Candidates trade US primary wins

Obama and Clinton in close battle as McCain consolidates lead in Republican race.

    Obama and Clinton are in a hard-fought race for the Democratic nomination [Reuters]

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    Votes were still being counted in the key state of California which has the largest number of delegates necessary to assure the party nomination.

    With 15 per cent of the votes counted in the Democratic race Clinton had won 55 per cent to Obama's 32 per cent.

    In the Republican contest McCain was projected to secure victory over Mitt Romney.

    Super Tuesday - state by state

    States won by Democratic and Republican candidates, based on projections:

    Democratic candidates

    Hillary Clinton: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee

    Barack Obama: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah

    Republican candidates

    John McCain: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma

    Mitt Romney: Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Utah

    Mike Huckabee: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia

    McCain, whose campaign was considered to be floundering a few months ago, claimed a series of victories in the northeast of the country while his nearest Republican rival, Romney, was losing key states in the south to Mike Huckabee.


    Clinton, a New York senator seeking to become the first female US president, was on course to win a total of 12 states, while Obama, who is seeking to be the country's first black president, was on course to take his tally to 14 states.

    Both candidates had said prior to voting on Tuesday that it was unlikely either candidate would have a decisive lead after all the results were released.

    A total of 1,681 delegates are at stake for Obama and Clinton in Tuesday's contests with a total of 2,025 required in order to secure the party nomination.

    "Together, we're going to take back America," Clinton told supporters in New York, calling it "America's night."

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    In the Republican race McCain was predicted to dominate the results in the east of the country winning New York, New Jersey and Delaware.

    "Tonight, I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the nomination. And I don't really mind it one bit," he told supporters in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Huckabee boost

    McCain claimed victory in the key
    states of New York and New Jersey [AFP]

    The former Arizona senator was looking to deliver a knock out blow to his rivals won seven states according to predictions from NBC while Huckabee won five and Romney took three.

    Both Romney and Huckabee vowed to stay in the race.


    Although trailing in polls Romney had maintained he could make a comeback but was losing key southern states to Huckabee despite outspending his rival by a ratio of ten to one.


    Romney had hoped to do well in the south but projections showed Huckabee, a former Baptist minister who was trailing a distant third before Super Tuesday, on course for victory in Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.

    Super Tuesday

    A total of 24 US states are holding primaries or caucuses on Feb 5

    It is the day when the largest number of nominating delegates for both Republicans and Democrats are up for grabs

    52 per cent of Democratic delegates and 41 per cent of Republican delegates are at stake

    Key states include California - with the most amount of delegates for a single state - Georgia, Illinois and New York

    Started in 1988 after some southern US states decided to hold primaries simultaenously to boost southern influence in choosing a candidate

    "Tonight we are proving that we are still on our feet and, much to the amazement of many, we are getting there, folks – we are getting there," Huckabee told supporters in Arkansas, a state where he was formerly the governor and where he was also predicted to win on Tuesday.

    Al Jazeera's James Bays in New York said that a key factor why McCain was projected as doing well in New Jersey is Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York.

    Giuliani was the leading candidate in the region and has pledged his support to McCain after he withdrew from the race and that could be why McCain is doing so well, Bays explained.

    Super Tuesday is the biggest event in the monthslong campaign to select US presidential nominees.

    While early contests helped candidates build momentum, Tuesday's votes were about winning the delegates who will select the nominees.

    Democrats had 1,681 delegates at stake in 22 states and the territory of American Samoa.

    Republicans had 1,023 delegates in 21 states.

    A Republican needs 1,191 delegates to win the nomination.


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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