- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2008

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AFP) — Senator Hillary Clinton scores a thumping win in tonight’s Kentucky primary, and Barack Obama claims he had piled up a ‘milestone’ majority of elected delegates in the Democratic White House race.

The votes in Oregon’s primary are expected for release shortly. Polls closed at 11 p.m. EST.

The former first lady won big in Kentucky, where her coalition of white, working class voters held rock solid, and with 99 percent of votes counted led her rival 65 percent to 30 percent — a lead of more than — a lead of more than 240,000 votes. Photobucket

But Mr. Obama was set to declare he was closer than ever to the nomination, and was expected later Tuesday to claim he had reached a majority of pledged delegates to the party’s August nominating convention.

Mrs. Clinton, however, vowed anew never to give up until after the closely fought Democratic primary season ends on June 3.

“It’s not just Kentucky bluegrass that’s music to my ears. It’s the sound of your overwhelming vote of confidence even in the face of some pretty tough odds,” she told raucous supporters here.

“This is one of the closest races for a party’s nomination in recent history. We’re winning the popular vote and I’m more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot is counted,” Mrs. Clinton said.

“I’m going to keep making our case until we have a nominee, whoever she may be,” Mrs. Clinton said with a wide smile at her victory party here.

But Mr. Obama was tipped to take the liberal western state of Oregon, where voting was ending at 11 p.m. and was due to hold his own rally in Iowa, the scene of his shock win in the first nominating contest in January.

The Iowa event was to remind Americans “that this was a very unlikely journey that we’ve taken,” Mr. Obama told MSNBC, while attacking Senator McCain for offering a “third term” for President George Bush.

But fearful of provoking the combative Mrs. Clinton, the Obama campaign denied it was adopting a triumphal tone about securing a majority of pledged delegates.

In a new sign of his growing political might, Obama’s campaign said the Illinois senator had raised $31 million in April.

Clinton’s communications chief Howard Wolfson said her campaign raised $22 million dollars in the same month.

Her effort has faced mounting debts however, and she has been forced to lend her campaign about $11 million of her personal fortune.

Clinton’s campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, said the Kentucky outcome was enough to give top party officials or superdelegates reason to doubt Obama’s capacity to win against Mr. McCain in November.

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