Obama leads over Clinton in latest primary

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 07:57 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - African-American candiate Barack Obama overwhelmingly beat Hillary Clinton in a Democratic presidential primary Tuesday in Virginia, the former first lady's sixth defeat since last weekend, early results showed.

Obama held a 61-38 per cent edge over Clinton with 45 per cent of the votes counted in Virginia, one of three jurisdictions holding Republican and Democratic presidential preference polls on the day.

Virginia - and an expected win in Washington, the US capital - gave Obama, 46, further momentum against Clinton, 60, in the tight battle for their party's nomination to run for president in the November 4 election.

US Senator John McCain, the runaway leader among Republicans, was in a neck-and-neck contest with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in Virginia, a Southern state where the one-time Baptist preacher has considerable appeal among conservatives.

Also voting Tuesday were party loyalists in the District of Columbia, as the federal capital is formally known, and Maryland, a small state bordering Washington in north and east.

Obama was favoured to win in Washington, which has a 57-per-cent black population but little weight in the national nomination tally. Maryland, where opinion polls also put Obama ahead, extended voting by 90 minutes after an ice storm snarled traffic in the region.

Overall, 119 Republican and 238 Democratic delegates to each party's national convention in the summer were at stake in Tuesday's three primaries.