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Clinton Vows to Continue Democratic Presidential Race Against Obama After Ohio Victory

Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won a key primary contest in Ohio, Tuesday, against rival Barack Obama, ensuring the battle for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination will continue. Clinton and Obama were also locked in a tight primary race in Texas. In the Republican race, Senator John McCain won all four primary contests on Tuesday and clinched his party's nomination. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone reports from Washington.

Hillary Clinton was banking on a victory in Ohio to keep her presidential hopes alive. Democrats there gave her the response she was looking for.

"For everyone here in Ohio and across America who has ever been counted out, but refused to be knocked out, and for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up, this one is for you," said Hillary Clinton.

Clinton also defeated Barack Obama in Rhode Island, while Obama won the Democratic primary in Vermont.

Obama still holds a lead in delegates after Tuesday's vote, despite Clinton's strong showing in Ohio and Rhode Island.

Obama told supporters in Texas he still expects to be the Democratic nominee when the party holds it national nominating convention in late August in Minnesota.

"We know this," said Barack Obama. "No matter what happens tonight, we have nearly the same delegate lead as we did this morning and we are on our way to winning this nomination."

Democrats allocate their delegates on a proportional basis, meaning even the candidate that loses a given primary or caucus vote still wins some delegates. That makes it difficult for the candidate trailing to win enough delegates to catch or surpass the leading contender.

Voter exit surveys conducted by news organizations showed that Clinton solidified her support among women and working class voters. Obama did well with African-American voters and college-educated Democrats and independents.

The exit polls also suggested the economy was the major issue in the campaign, topping health care and the war in Iraq.

In the Republican race, John McCain made it a clean sweep, winning all four primaries in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

American news organizations estimate McCain now has more than the 1,191 delegates he needs to clinch the Republican Party nomination.

McCain spoke to supporters in Texas, shortly after his remaining major challenger, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, conceded defeat and vowed to support McCain in the November election.

"Now we begin the most important part of our campaign, to make a respectful, determined and convincing case to the American people that our campaign and my election as president - given the alternatives presented by our friends in the other party - are in the best interests of the country we love," said John McCain.

In their remarks, Democrats Obama and Clinton both said they looked forward to a general election campaign against McCain, even though it remains to be seen which one will wind up the nominee.

Democrats are expected to emphasize change and the weakening U.S. economy in the general election. McCain has said he will emphasize his experience in foreign policy and national security and will present himself as the candidate best able to keep America safe from terrorist attack.