States hold coast-to-coast contests

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Arizona Sen. John McCain challenged his remaining rivals for control of the Republican presidential race Tuesday in primaries and caucuses from Connecticut to California. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama vied for Democratic delegates in a grueling campaign with no end in sight.

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After an early series of low-delegate, single-state contests, Super Tuesday was anything but — primaries and caucuses spread across nearly half the country in the most wide-open presidential campaign in memory.

Clinton was winning only a slight edge among women and white voters, both groups that she has won handily in earlier contests, according to preliminary results from interviews with voters in 16 states leaving polling places. Obama was collecting the overwhelming majority of votes cast by blacks, and Clinton was gaining the votes of roughly six in 10 Hispanics.

In the GOP race, McCain had a small edge among voters calling themselves Republicans, a group he had not won in any of the earlier races. As usual, he was running strongly among independents. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was getting the votes of about four in 10 people who described themselves as conservative. McCain was wining about one-third of that group, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee about one in five.

Democrats and Republicans alike said the economy was their most important issue. Democrats said the war in Iraq ranked second and health care third. Republican primary voters said immigration was second most important after the economy, followed by immigration and the war in Iraq.

The survey was conducted in 16 states by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and television networks.

McCain was the Republican front-runner, all but unchallenged in winner-take-all primaries in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He looked for a home-state win in Arizona, as well.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, struggling to sustain his candidacy, concentrated on Missouri and California as well as several caucus states.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee concentrated on a swath of Southern and border states. Texas Rep. Ron Paul had the fourth spot on the ballot.

In the first contest decided Tuesday, Huckabee won all 18 delegates at the West Virginia GOP convention after McCain's supporters sided with him in a successful attempt to deprive Romney of a victory.

Democrats Obama and Clinton conceded in advance that neither was likely to emerge from the busiest day in primary history with anything more than a relatively narrow edge in convention delegates.

"Senator Clinton, I think, has to be the prohibitive favorite going in given her name recognition, but we've been steadily chipping away," said Obama, seeking to downplay expectations.

As she voted in Chappaqua, N.Y., Clinton said, "The stakes are huge."

Her aides conceded in advance that Obama might win more Super Tuesday delegates than the former first lady.

Already, both campaigns were looking ahead to Feb. 9 contests in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state and Feb. 12 primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. And increasingly, it looked like the Democrats' historic race between a woman and a black man would go into early spring, possibly longer.

Democrats had 1,681 Super Tuesday delegates to allocate in primaries in 15 states and caucuses in seven more plus American Samoa.

Clinton led Obama in the delegate chase as the polls opened, 261 to 202, on the strength of so-called superdelegates. They are members of Congress and other party leaders, not chosen by primary voters or caucus-goers. It takes 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

Republicans had 1,023 delegates at stake in 15 primaries, six caucuses and one state convention.

The evening began with McCain holding 102 delegates, to 93 for Romney, 43 for Huckabee and four for Paul. It takes 1,191 to win the Republican nomination.

The de facto national primary was the culmination of a relentless campaign that moved into overdrive during Christmas week.

After a brief rest for the holiday, the candidates flew back to Iowa on Dec. 26 for a final stretch of campaigning before the state's caucuses offered the first test of the election year. New Hampshire's traditional first-in-the-nation primary followed a few days later, then a seemingly endless series of campaign days interspersed by debates and a handful of primaries and caucuses.

Along the way, the poorest performers dropped out: Democratic Sens. Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; and Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

Former Sen. John Edwards pulled out of the Democratic race last week, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani left the Republican field.

Edwards offered no endorsement as he exited, instead leaving Obama and Clinton to vie for help from his fundraisers and supporters.

But Obama benefited from an endorsement by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who made a series of campaign appearances in California as well as his home state of Massachusetts.

Giuliani quit the race and backed McCain in the same breath, clearing the way for the Westerner in New York and New Jersey.

Giuliani's departure also made it possible for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to back McCain. Schwarzenegger said he would not have done so as long as the former mayor was in the race.

Obama and Clinton spent an estimated $20 million combined to advertise on television in the Feb 5 states.

Obama spent $11 million, running ads in 18 of the 22 states with Democratic contests. Clinton ran ads in 17, for a total of $9 million.

Neither advertised in Illinois, Obama's home state.

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  • by Ralph Location: Denison on Feb 7, 2008 at 09:17 PM
    To Realist: when you say you are in support of the war, I assume you are referring to the war in Iraq. Therefore, I ask this with all respect. Hasn't the war already been won? The stated purpose for the war was to topple the Saddam regime, because he was a tyrant and had WMD's. I am not arguing the WMD issue, ok? However, we have been there for almost 4 yrs beyond the time Saddam's army was defeated, and him being captured. We have been there years since they had their national elections. It just seems everytime we meet our expressed goal, the President puts up yet another goal. I dare say that some won't be satisfied until Iraq becomes our 51st state! I would submit it is impossible to get Iraq (or any country)to the point where it is 100% stable and safe from terrorist elements. We have spent enough lives, and treasure to defeat the tyrant, and install a democratic regime. It is time we declare victory (again). If the job isn't "finished", what does a finished look like?
  • by Realist Location: Denison on Feb 7, 2008 at 10:31 AM
    I agree there needs to be some serious change in Wash but casting a protest vote for Paul, which is what it will be, will move us in the wrong direction. It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth to consider that my vote in Nov will be more against the most liberal rather than for someone I believe in. Sadly that appears to be the reality at this time. What will be more productive is to do everything possible to reconfigure Congress as much as possible to counter what whichever liberal we get for a President tries to shove down our throat. The reality is they have the most power when it comes to legislation the can hurt or help our country. Unlike you, I am very much in support of the war. My beef is that politicians and the media need to get out of it and let our military do what must be done to finish it. It won't be pretty, it won't be PC but it'll get the job done and the world will be better for it. That's the only peace I'll have in a vote for McCain. We must finish it!
  • by 400 lb Gorilla Location: Sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 04:20 PM
    Honestly, I liked Thompson as well. I wished he was still an option. You are correct that there is NOT much of a choice. I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils. I refuse to vote for the "Status Quo". Now is The Time for a serious change in the administration. Perhaps...Now is the time for a revolution. Osama & Hitlery....NO WAY. But I couldn't possibly support a man that will condemn my grandchildren and their grandchildren to a 100 year war. THAT IS McCAIN!!!. The current issue on the minds of Americans is the economy. And which candidate is more of an expert at fiscal policy than Ron Paul? He's sharp as a tack. I suppose you have seen the debates. McCain would have to have a advisory team to figure out what "FIAT" means. He probably thinks it's a sports car made in...oh...let's say Japan. (of course that's just my opinion...I could be wrong)
  • by Realist Location: Denison on Feb 6, 2008 at 02:49 PM
    Well 400lb you couldn't be more wrong! My choice was Thompson but he's not an option anymore. What apparently has whized right through you head is that, as it looks now, we don't have much of a choice. Paul doesn't have a chance of getting elected and if he runs third party then it's the nineties all over again. Remember Perot and how he won the election for Clinton????? Get your head out! If you guys insist on going the rogue route we will end up with another Clinton or Obama... The only thing that could be worse than McCain!!! I am not a McCain fan but if I have to choose between those three he's the one that will do the least damage. Think about it!!!
  • by Realist Location: Deinson on Feb 6, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    Well "Dubya," you just confirmed my suspicion that you're a card carrying Rosie-o-fite. I do agree that mainstream media has an agenda but that's where our agreement stops. All the lunacy you site is nothing but pure idiocy and by restating it you show yourself to be less than informed and quite possibly void of intellect and reason. To buy into the premise that a secret of that magnitude could be kept by the multitude of people required to pull it off is in a word, ridiculous. Do you not think that if it were true Bush's enemy's wouldn't have it plastered it all over the news. They've been trying for 7 years to impeach the guy. Do you really think they would pass up a golden opportunity like this to nail him if there were a modicum of truth to it? If there was an ounce of credibility to any of what you espouse he would have been history long ago. Now take off your foil hat, and try to get back to reality. Slowly though... you don't want to scare yourself. What a loon!!!
  • by 400 lb Gorilla Location: Sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 02:07 PM
    Realist hasn't a clue! I'm not a conspiracy theorist. However I have done extensive research on ALL of our candidates. They all pretty much say the same thing. YOU apparently have no idea what your talking about. Do you know that Republican are supposed to be conservatives? McCain, for example claims to be, but he's as Liberal as Obama and Clinton. Romney has made his millions and couldn't care less about the middle class. I suspect that your a Dem, and an ignorant one at that. Try doing some reading (if you can). Just curious....who do you support?
  • by Butch "Dubya" Hickson Location: The Stix on Feb 6, 2008 at 10:05 AM
    You're ignorant if you believe Mainstream media & Bush. Have you ever read the PNAC (Project for New American Century) Written in 2000 by ultra-Conservatives they needed a catostrophic event like a "Pearl Harbor" to implement their plan of war, terror, and invading countries in the Middle East to gain cheap oil. That was in 2000. Also how does Building 7 collapse when a plane did not even strike it? Why was it the first time in history of the United States on Sept. 11 2001 that a Vice President was in charge of NORAD? Ever heard of Larry Silverstein? The Jew who got $7 billion off the Twin Towers? Bin Laden was a part of the United States CIA plan to fight USSR in Afganistan. Read about Bin Laden & Bush Families Dynasty's good business relationship. 17 of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia but the King is at Bush's Ranch all the time. Bush family is in oil business with the Saudis'. Why dont we attack Saudi? Research 9/11 truths on the internet and you will see!
  • by Bub Location: sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 09:17 AM
    I agree with the Gorilla. Wake up America! McCain is bad, bad, bad. He will bankrupt us and keep us at war! It's so obvious. I don't know how people can sleep at night with this wolf at the door.
  • by Realist Location: Denison on Feb 6, 2008 at 08:09 AM
    400lb & Butch both say "research it" but where are the doing their research? One sounds like he is doing his on "conspiracytheoriesforwhacko’" and the other at "" Where do you people come from? Unfortunately it looks like our choices are going to be limited to "almost a liberal," "definitely a liberal" and "whacked out liberal." So the answer is to vote for a guy who hasn't a snowball's chance and guarantee we get another Clinton in office who will be far worse than the first one. I am genuinely worried for this country and it's future but if there are many more like 400lb and Butch maybe it's time we went the way of Rome. BTW if you two have done any real research, and still believe the war is about oil or revenge... you won't get it until it's too late anyway. 9/11 was a set up??? How ignorant can some people be??? You must worship at the Church of Rosie.
  • by 400 lb Gorilla Location: Sherman on Feb 6, 2008 at 06:44 AM
    Dubya, Of all the candidates, McCain is the ABSOLUTE worse. PERIOD! He is a warmonger. He's in it for personal gain. You nailed it perfectly. However I don't necessarily agree on the 911 conspiracy theory. Sure.. it's possible. Cheney did lie about the Iraq/Bin Laden connection and the WMD's in Iraq. He lied to the American people. Bush started a war without a declaration, against the Constitution. YES Ron Paul is the only Candidate I would vote for. A true statesman. A true conservative. A strict constitutionalist. Everybody do the research on him. GO RON PAUL!
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