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Clean Sweep

McCain, Obama take D.C., Virginia, Maryland

By Suzanne Freeman | null null , null
Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain greets supporters following primaries in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo: ©J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)
Republican presidential hopeful Senator John McCain greets supporters following primaries in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo: ©J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Bad weather kept the polls in Maryland open an extra 90 minutes, while results in Virginia came in first, followed by those in the District of Columbia. Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain declared victory across the board minutes after all the polls closed.

Obama is now essentially tied in the delegate count with Hillary Clinton. A sweep of victories in February, including impressive wins on Super Tuesday, has given Obama momentum going into the next big battleground states.

McCain widened an already big lead over his two opponents, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. Huckabee came in a close second to McCain in Virginia and Maryland.

The former Governor of Arkansas is continuing to win support from religious conservatives. McCain acknowledged that he has some work to do within his own Party to win in November.

"I will not confine myself to the comfort of speaking only to those who agree with me," he said during his victory speech Tuesday night. "I will make my case to all the people. I will listen to those who disagree. I will attempt to persuade them."

The Republicans

At McCain's election-night party in Alexandria, Virginia, spirits were high. Supporters braved icy roads to celebrate a successful night with the Republican Party's likely nominee.

In his speech, McCain praised his Republican opponents for a hard-fought race. He reserved his criticism for the Democrats.

The Democrats

The Clinton campaign tried to keep expectations for Tuesday results low. They knew going in that Obama would almost certainly win big in the February 12 primaries.

With delegate-rich Texas in mind, Clinton left the D.C. area before the Maryland polls closed and headed for a rally in El Paso. Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont vote on March 4. Of the 444 delegates up for grabs then, 228 will come from Texas.

"We are going to sweep across Texas in the next three weeks," she said. "I'm tested, I'm ready, [so] let's make it happen."

Obama headed to Wisconsin on Tuesday evening, which votes along with Hawaii on February 19. Obama spent much of his childhood in Hawaii.

The two Democrats will meet in two final debates before the March 4 elections. They will debate in Austin, Texas, on February 21 and in Cleveland, Ohio, on February 26.

Meanwhile, McCain has slowed the pace of his campaign schedule as he switches gears from nominating contests to the general election.

ELECTION 2008


Check back often to get the latest news from the campaign trail, as the Scholastic Kids Press Corps continues to follow the candidates around the country.

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