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Obama Sweeps Nebraska, Washington, Louisiana
AP Photo: Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., plays with Eric Hansen, 11 months of kid..

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama narrowed the delegate gap with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Feb. 9, picking up delegates in four contests.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee swept all 36 delegates in the Kansas GOP caucuses — the only delegates awarded in three Republican contests.

Obama won at least 72 delegates Saturday night, with 49 still to be awarded. Obama won most of the delegates in Nebraska and all the delegates in the Virgin Islands. He had the delegate lead in the Washington state caucuses and the Louisiana primary.

Washington was the biggest prize of the day, with 78 delegates at stake, and Obama won the state handily. But many of the delegates will not be awarded until Sunday or Monday because the state party was unable to provide complete results in all but two of the state's nine congressional districts. Problems arose in counties that are split into multiple congressional districts. Workers still had to assign those county votes to the appropriate districts.

In the overall race for the nomination, Clinton had 1,095 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Obama had 1,070.

It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

Republican Sen. John McCain still has a commanding lead in the delegate race with 719. Huckabee had 234. It will take 1,191 delegates to secure the Republican nomination.

Republican voters also went to the polls in Louisiana and Washington, but it was unclear whether any delegates would be won.

In Louisiana, all 20 GOP delegates were slated to go to the primary winner, but only if the winner got more than 50 percent of the vote. No one, however, cleared that threshold, so the delegates will be chosen at the party's state convention next weekend.

Washington had 18 GOP delegates at stake. They will be awarded through a multistep process based on votes in individual congressional districts, but the party provided only statewide results Saturday.

The AP tracks the delegate races by projecting the number of national convention delegates won by candidates in each presidential primary or caucus, based on state and national party rules, and by interviewing unpledged delegates to obtain their preferences.

In some states, like Iowa and Nevada, local precinct caucuses are the first stage in the allocation process. The AP uses preferences expressed in those caucuses to project the number of national convention delegates each candidate will have when they are chosen at county, congressional district or state conventions.(AP)






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