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Obama sweeps, Huckabee hangs tough

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Voters in Saturday’s Republican contests showed they’re not yet ready to support Sen. John McCain as their party’s nominee while Sen. Barack Obama cut into Sen. Hillary Clinton’s lead in the race for Democratic delegates.

Obama claimed victory in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington on Saturday, as well as in the Virgin Islands.

The stakes are too high and the challenges are too great to play the same old Washington game with the same old Washington players and expect a different result, Obama told a hugely pro-Obama crowd of Democrats at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond, Virginia.

People want to turn the page. They want to write a new chapter in American history. Watch Obama rally in Virginia

Clinton has 1,100 delegates and Obama has 1,039, according to CNN calculations.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee upset front-runner McCain in Saturday’s Republican contests.

The former Arkansas governor beat McCain in Kansas by nearly a 3-1 margin.

Huckabee also was leading in Louisiana.

In Washington state, the Republican caucuses were too close to call.

Huckabee’s Saturday wins show that Republicans are necessarily following in line behind McCain, the Arizona senator and presumptive nominee. See state-by-state results

People across America are gravitating toward our campaign and realizing that there is still a choice. And that’s what we’ve said all along, that this race is far from being over, Huckabee said after the first results came in. Watch what Huckabee says about the results

Obama and Huckabee have done well in caucus states like Iowa, where grass-roots efforts are more likely to have greater influence.

Obama also picked up a boost in Washington with the endorsement of the state’s governor, Christine Gregoire.

Saturday’s races marked the first contests without former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who suspended his campaign Thursday.

But Huckabee faces a daunting challenge. McCain has a significant lead in the delegate count after Super Tuesday. Huckabee has 217 delegates to McCain’s 714, according to CNN calculations.

Even if Huckabee wins every remaining state with 50 percent of the vote to McCain’s 40 percent, McCain would still be the nominee.

The other scenario… if he kept winning by large margins could he keep John McCain short of the line? That is a more probable scenario, but still an unlikely scenario, said CNN chief national correspondent John King.

I know the pundits, and I know what they say: The math doesn’t work out, Huckabee said Saturday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Well, I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles. And I still believe in those, too.

A senior McCain adviser said they were not surprised by the results in Kansas.

There are more caucus states we will probably lose, but our campaign is focusing on a transition from front-runner to nominee, he said.

Huckabee scored wins in the Southern states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and his native Arkansas on Super Tuesday, and social conservatives in Louisiana might mobilize behind him and send a message to McCain.

Huckabee pulled off a stunning win in the Iowa caucuses, the product of a grass-roots movement, and both Kansas and Washington are caucus states.

Huckabee said Saturday that the $250,000 his campaign had raised online in 24 hours was a sign of the health of his presidential effort.

Louisiana, still suffering from Hurricane Katrina, could be a key political state this year — something not lost on both Democratic campaigns as they drum up last-minute votes. Watch the Democratic candidates campaign

On the Republican side, Huckabee was in Kansas on Friday. He attended rallies in Olathe, Wichita, Topeka and Garden City.

McCain, meanwhile, held a national security roundtable in Norfolk, Virginia, and later traveled to Wichita, Kansas. Afterward, it was off to Seattle.

Here is a list of states and territories holding contests this weekend:

February 9

Guam Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake

Kansas Republican caucuses

Participation: Closed (registered Republicans only)

Delegates: 36 pledged delegates at stake

Louisiana Republican and Democratic primaries

Republican participation: Closed primary

Delegates: 20 pledged delegates possibly at stake

Democratic participation: Closed primary

Delegates: 56 pledged delegates at stake

Nebraska Democratic caucuses

Participation: Closed. Any voter can, however, register as a Democrat at the caucus.

Delegates: 24 pledged delegates at stake

Virgin Islands Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake

Washington State Democratic, Republican caucuses

Democratic participation: Open caucuses, in which any voter can participate, but must declare that he or she is a Democrat.

Delegates: 78 pledged delegates at stake.

The February 19 Washington State primary is a nonbinding beauty contest for Democrats.

Republican participation: Open, so any voter can participate, but must sign a declaration indicating that he or she is a member of the Republican Party and has or will not participate in the 2008 precinct caucus or convention system of any other party.

Delegates: 18 pledged delegates at stake.

Northern Mariana Islands Republican caucuses

Delegates: 6 unpledged delegates at stake.

February 10

Maine Democratic caucuses

Participation: Democrats hold closed primaries. New voters, as well as voters not registered in a political party, may register as Democrats at the caucus.

Republicans and Green Party members must become registered Democrats by January 26 in order to participate in the Democratic caucus.

Delegates: 24 pledged delegates at stake.
Obama sweeps, Huckabee hangs tough – found here.

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February 10, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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