Obama Makes Clean Sweep: Solid Wins in All Democratic Contests

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Barack Obama won landslide victories in the Nebraska and Washington state caucuses, as well as in the Louisiana primary Saturday night, adding more delegates in his historic race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He won with a 2-1 margin in Nebraska, Washington and Louisiana. Senator Obama also won the caucuses in the Virgin Islands. In all, the three states, plus caucuses in the Virgin Islands, offered 161 delegates.

While Senator Obama had been expected to win the contests on Saturday, the margin of victories were surprising, particularly in Nebraska and Washington, which offered the day’s biggest trove of delegates. In both states, he captured 68 percent of the vote in caucuses, compared with Clinton’s roughly 32 percent. Obama celebrated his victories in a rousing speech to his supporters at the the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Richmond, Virginia. “We won in Louisiana, we won in Nebraska, we won in Washington state,” Mr. Obama proclaimed. “We won North, we won South, we won in between. And I believe that we can win in Virginia on Tuesday if you’re ready to stand for change.”

Earlier on Saturday, with the contest seeming to be so close, excitement ran high, as did turnout. In Nebraska, The Omaha World-Herald reported that organizers at two caucus sites had been so overrun by crowds that they abandoned traditional caucusing and asked voters to drop makeshift scrap-paper ballots into a box instead. In Sarpy County, a suburb of Omaha, traffic was backed up on Highway 370 when thousands of voters showed up at a precinct where organizers had only planned for hundreds. In Washington, the Democratic party reported record-breaking numbers of caucus-goers, with early totals suggesting that the turnout would be nearly double what it was in 2004, itself a record year, when 100,000 Democrats caucused.

Obama is now going into a month when the Democratic nominating contests are expected to favor him. The presidential campaign is turning to important primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Senator Obama is considered to be well positioned in all of those states. Further, Obama’s stunning victories came just as he is building a strong advantage over Clinton in raising money, providing important additional fuel for the nominating contests ahead.

Obama’s Rousing Speech at the 2008 Jefferson Jackson Dinner

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