Posted: February 6, 2008 2:34 AM
Obama Appears to Edge Out Clinton in Tight Missouri Race
Following mixed projections from major networks, Illinois Senator Barack Obama narrowly won Missouri’s Democratic primary Tuesday.
CNN declared Obama the winner, as did MSNBC. Other networks, including the Associated Press, projected rival Sen. Hillary Clinton winning earlier in the evening and have yet to rescind their projection.
Democratic voters in Missouri, a historical bellwether, were generally split along age and location differences.
“Obama led in the St. Louis area and among black voters, young voters and independents,” the Kansas City Star reported. “Clinton led in the Kansas City area, in southwest Missouri, among women and among voters over 65.”
Voter turnout among Democrats was strong in the Show-Me State, a national spike in primary voter participation. About 350,000 more voters turned out Tuesday than for 2000’s primary election, according to the Kansas City Star.
The state’s 72 delegates will be split proportionally according to voting percentage in a given Congressional District, a fact that some analysts said could help Obama when the dust from Tuesday’s closely fought contest settles.
“Traditional Democratic strongholds in St. Louis and Kansas City, where Obama held leads, will receive a greater Democratic delegate weight than more Republican districts in southern Missouri, where Clinton led,” USA Today reported.
Regardless how the final delegate numbers turn out, it was clear that economic anxiety was one of the clear issues driving voters in Missouri Tuesday. Nine in 10 Democratic primary voters rated the nation’s economy as “not so good” or “poor,” while about two-thirds of Republicans offered the same assessment, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In the night-of reporting in which we were pulling back from and then reversing earlier calls the NewsHour had made in projecting Missouri for Sen. Clinton, we did not clearly outline our initial error, nor the source of that error — a projection from the AP.