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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dems still competitive, McCain pulls away

An earlier and more meaningful primary day for New Jersey brought out record numbers of voters and meant victory here for Sen. John McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton, but for New Jersey dems at the end of Tuesday, the overall picture for the national primary race remained murky.

By late last night Sen. Barack Obama had taken Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Missouri, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Connecticut, North Dakota, Georgia, Utah, and Delaware, while Sen. Clinton had taken Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Sen. Obama appears to trail Sen. Clinton by less than 100 delegates, because the states that held primary elections for the dems Tuesday will split their delegates proportionally, based on various formulas.

Sen. Clinton comes away with about 40 percent of the delegates needed for the nomination while Sen. Barack Obama has about 35 percent, meaning the race is still very competitive, which is something that hasn't happened for a quarter century.

While Sen. Clinton took some of the larger states that were up for grabs yesterday, Sen. Obama succeeded in winning more states than his opponent and remained in a good position to continue a fundraising surge that saw him raise over $30 million in January, or roughly $17 million more than Sen. Clinton.

That's good news for democratic voters in New Jersey's urban areas like Trenton, Jersey City, and Newark, where Sen. Obama seems to have gotten a lot of his support in the Garden State, because their candidate should be in good shape for the remainder of the campaign.

It is suspected that many of Sen. Clinton's most ardent supporters have already donated moneys up to the full amount allowed by law, while Sen. Obama's recent momentum gains mean that much of his financial support has yet to be tapped.

On the Republican side, Sen. McCain took many of the largest and most important states and about half of the delegates up for grab Tuesday, with Mitt Romney winning a smattering of northern and western states and Mike Huckabee grabbing many of the usual Republican stronghold states.

In a major victory over Mr. Romney, Sen. McCain took California for the Republicans.

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