Huckabee romps over caucus in conservative Kansas

Other News Materials 10 February 2008 00:51 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, the only possible obstacle to Senator John McCain's presidential nomination, was headed to an easy victory Saturday in the Republican Party's caucuses in the Midwestern state of Kansas.

Huckabee leapt from obscurity with a surprise win last month in Iowa, the first state on the calendar of 2008 intra-party contests to decide the major-party presidential nominations.

With little money and a small campaign organization, he was unable to capitalize on his Iowa breakout until so-called Super Tuesday earlier this week, when he won five Southern states. A Baptist minister before entering politics, Huckabee has appealed largely to conservative Christians and other voters in the right wing of the cente-right Republican Party.

Kansas has a strong evangelical movement, and with 65 per cent of Saturday's Republican caucus precincts counted, Huckabee had an unassailable 61 per cent to McCain's 24 per cent.

McCain, who holds a towering lead over Huckabee in delegates to the Republican presidential convention in September, is still an overwhelming favourite to win the party's nomination, after his closest rivals dropped out in recent weeks.

Results are due late Saturday from Republican caucuses in Washington state and a primary vote in Louisiana.

Among the Democrats, senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a tight battle for their party's nod. The centre-left party holds caucuses Saturday in Nebraska and Washington state and a primary in Louisiana.