Posted: May 7, 2008 1:14 AM
Clinton Narrowly Takes Indiana, Networks Project
After a tight race in the Hoosier State, Sen. Hillary Clinton Tuesday narrowly won Indiana’s Democratic primary, the Associated Press reports.
With 99 percent of voting precincts reporting, Clinton was narrowly ahead with 51 percent of the state’s Democratic votes compared to rival Sen. Barack Obama’s 49 percent. In Tuesday’s other primary contest — North Carolina — Obama celebrated a substantial victory over the New York senator.
In her victory speech, Clinton quoted her opponent, who predicted she would win Pennsylvania, he would win North Carolina, and Indiana would be the tie breaker.
“Tonight we’ve come from behind, we’ve broken the tie, and thanks to you, it’s full speed onto the White House,” she said at a campaign rally in Indianapolis.
Clinton took an early lead in Indiana, with support from white and working-class voters in rural and suburban areas of the state. The final split of the state’s 72 delegates has yet to be settled.
Despite her win, Obama had consistent appeal among voters in his key demographic: young voters, black voters and higher-educated voters. The Illinois senator is also credited with drawing high numbers of new voters and performing well in urban areas of the state.
“I think we had improved performance in Indiana when you look across the board,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, said in an interview with CNN. “I don’t think she over-performed.”
High voter turnout in Indiana was evident from early in the day, with Marion County Clerk Beth White reporting long lines at polling places when voting opened at 6 a.m. and continuing throughout the day, the Associated Press reported.
Clinton’s victory likely means the primary season will continue at least through next week’s West Virginia primary.
In her victory speech, she addressed upcoming contests in traditionally Republican states such as West Virginia and Kentucky.
“We’ve let places like West Virginia and Kentucky slip out of the Democratic column. Well, it’s time for that to change,” she said, adding, “I intend to win them in November in the general election.”
Since neither candidate can win the nomination without super delegate support, Clinton’s Indiana win will help her to convince super delegates of her merits and compete with Obama’s North Carolina success.