WASHINGTON POST: After the Clinton campaign sent out a press release this evening claiming a win in Missouri, under the heading “Hillary’s Big Night,” the lead in the Show-Me State flipped — with Barack Obama moving ahead by a few thousand votes to claim victory.

obama3.jpgWIKIPEDIA: The Missouri bellwether is a political phenomenon that notes that the state of Missouri has voted for the winner in every U.S. Presidential election beginning in 1904 except in 1956. Between 1960 and 2004, Missouri’s popular vote was within about one and a half percent of the national popular vote margin. Missouri’s 96% accuracy in voting with the national consensus includes the “too close to call” elections of 1948, 1960, 1976, and 2000. The cause of Missouri’s bellwether status is most often cited as its location and demographics. The Chicago Tribune calls Missouri the “bellwether state that almost exactly mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation.”[10] A microcosm of the country’s current political make up, Missouri has its two Blue “coasts” of St. Louis and Kansas City with Red middle and southern areas. MORE

HUFFINGTON POST: With California yet to report, NBC News has put the delegate count from Super Tuesday tentatively in favor of Sen. Barack Obama: 841 to 837.

ABC NEWS: At stake are 1,681 convention delegates — 87 percent of the total needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. Obama and Clinton are poised to split delegates in contests across the country because Democratic Party rules allocate most of the delegates proportionately. The delegates will be awarded to the contenders based on their shares of the popular vote. “Right now between Clinton and Obama, she’s got a 60-vote delegate lead,” ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos told Diane Sawyer on “GMA.” “If that lead goes below 60 tonight, if Barack Obama closes the gap, he’s going to have the edge,” he said. “If she gets [her delegate lead] over 125, she’s going to be hard to stop.” MORE

ASSOCIATED PRESS: Barack Obama takes Missouri, Georgia, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho and Illinois...Clinton takes Missouri, California, New York, New Jersey,hillarycartoon.jpg Massachusetts, Tennessee, Arkansas & Oklahoma. Delegate results may vary.

RELATED: Preliminary exit polls of voters in primary states showed Obama encroaching on Clinton’s voting base. Clinton had only a slight edge among women and with whites, two areas where she has generally dominated Obama. Clinton was getting strong support from Hispanics, an increasingly important voting bloc. But Obama led among men _ including white men, a group with whom he has struggled for votes in most previous contests. Those results augured well for Obama in contests in coming weeks.

RELATED: With more than 11 million votes cast in the Democratic contests nationwide, Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama in the national popular vote by only 46,000 votes — less than 1% difference. Clintons take the clear edge BUT may not come out tonight with the most delegates, the most votes, or the most states.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Of the 22 states holding Democratic nominating contests tonight, seven of those are holding caucuses instead of primaries. So far, Sen. Barack Obama is performing strong in those states, with victories already declared in Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, Idaho and Kansas. The remaining two, Alaska and New Mexico, haven’t yet reported their results. Polls don’t close in Alaska until midnight EST. As The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, Obama’s campaign made the caucus states a central focus of their Feb. 5 strategy. These smaller states have fewer delegates in play, but victories are usually awarded to candidates with the best ground operation. Obama’s campaign has prided itself on its ground game, relying on thousands of volunteers and a tightly orchestrated get-out-the-vote operation. MORE


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