US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama beat opponent
Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary in Virginia Tuesday,
scoring his first win in the Feb. 12 Potomac Primary.
presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) applauds at the
end of his speech at the Virginia Democratic Party Jefferson
Jackson dinner in Richmond, Virginia Feb. 9, 2008.
It will be his sixth straight victory against Clinton since last
With 4 percent of precincts reporting, Obama beat Clinton 62
percent to 37 percent in vote tally.
There are 83 delegates at stake in the contest in Virginia.
Exit polls show black voters, which account for one-third of the
Democratic voters in Virginia, played a key role in securing
Nearly 90 percent of Virginia black voters sided with the
senator from Illinois and he split the votes with Clinton among
Obama also was helped by independents, who made up a fifth of
voters in Virginia's open primary, according to preliminary exit
Preelection surveys also indicate Obama also has a clear
advantage over Clinton, a senator from New York and a former first
lady, in two other contests of the Potomac Primary, in Maryland and
the Washington DC.
By winning in Virginia, Obama also crushed what may have been
Clinton's best chance at a Potomac primary win.
With two historic Democratic candidates and a tight race,
election officials in both states and the District said voter
turnout was high despite freezing temperatures and sleet in some
"I voted for the next president of the United States, Barack
Obama," said Phil Andonian, a 31-year-old lawyer sporting a
BarackObama T-shirt underneath his winter coat, outside a polling
station in the nation's capital.
"The Clintons have shown themselves to be a political machine
not much different than the Bush administration," Andonian
"I think Obama is the one to bring about the kind of change we
need in Washington."
Boding well for Obama, exit poll results find that majorities of
Democratic voters in Virginia and Maryland alike are saying the top
attribute they're seeking in a candidate is the one who can "bring
needed change" -- a message consistently promoted by Obama.
Polling stations have closed at 1900 local time (0000 GMT
Wednesday) in Virginia and an hour later in Maryland and Washington
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)