Posted: February 10, 2008 8:25 PM
Obama Extends Weekend Winning Streak with Maine Victory
Following successes in Washington State, Nebraska and Louisiana Saturday, Sen. Barack Obama extended his weekend winning streak with a victory in the Maine Democratic caucuses Sunday, major networks projected.
Obama was projected to best Sen. Hillary Clinton in the race for the state’s 24 delegates.
The Illinois senator opened the day with an early narrow lead, which gradually widened with later reports. With 90 percent reporting in, Obama led Clinton 59 percent to 41 percent.
Thus far in the primary voting season, the Illinois senator has performed well in caucuses, which tend to draw more enthusiastic candidate supporters than primary voting contests. Obama opened the primary season with an impressive and unexpected lead in Iowa’s early January caucuses and continued his caucus winning streak with the majority of votes in Kansas, North Dakota, Colorado and Minnesota on Super Tuesday.
Both Obama and Clinton had campaigned in cities throughout Maine in the days leading up to Sunday’s contest, and both had taken aim at likely Republican nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona on his economic policy.
“McCain initially stood up to George Bush and opposed his first cuts,” Obama said in Bangor, Maine, according to the Boston Globe. “Now, the Republican senator is calling for continuing those tax cuts, which grant significant breaks to high-income taxpayers, ‘in his rush to embrace the worst of the Bush legacy.’”
Clinton presented herself as the Democratic Party’s best chance against the Republican front-runner.
“In Orono, Clinton warned that Democrats will have a hard time running against McCain’s ‘legendary record,’ and that she, not Obama, is best positioned to beat him in November’s general election,” the Globe reported.
Maine Democrats faced chilly New England weather Sunday as they headed to the caucus precincts with up to eight inches of snow in areas throughout much of the state. Weather challenges aside, the Democrats saw a high voter turnout and began the day with more than 4,000 absentee ballots already submitted.
Republicans in Maine headed to caucuses Feb. 1 to nominate former candidate and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.