McCain projected Republican winner in Virginia

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 07:58 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Republican front-runner Senator John McCain narrowly defeated former Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee in a presidential primary Tuesday in Virginia, widening his lead in the race for the party's nomination, US television networks projected.

McCain led Huckabee by 47-44 per cent with more than half the vote counted in Virginia, the biggest prize of three jurisdictions around the Washington area that held primaries on the day.

McCain, 71, benefited from Republican rules that generally award the winner all of a state's delegates to the party's September nominating convention.

If he wins the nomination and the November 4 general election, McCain would be poised to become the oldest US president to enter the White House.

Republicans were also holding primaries in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as the US capital is formally known.