Obama Wins In Nebraska, Washington

(CBS/AP) CBS News projects that Barack Obama will be the winner of Democratic caucuses in Nebraska and Washington in two of three Democratic state contests that will be decided today.

With 74 percent of precincts reporting in Nebraska, Obama had 69 percent to 31 percent for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In Washington, Obama had a 67 percent to 32 percent lead over Clinton with 48 percent precincts reporting.

Earlier today, Mike Huckabee won the Kansas Republican caucuses, a victory that gives the former Arkansas governor the state's 36 delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Huckabee won comfortably, picking up many conservatives' support despite rival candidate John McCain's status as the presumed GOP nominee.

Huckabee took 60 percent of the vote, followed by McCain with 24 percent and Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 11 percent.

The results are a "pretty significant signal to John McCain that he's got a lot of work to do to get significant factions of the Republican Party solidly behind him," said Kansas Republican Party Chairman Kris Kobach.

In addition to Kansas, Nebraska and Washington, Republican and Democratic candidate competed in a primary in Louisiana. Polls close there at 9 p.m. ET.

In Louisiana, according to CBS News early exit polls, 47 percent of Republicans said they were looking for a candidate who shares their values. Twenty-one percent said they wanted a candidate who says what he believes and 20 percent said they were looking for someone with the right experience.

Roughly three-quarters of Republican voters in the state felt positively about the Bush administration, and the same percentage approved of the war in Iraq.

The economy was the number one issue for Louisiana's Republican voters, cited by 33 percent of respondents, followed by immigration and terrorism at 21 percent each.

McCain began the day with 709 delegates, according to CBS News' count. Huckabee, with 163, and Paul, with 10, were his only remaining rivals following Mitt Romney's withdrawal from the race. 1,191 delegates are needed to win the Republican nomination.

Obama and Clinton competed for Democratic convention delegates as they remain locked in a landmark struggle for the party's presidential nomination.

A total of 158 delegates was at stake in the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington. Caucuses in the Virgin Islands offered three more.

The economy was the top issue for 46 percent of Democratic primary voters in Louisiana, according to early CBS News exit polls, followed by health care at 29 percent and the war in Iraq at 23 percent. Nearly 90 percent said the economy is in bad shape.

The most important quality in a candidate for Louisiana Democratic voters was the ability to bring change, cited by over half of respondents. Twenty percent were looking for someone with the right experience, 17 percent wanted someone who cares about them, and 8 percent wanted a candidate who could win.

Clinton began the day with a slender delegate lead in CBS News' count. She had 1,075 delegates to 1,014 for Obama. A total of 2,025 is required to win the nomination at the party convention in Denver.

The Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in 22 states, which once looked likely to effectively settle the race, instead produced a near-equal delegate split in the Democratic race, leaving Obama and Clinton facing the likelihood of a grind-it-out competition lasting into spring - if not to the convention itself.

With the night's events, 29 of the 50 states have selected delegates.

Two more - Michigan and Florida - held renegade primaries and the Democratic National Committee has vowed not to seat any delegates chosen at either of them.

Maine, with 24 delegates, holds caucuses on Sunday. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and voting by Americans overseas are next, on Tuesday, with 175 combined.

Then follows a brief intermission, followed by a string of election nights, some crowded, some not.

The date of March 4 looms large, 370 delegates in primaries in Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Mississippi is alone in holding a primary one week later, with a relatively small 33 delegates at stake.

Puerto Rico anchors the Democratic calendar, with 55 delegates chosen in caucuses on June 7.

People were turned away from a University of Maine student center Saturday morning as Clinton spoke to a capacity crowd of about 1,750 people. She urged supporters to participate in Sunday's caucuses.

"This is your chance to be part of helping Maine pick a president," she said. "So I hope even if you've never, ever caucused before, tomorrow will be your first time ... because there is so much at stake in this election."

On CBS News' The Early Show this morning, Obama said he would be the stronger candidate in a general election fight against McCain.

"If we're looking at who's the best match-up in November, I think we've got a lot of evidence that would end up being me," he said.

If Super Tuesday failed to settle the campaign, it produced a remarkable surge in fundraising.

Obama's aides announced he had raised more than $7 million on line in the two days that followed.

Clinton disclosed she had loaned her campaign $5 million late last month in an attempt to counter her rival's Super Tuesday television advertising. She raised more than $6 million in the two days after the busiest night in primary history.

The television ad wars continued unabated.

Obama has been airing commercials for more than a week in television markets serving every state that has a contest though Feb 19.

Clinton began airing ads midweek in Washington state, Maine and Nebraska, and added Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia on Friday.


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