Saturday, February 23, 2008

Barack Obama keeps winning form

Barack Obama has been pushing a message of change.

Barack Obama has gained an 11th straight victory in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination by winning the Democrats Abroad primary.

He now faces his rival, New York senator Hillary Clinton, in a TV debate in Texas ahead of crucial primaries there and in Ohio next month.

She is seeking to revive her campaign with wins in the two key states in order to stop Mr Obama's momentum.

Mrs Clinton now needs a majority of the remaining delegates to beat Mr Obama.

He has at least 1,353 - according to an Associated Press projection - of the 2,025 delegates he needs to secure the Democratic nomination at the party's convention in August.

Mrs Clinton has 1,264 delegates.

Mr Obama won 65.6% of the votes cast by more than 20,000 US citizens in 164 countries.

Mrs Clinton polled 32.7%, according to the Democrats Abroad, an organisation sanctioned by the national party.

The Democrats Abroad system of dividing the delegates is unique, and could leave candidates with fractions of delegates.

Hillary Clinton needs big wins in Texas and Ohio
The primary was used to determine nine pledged delegates, each with half a vote.

Due to the system used for rounding up the figures, Mr Obama won 2.5 delegates, while Mrs Clinton won two.

The margin of victory was small but it continues Mr Obama's long-winning streak.

Meanwhile Wisconsin's primary on Tuesday was significant for Mr Obama, says the BBC's Jonathan Beale, because he ate into Mrs Clinton's support base of white women and lower-income workers.

Correspondents say the blue-collar vote will be crucial in the Ohio and Texas contests, and the Clinton campaign has already begun targeting lower-income workers in its ads.

But in his drive to become the first black US president, Mr Obama has gained important support from some powerful unions, including the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union.

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