Strong Obama Miss. Victory

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[Elections 2008: Update]


Senator Barack Obama ran away with the votes in Mississippi yesterday, building on his insurmountable total delegates count over Senator Hillary Clinton -- Obama now leads by 127 delegates and is nearing the magic number needed for nomination.

Obama has a total of 1,597 to Clinton’s 1,470. The Illinois senator’s lead will increase after all the delegates from Mississippi are tallied.

Late polls in Mississippi showed Obama solidly beating Clinton 55% to 43%; there are 33 pledged delegates at stake. Obama won 91% of the African American vote, while Clinton took 72% of the white vote.

Exit polls showed about 30% of Mississippi Democratic voters said race was “an important factor: and of those 60% backed Senator Obama; in the March 4 Ohio vote, 20% of voters said race was a factor and of those 60% backed Clinton.

The elections have been racially polarized as the Clinton campaign has increasingly pursued an aggressive campaign denounced by many Democrats, while celebrated by Republicans who believe John McCain will benefit from weakened Democratic contenders.

The big next test is on April 22, when Pennsylvania holds its primaries; there 158 delegates are at stake. There Clinton holds a lead in the polls by Obama is again building momentum after his series of two-quick victories, including Mississippi yesterday and Wyoming last Saturday.

Clinton held a 20 point lead heading into the big votes March 4 in Texas and other states; a strong Obama charge wiped out the lead and Clinton squeaked by with 4 points in the Texas primary. Obama erased those gains when he won the Texas primaries. Obama won more delegates at the end of the day and took Texas.

Meanwhile, there is pressure from constituents on delegates already pledged to Clinton to switch their allegiances. For example, in

the 6th Congressional District in Queens, voters overwhelming voted for Obama during New York’s primaries, won by Senator Clinton.

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