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Democratic Race Nearing a Turning Point

After trading wins in Democratic primary contests, the race continues between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the party's nomination, while GOP Sen. John McCain works to mount a fresh general election strategy. A panel of experts examines the dynamics of the presidential race and weighs the candidates' next moves.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Former presidential candidate John Edwards' surprise endorsement of Barack Obama tonight could change the complexion of the Democratic race, this in spite of Hillary Clinton's big win last night.

    Hillary Clinton, fresh from a 41-point victory in West Virginia, spent the day savoring it and reassuring supporters. After beating Barack Obama by a margin of 67 percent to 26 percent, Clinton declared she has no plans to quit before the last primaries are held in June.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), New York: We know from the Bible that faith can move mountains.

    And, my friends, the faith of the Mountain State has moved me.

    I am more determined than ever to carry on this campaign…

    … until everyone has had a chance to make their voices heard.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    But Clinton also promised that the continuing contest will help Democrats, no matter who the nominee is.

  • SEN. HILLARY CLINTON:

    Our nominee will be stronger for having campaigned long and hard, building enthusiasm and excitement, hearing your stories, and answering your questions. And I will work my heart out for the nominee of the Democratic Party to make sure we have a Democratic president.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Clinton ended up with a net gain of 12 delegates yesterday and won over another super-delegate today.

    Obama, however, continues to lead among super-delegates and in the overall Associated Press delegate count.

    Obama, turning his attention to the general election, campaigned in Michigan today. He pledged to resolve the intra-party dispute over seating the state's delegation at the Democrats' summer convention. Those delegates were stripped after Michigan Democrats broke party rules to hold an early primary.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: I can guarantee you that we will make sure that the Michigan delegation is seated and that they are going to have a full voice in what happens in the convention.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Obama also took heart in the results of another election outcome yesterday, where, for the third time this year, a Democratic congressional candidate won a traditionally Republican seat.

  • SEN. BARACK OBAMA:

    This is a hardcore Republican seat, and they lost it by 8 points. And they did everything they could to — you know, they ran ads with my face on it and they said, "Oh, look at this former liberal. And his former pastor said offensive things."

    I mean, they were trying to do every trick in the book to try to scare folks in Mississippi, and it didn't work. And the reason it didn't work is because the American people know we need a new direction in Washington. That's why we're going to win Michigan.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Obama scored one more non-electoral victory this afternoon, winning the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America. The abortion rights group has in the past backed Clinton. Her campaign called the decision "surprising."