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McCain wins Conn., N.J., Ill. primaries

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By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

5 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Sen. John McCain won primaries in Connecticut, New Jersey and Illinois Tuesday night, reaching for command of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama swapped victories as they waged a coast-coast struggle for delegates in the grueling Democratic campaign.

Obama, hoping to become the first black president, won in Georgia and his home state of Illinois. Clinton, seeking to become the first female president, countered in Oklahoma, Tennessee and then in Arkansas, where she was first lady for more than a decade.

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

The result was a double-barreled set of races, Obama and Clinton fighting for delegates as well as bragging rights in individual states, Republicans McCain, Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee doing likewise.

Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, won a home state victory.

Huckabee won in his home state, too, and also at the West Virginia convention. McCain's forces helped him collect all 18 delegates there, maneuvering successfully to deny Romney the prize.

Polling place interviews with voters across 16 states suggested subtle shifts in the political landscape.

McCain held a small edge among voters calling themselves Republicans, a group he had not won in any of the earlier primaries or caucuses. As usual, he was running strongly among independents. 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 Huckabee about one in five.

Overall, Clinton was winning only a slight edge among women and white voters, both groups that she had 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.

Clinton was gaining the votes of roughly six in 10 Hispanics, and hoped the edge would serve her well as the race turned west to Arizona, New Mexico and California, the biggest prize with 370 delegates.

Georgia was Obama's second straight Southern triumph, and like an earlier win in South Carolina it was powered by black votes.

African-Americans accounted for slightly more than half the ballots cast in Georgia, and he was gaining about 90 percent of them. Clinton won nearly 60 percent of the white votes, a reduced advantage compared to her showing in earlier states.

Democrats awarded their delegates in rough proportion to the popular vote.

Not so Republicans, who held several winner-take-all contests.

New Jersey and Connecticut were among them, and they gave McCain 79 delegates in the two combined — leaving his rivals with nothing to show for their efforts there.

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 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.

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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Filed: Country: Jamaica

Hmmmm.....Missouri news is still calling McCain and Obama "projected" winners in IL. Polls just closed less then an hour ago, how do they know already?

Life's just a crazy ride on a run away train

You can't go back for what you've missed

So make it count, hold on tight find a way to make it right

You only get one trip

So make it good, make it last 'cause it all flies by so fast

You only get one trip

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Gary think it makes sense to make one thread for all Super Tue news?

Yeah. I'll just post the updates here from now on. Slow night at work here.

The latest results from The Associated Press in states voting in presidential contests Tuesday.



Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic primary in Arkansas.

Mike Huckabee has won the GOP primary in Arkansas.


Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic primary in Tennessee.


Barack Obama has won the Democratic primary in Georgia.


Mike Huckabee has won the Republican caucuses in West Virginia.


John McCain has won the Republican primary in New Jersey.


John McCain has won the Republican primary in Illinois.

Barack Obama has won the Democratic primary in Illinois.


John McCain has won the Republican primary in Connecticut.


Mitt Romney has won the Republican primary in Massachusetts.


Hillary Clinton has won the Democratic primary in Oklahoma.

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Filed: Timeline

I think Hillary will take NJ by a healthy margin. CNN.COM shows her leading significantly in Essex and Camden counties, both of which are heavily black. She's leading by even more in the white counties.


NY called for Clinton

Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is.

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