Obama Scores Saturday Sweep

(CBS/AP) Illinois senator Barack Obama will be the winner of all Democratic contests on Saturday, defeating New York senator Hillary Clinton in the Louisiana primary and caucuses in Nebraska and Washington state.

Obama also won caucuses in the Virgin Islands, completing his best night of the campaign.

"Today, voters from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast to the heart of America stood up to say 'yes we can'" Obama told a cheering audience of Democrats at a party dinner in Richmond, Va.

Obama's winning margins ranged from substantial to crushing.

In Louisiana, Obama led Clinton, 57 percent to 36 percent, with almost all precincts reporting. In Nebraska, Obama won 68 percent to 32 percent for Clinton. In Washington, Obama had 68 percent to 31 percent with almost all precincts reporting.

On the Republican side in Lousiana, CBS News projects former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee will win over Arizona senator John McCain. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Huckabee led by almost 3,000 votes.

However, Huckabee does not receive any delegates from his primary win. The Louisiana Republican party requires that a candidate receive 50 percent to win delegates. Huckabee got 44 percent of the vote, to McCain's 42 percent. The rest of the vote was split between Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and to candidates who have dropped out of the race - Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. Thus, 20 Louisiana delegates will go to the convention uncommitted.

Huckabee also won the Kansas Republican caucuses on Saturday afternoon, beating McCain by a large margin.

In Washington, the race was close between McCain and Huckabee and the party has stopped counting for now. With 83 percent of precincts reporting, McCain led Huckabee 26 percent to 24 percent.

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

"These were important wins for Obama," said CBSNews.com senior political editor Vaughn Ververs. "The one thing that has been missing in the Democratic contest is momentum. With his Saturday sweep and very favorable contests coming up Tuesday in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, Obama may be on the verge of some big 'mo. While the delegate split is almost certain to keep the race tight, these wins cannot be overlooked."

In the race for delegates, CBS News estimates that Clinton has 1,118 delegates to Obama's 1,112. It takes 2,025 delegates to win the nomination. Click here to see the latest updated state-by-state delegate scorecard.

In Louisiana, the economy was the top issue for 47 percent of Democratic primary voters, according to early CBS News exit polls, followed by the Iraq war at 27 percent and health care 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. Nineteen percent were looking for someone with the right experience, 16 percent wanted someone who cares about them, and seven percent wanted a candidate who could win.

According to the exit polls, 49 percent of voters in the Louisiana Democratic primary were black, and 82 percent of them backed Obama. Among white voters, 70 percent backed Clinton to 26 percent for Obama.

Among Republicans in Louisiana, according to CBS News early exit polls, 49 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. Ten percent said they wanted someone with the best chance to win in November.

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 illegal immigration at 24 percent and terrorism at 20 percent each. Seventeen percent said the war in Iraq.

Conservatives in Louisiana went for Huckabee over McCain 51 percent to 36 percent, according to the exit polls. McCain is winning among Republican moderates 55 percent to 29 percent.

Huckabee's fortunes once again are carried by white evangelical voters. They are voting 57 percent to 33 percent for Huckabee over McCain.

Huckabee's win in Kansas came a few hours after telling conservatives in Washington, "I majored in miracles, and I still believe in them."

Huckabee took 60 percent of the vote, followed by McCain with 24 percent and Paul with 11 percent. Huckabee won all 36 delegates at stake.

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.

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email: feedback@wibw.com
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 15491446 - wibw.com/a?a=15491446
Gray Television, Inc.