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News, March 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


Barack Obama wins Wyoming caucuses, maintains the lead over Hillary Clinton 2008-03-09 08:30:37  

    WASHINGTON, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama beat his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday.
    As of 96 percent of precincts reporting, Obama led Clinton at 59 percent to 40 percent.

    The Republican-dominated state has only 12 delegates who would vote at the Democratic national convention, one of the smallest prize in the party's presidential nomination race. But it became a battlefield this year since every delegate matters in such a close race.

    Illinois Senator Obama has been always doing well in caucuses for his strength in organizing and mobilizing grass-roots voters. Clinton, a New York senator, performed better in primary elections in big states such as California and Ohio.

    According to CNN estimation, the victory in Wyoming would bring Obama's number of delegates to 1,527, and increase Clinton's to 1,428. Either of them has to accumulate 2,025 delegates to secure his or her presidential candidacy.

    "Seriously, I never imagined when I took this job that we would see the day when the two front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination would hold events in Wyoming on the eve of our country caucuses," Wyoming State Democratic Party spokesman Bill Luckett wrote on the State Party's Website.

    The state that homes to Vice President Dick Cheney, has not voted for a Democrat in the national presidential elections since 1964. But it has a Democratic governor, Dave Freudenthal, who does not endorsed either Obama or Clinton for they mostly neglecting "Western issues," like the environment, water and energy.

    The two candidates did not schedule a post-caucuses rally on Saturday but took a day off at home before they face off in Mississippi on Tuesday and in Pennsylvania on April 22.

Obama Wins in Wyoming, Adds 7 Delegates
Associated Press Writer

Mar 9, 2008, 8:57 AM EDT

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) --

Sen. Barack Obama captured the Wyoming Democratic caucuses Saturday, seizing a bit of momentum in the close, hard-fought race with rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party's presidential nomination.

Obama generally has outperformed Clinton in caucuses, which reward organization and voter passion more than do primaries. The Illinois senator has now won 13 caucuses to Clinton's three.

Obama has also shown strength in the Mountain West, winning Idaho, Utah, Colorado and now Wyoming. The two split Nevada, with Clinton winning the popular vote and Obama more delegates.

But Clinton threw some effort into Wyoming, perhaps hoping for an upset that would yield few delegates but considerable buzz and momentum. The New York senator campaigned Friday in Cheyenne and Casper. Former President Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, also campaigned this week in the sprawling and lightly populated state.

Obama campaigned in Casper and Laramie on Friday, but spent part of his time dealing with the fallout from an aide's harsh words about Clinton and suggestions that Obama wouldn't move as quickly to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq if elected. In Casper, Obama said Clinton had no standing to challenge his position on the war because she had voted to authorize it in 2002.

Clinton, buoyed by big wins in Ohio and Texas last Tuesday, said she faced an uphill fight in Wyoming. Her campaign also holds out little hope for Tuesday's primary in Mississippi, which has a large black population.

Obama had 61 percent, or 5,378 votes, to Clinton's 38 percent, or 3,312 votes, with all 23 Wyoming counties reporting.

Obama won seven delegates and Clinton won five. In the overall race for the nomination, Obama led 1,578-1,468, according to the latest tally by The Associated Press. It will take 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said the Wyoming victory speaks to the candidate's strength in the West, and that Obama is better suited to help down-ticket Democrats even in states that traditionally vote Republican in the general election.

"I think it's evidence that Senator Obama is going to be able to put more states in play because of his strength with independent voters," Plouffe said.

Clinton's campaign took heart in their ability to pick up more delegates.

Both candidates were looking ahead to the bigger prize - delegate-rich Pennsylvania on April 22.


Associated Press writers Bob Moen in Casper and Matt Joyce and Ben Neary in Cheyenne contributed to this report.

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