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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

McCain and Clinton take the lead in Super Tuesday primaries

Republican Senator John McCain has become the undisputable leader of USA’s Super Tuesday primaries. The situation with Democratic candidates – Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton - is not clear yet. In the meantime, the former first lady of the United States and Senator McCain have won the key victory in California, the most populated state in the USA.

Super Tuesday became a crucial moment for John McCain’s political fate. His chances in the presidential race were considered as hopeless only six months ago. As for Obama and Clinton, the day of February 5 marked only the beginning of the future struggle.

John McCain won in nine states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Oklahoma, Arizona and Missouri. In New Jersey and New York he won the support of 153 delegates.

Former Republican governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, won in five states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, West Virginia. Mitt Romney won in Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Utah.

As for Democrats, Obama won in a larger number of states. However, Clinton won in the states with a larger number of delegates. Barack Obama: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Utah. Hillary Clinton: American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee.

Observers say that Obama will be able to win votes from such groups of electors as women and Hispanic population.

Clinton had 732 delegates to 639 for Obama, out of the 2,025 needed to secure victory at the party convention in August. Clinton's advantage was due to her lead among so-called superdelegates, members of Congress and other party leaders who are not selected in primaries and caucuses - and who also are free to change their minds.

Clinton had long been the front-runner in the Democratic race. Her campaign has emphasized her experience as a senator and first lady. Obama, a first-term senator, has offered a spirited challenge, carrying a message of change and hope after years of political gridlock in Washington.

Already, the campaigns were looking ahead to contests Saturday in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state and Feb. 12 primaries in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Overall, Clinton was winning only a slight edge among women and white voters, both groups that she has won handily in earlier contests, according to preliminary results from interviews with voters in 16 states leaving polling places. Obama was collecting the overwhelming majority of votes cast by blacks, and Clinton was gaining the votes of roughly six in 10 Hispanics, the AP reports.

Democrats and Republicans alike said the economy was their most important issue, according to preliminary results from election day interviews with voters leaving polling places.

Democrats said the war in Iraq ranked second and health care third. Republican primary voters said immigration was second most important after the economy, followed by the war in Iraq.

The survey was conducted in 16 states by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and television networks.

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