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Clinton Wins Pivotal Pennsylvania in Race for US President


U.S. Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has won the primary in the eastern state of Pennsylvania. The victory keeps her campaign for the White House alive.

Despite Tuesday's victory in the delegate-rich state, Clinton trails Democratic rival Senator Barack Obama in delegates needed to win the party's nomination. The Democratic nominee will face the Republican nominee-in waiting, John McCain, in the November election. VOA's Jim Fry reports.

Senator Hillary Clinton could have faced pressure to quit the race had she not won Pennsylvania.

Instead she stood triumphant in Philadelphia and told her supporters the tide is turning.

"We were up against a formidable opponent who outspent us three to one. He broke every spending record in this state trying to knock us out of the race. Well the people of Pennsylvania had other ideas today,” she said.

By Tuesday night, Senator Barack Obama had moved on to one of the next two states to vote. He congratulated Clinton but pointed out she held a sizable lead in Pennsylvania several weeks ago.

“And now, six weeks later we closed the gap. We rallied people of every age and race and background to the cause," Obama said.

In the early morning, on primary day, voters lined up in Philadelphia. And their enthusiasm mirrored their numbers. Election officials say it was a record turnout for the state's Democratic primary.

Pennsylvania voter, Amy Blum says, "Feeling like it actually makes a difference this time. This is what it's supposed to feel like."

In Pennsylvania, a large state in the eastern part of the country, voters are clustered in the two big cities.

On the eastern border, Philadelphia and its large block of African Americans voted heavily for Obama. And in the suburbs, he also won college-educated and more affluent voters.

On the state's western side is Pittsburgh, a working class city that Clinton won easily. She also drew strong support from women and senior citizens.

Both candidates had campaigned in Scranton, once a mining town and later a manufacturing center, where two of Clinton's grandparents lived.

The mostly working class residents of the area supported Clinton three to one.

Scranton voters listed the Iraq war and the economy as issues that concerned them.

Scranton voter, Perri Lezzoni says, “There was a clip from her speaking on TV about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States, and I liked it."

Still, some said they wanted the style of change that Obama preaches.

Another Scranton resident says, "We do need change but we need enthusiasm. We need a young person, just like John Kennedy was, to get the country going again."

Obama, who remains ahead in the delegate count, spoke in the midwestern state of Indiana, which votes in two weeks. He focused on his differences with the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain.

Clinton told her Pennsylvania followers she also will go on to Indiana and then to North Carolina, which also votes next.

She says, "We still have a lot of work ahead of us. But if you're ready, I'm ready."

The next two Democratic primaries are scheduled for May 6th.

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