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U.S. Super Tuesday Yields Surprises

  • Kim Lewis

Super Tuesday was the biggest primary election day in US history, with 24 states holding either primaries or caucuses to vote for their parties’ presidential nominees. Republican senator John McCain won his party's contest. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both won victories in the Democratic Party race, but neither emerged as the clear frontrunner.

VOA English to Africa reporter, Kim Lewis, asked Professor Ron Walters of the University of Maryland Department of Government and Politics whether there were any surprises in yesterday's elections.

“One of the biggest surprises was that Barack Obama was able to prove that he could win the white vote. And that showed up in states like Utah, North Dakota, Colorado – places where the African American population is very small,” responded Walters.

Clinton is running a campaign of “experience” and touts this as her strength. She won votes from women, older Americans and Latinos. Professor Walters says, “This is a problem for the Obama campaign because he was counting on an increase of the Latino and Asian vote in places like California.” Walters adds that Obama has a good chance of winning in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. As for Clinton, he says, “She will have to trade on her strength with the party. She has been endorsed by the governor of Maryland and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, one of the Kennedys, who lives in the state of Maryland.”

On the Republican side, Arizona Senator John McCain’s huge win was no surprise, but former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee came in at a surprising second place, beating Mitt Romney. Walters says Huckabee won in very conservative southern states, which have traditionally been the bulwark of the nominee for the Republican Party.