Senator Hillary Clinton scored crucial primary wins Tuesday in Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, reviving her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. But her opponent, Senator Barack Obama, has more pledged delegates and says he still expects to be the nominee. Republican Senator John McCain clinched his party's nomination. VOA Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.
As the dust settles from Tuesday's Democratic primaries, the party faces the reality of a long and likely contentious battle for its presidential nomination. Senator Hillary Clinton's wins extend the race until Pennsylvania's primary in late April and possibly all the way to the nominating convention in late August.
Clinton ended her losing streak of 12 straight defeats in caucuses and primaries to Senator Barack Obama, and told voters Tuesday in Ohio their state is known for picking presidential winners.
"This nation is coming back and so is this campaign," she said.
Senator Obama had hoped to deliver Senator Clinton a knock-out blow by winning Ohio and Texas, but he came away with only a win in Vermont.
Texas has both a primary and a caucus. Clinton narrowly won the primary, but caucus results are still being counted. They will determine the number of delegates each candidate wins.
Obama has a lead of about 90 pledged delegates. He told told the CBS News Early Show that he has won more states, more of the popular vote and more delegates.
"Senator Clinton has tried to cherry pick which states she thinks are important," he said. " But what we know is at the end of the day, we feel confident that we are going to have a strong delegate lead and we will have a strong claim on the nomination."
Asked on the same morning television show whether she and Obama might join forces as the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the same ticket in November, Clinton replied: "Of course we have to decide who is on the top of the ticket."
The next nominating contests are in Wyoming this Saturday and in Mississippi on Tuesday.
It was a night of quiet triumph for Republican Senator John McCain, whose campaign had been prematurely declared "finished" months ago. Speaking in Texas, McCain thanked his supporters.
"Thank you Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island," he said.
His main remaining rival, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, bowed out of the race, pledging support for McCain.
The senator from Arizona, considered a maverick by some conservative Republicans, will shortly receive a formal endorsement from President Bush at the White House.
McCain told his supporters Tuesday the contest for the White House in November has now begun, and that he will present himself as the candidate best able to keep America safe from terror attacks.