. And his win in Washington's GOP primary yesterday put McCain at 918 delegates to Mike Huckabee's 217. 1,191 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination. And you've gotta hand it to the Republicans: they know how to circle the wagons. McCain commended Huckabee for his tenacity, but quickly turned to Obama in his Wisconsin victory speech. "I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change," McCain told supporters Tuesday night.

Obama's wins last night set the stage for a near monumental showdown on March 4 for the Democrats, leaving Clinton no leeway for campaign error in the coming weeks, or margin for defeat. The Clinton campaign tried to write off last night's losses, saying that Obama predicted a win two weeks ago. And Clinton took a shot at Obama last night in a speech to supporters in Youngstown, Ohio, a preview of the beating the two Democrats are about to administer to each other over the next two weeks. "I want to talk to you about the choice you have in this election and why that choice matters. It is about picking a president who relies not just on words but on work -- on hard work to get America back to work."

Image via AP