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No TKO For Obama -- But Clinton Fails to Close Delegate Gap

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Message Dion B. Lawyer-Sanders
The Media Were Premature to Call Texas a Victory for Clinton, as Obama Wins its Caucuses, Earning Illinois Senator a Majority of Lone Star State Delegates; Clinton Campaign Again Accused of Pulling the 'Race Card' -- This Time in TV Attack Ad

By Skeeter Sanders

It wasn't the technical knockout that Barack Obama wanted -- but if Hillary Rodham Clinton hoped to close the delegate gap between herself and her rival, it was a mission that she failed to accomplish.

And -- contrary to the TV news channels' projections on Tuesday night -- Clinton did not win Texas after all.

Obama will instead emerge the winner in the Lone Star State, after partial results released on Wednesday pointed to the Illinois senator scoring a clear victory in its caucuses, 56 percent to 44 percent -- negating Clinton's narrower 51 percent to 48 percent edge in the precinct vote and giving him the majority of the state's delegates to the Democratic convention.

Meanwhile, the campaign took an ugly turn on Wednesday when the liberal Web site accused the Clinton campaign of again playing the "race card" against the African American senator by darkening Obama's skin tone in a new TV attack ad.

Texas Delegate Tally: Obama 97, Clinton 91

The state party awards its 228 convention delegates proportionally statewide, except for its 30 "superdelegates." Clinton earned 65 delegates to Obama's 61 on the basis of the precinct vote. But a third of the delegates are determined by caucus, and Obama's caucus win will give him a net majority of 97 delegates to Clinton's 91.

As the state's precinct polling places closed Tuesday evening, Texans lined up in bigger-than-expected numbers for the caucuses -- in some places lining up in parking lots and overflowing buildings where caucuses were held.

Over a million people -- a state record -- jammed the caucuses, creating frustration, confusion, and a few frayed tempers. In Houston, police were called to some locations after fistfights reportedly broke out.

The Texas Democratic Party stopped the count early Wednesday morning when it became clear it would take several hours to complete. They restarted later in the morning.

Despite Breaking Obama's Win Streak, Delegate Math Still Doesn't Favor Clinton

The bottom line: Despite Clinton's victories in Ohio and Rhode Island, the New York senator and former first lady failed to make a dent in Obama's overall delegate lead. Obama still holds a 101-delegate advantage over Clinton, 1,567-1,462, according to The Associated Press. It takes 2,025 to win the nomination.

In addition, Obama gained endorsements from superdelegates in Georgia, Vermont, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Clinton picked up two superdelegates during the day on Wednesday -- but lost one, for a net gain of one.

About 350 superdelegates -- party leaders and elected officials -- remain uncommitted, enough to swing the nomination in the unlikely event they decide to line up behind one candidate or the other.

Obama leads Clinton in the national Democratic popular vote at this point, 10.3 million to 10.2 million. If Obama's popular-vote lead holds up -- or even widens -- through the end of the primary season, the superdelegates are likely to come under intense pressure not to defy the preferences of the voters.

Sixty percent of Democratic primary and caucus voters have told exit pollsters that the superdelegates should vote based on results of the primaries and caucuses rather than for the candidate they think has the best chance to win in November.

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I'm a native of New York City who's called the Green Mountain state of Vermont home since the summer of 1994. A former freelance journalist, I'm a fiercely independent freethinker who's highly skeptical of authority figures -- especially when (more...)
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