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February 11, 2008
Obama Takes Maine Caucuses
Senator Barack Obama cruised to an easy win in the Maine Caucuses on Sunday, thwarting Hillary Clinton's hopes to take one state from a weekend that saw the Illinois senator sweep the Nebraska and Washington state caucuses while handily winning the Louisiana primary:
Illinois senator Barack Obama finished a series of weekend primary and caucus contests undefeated as he bested Hillary Clinton in Maine today, according to CBS News estimates. All of these victories has given Obama only a slight lead in the delegate race; 1134-1131 according to CBS. Even his expected easy victories in the "Potomac primaries" in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. will not give him a big lead thanks to the proportional awarding of delegates the Democrats follow in their nominating contests.
Obama’s victory in the Maine caucuses follow on the heels of his Saturday sweep in which he won Louisiana’s primary contest as well as caucuses in the states of Washington and Nebraska.
His winning margins ranged from substantial to crushing. In Maine, he led 59 percent to 40 percent with 99 percent of the precints reporting. In Louisiana, Obama defeated Clinton, 57 percent to 36 percent. He won in Nebraska by a 68 percent to 32 percent margin and in Washington 68 percent to 31 percent.
Obama's victory in Maine -- and the ease with which it came -- actually exceeded expectations, even though he swept the caucuses held on Super Tuesday. Clinton had the backing of the state's governor, John Baldacci, and its proximity to New Hamsphire and Massachusetts, both of which Clinton has already won this year, led some analysts to expect a close race.
But there is little doubt that Obama is generating momentum and making the case that he is the clear preference of the party for the nomination. Unless Hillary Clinton can find a way to stop him - either in Wisconsin on February 19 or in the March 4 primaries of Ohio and Texas - then Obama could very well see a parade of Super Delegates pledging their support which would end the race quickly.