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Is a Clinton-Obama vs. McCain-Huckabee Matchup Likely in November Election? (REVISED)

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Message Dion B. Lawyer-Sanders
Despite Late Reports that Obama Has Overtaken Clinton for Dem Delegate Lead -- and All-Out Attacks on McCain By Hard-Line GOP Right-Wingers Continue -- 'Super Tuesday' Results Appear to Make This Final Pairing For the Fall Campaign More and More Likely

By Skeeter Sanders

If the contest for the White House was an athletic event, then Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois will likely continue to run neck and neck in what is proving to be a long, grueling marathon for the Democratic presidential nomination that may last all the way to the Democrats' Denver convention in August.

Meanwhile, for Senator John McCain of Arizona, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Super Tuesday turned out to be the GOP's version of a triple-threat steel-cage wrestling match. While McCain and Huckabee effectively tag-teamed Romney to the canvas Tuesday, a defiant Romney refused to surrender and vowed to fight on.

For Democrats, it felt more like an extremely close general election in November than the closest thing to a truly national primary on a Tuesday night in February, as Clinton and Obama traded victories back and forth in 24 states from the Atlantic to the Pacific. As the night wore on, it became clear that Democrats were agonizing over having make a historic choice between a woman and an African-American as their party’s presidential nominee.

In a surprise twist, Obama surpassed Clinton in at least one television network's tally of the total number of delegates the candidates have racked up after a chaotic Super Tuesday. With the delegate count still under way, NBC News said Obama appears to have won around 840 delegates in Tuesday’s contests, while Clinton earned about 830 — “give or take a few,” Tim Russert, the network’s Washington bureau chief, said Wednesday on "NBC Nightly News."

The running totals for the two, which includes previous contests and the party officials known as “superdelegates,” are only about 70 delegates apart, Russert said.

Clinton was portrayed in many news accounts Tuesday as the night’s big winner in the popular vote, but Obama’s campaign says he wound up with a higher total where it really counts — the delegates who will choose the party’s nominee at the convention. Nonetheless, both Democratic contenders are far from the magic number of 2,025 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Clarity of any sort eluded the Democrats as campaigns turned to the next rounds. On Saturday, Louisiana and Washington state hold two-party contests while Nebraska Democrats and Kansas Republicans make their picks. Then comes a larger series of two-party primaries in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

For Republicans, the night was anything but unclear, as McCain piled up victory after victory -- mostly in states with winner-take-all delegate rules -- to emerge with a commanding lead for the GOP nomination.

McCain, whose campaign was left for dead last summer, came back to capture more delegates (620) than Romney (270) and Huckabee (176) combined, putting him past the halfway mark to the 1,191 delegates needed to win the top prize. His victories stretched from New York to California, the biggest prize.

Romney Derailed, But Vows To Keep Fighing

Despite his failure to attract support from evangelical voters, Romney pledged to fight all the way to the Republican nominating convention in Minneapolis this summer if necessary, despite being overpowered by both McCain and Huckabee.

He celebrated victories Tuesday in his home state of Massachusetts, Utah, Montana, Alaska, Colorado and North Dakota. But he was pummeled elsewhere on a day he had hoped to prove his presidential campaign wasn't doomed.

"This isn't just about the heart and soul of our party, it isn't just about which party's going to win in November. This is about the future course of our country," he said to about 500 supporters, many of whom wore stunned looks on their faces as the returns came in.

With almost missionary zeal, Romney vowed to stay in the race, casting his campaign as a battle to save the future of the nation. "This isn't just about the heart and soul of our party, it isn't just about which party's going to win in November. This is about the future course of our country," he said to about 500 supporters, many of whom wore stunned looks on their faces as the returns came in.

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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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