WASHINGTON POST: Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) decisively defeated Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) in today’s Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary, scoring a ninth consecutive victory over the New York senator. Obama was also expected to win caucuses in Hawaii, the state in which he spent more than a decade of his youth. The Obama victory puts more pressure on Clinton, who now must win in Ohio and Texas on March 4 to sustain her campaign for the presidential nomination.
On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) defeated former governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.) in the Wisconsin presidential primary. McCain’s convincing victory is likely to increase the pressure on Huckabee to drop from the race and clear the way for the Arizona senator to unify the party and begin preparing for an extended general election campaign. MORE
BED TIME FOR BILLARY: White voters supported the Illinois Democrat by a margin of 52 percent to 46 percent. And among white women – the crux of Clinton’s base – he scored moderately well: 45 percent to 53 percent. Those voters who make less than $30,000 also supported Obama by a tally of 50 percent to 49 percent. Those making between $30,000 and $50,000 supported the Illinois Democrat by a larger margin of 53 percent to 47 percent. Obama also maintained control of the most reliable elements of his electoral base. Seventy-one percent of those voters between 18 and 29 years old supported the Senator, as did 61 percent of those between 30 and 44. The percentage of black and Latino voters were not registered in the MSNBC exit polls as neither demographic constituted a substantial portion of the electorate. The state is, by some estimations, more than 90 percent white. Finally, 62 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans who voted in the Democratic primary said they supported Obama’s candidacy. MORE.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Democratic nomination is now Barack Obama’s to lose. After nine consecutive defeats — including a heartbreaker in tailor-made Wisconsin on Tuesday — Hillary Rodham Clinton can’t win the nomination unless Obama makes a major mistake or her allies reveal something damaging about the Illinois senator’s background. Don’t count her out quite yet, but Wisconsin revealed deep and destructive fractures in the Clinton coalition. It’s panic-button time. That explains why Clinton’s aides accused Obama of plagiarism for delivering a speech that included words that had first been uttered by Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts governor and a friend of Obama. The charge bordered on the hypocritical — Clinton herself has borrowed Obama’s lines — and by itself was unlikely to have an impact on the race.
GOOD GRIEF, WHO WRITES THIS CRAP? “Tonight I want to talk to you about the choice you have in this election and why that choice matters,” the New York Democrat declared. “It is about picking a president who relies not just on words but on work, on hard work to get America back to work. That’s our goal!” Clinton’s speech — which included neither a concession nor a congratulations to Obama — was cut off only minutes in as all the news networks switched to cover Obama’s remarks.
ALOHA HAWAII: HONOLULU — Sen. Barack Obama took the early lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in Hawaii’s Democratic Caucus on Tuesday night with island voters.With less than 10 percent of the vote in, Obama more than doubled Clinton’s votes.The Hawaii Democratic Party expected more than double the voters involved in the 2004 caucus when more than 4,000 people cast ballots. The party had 17,000 ballots ready for voters. The Hawaii-born Obama was the favorite going into the caucus. Clinton made a push in the last week to garner votes in the state by sending her daughter, Chelsea, to visit Oahu and Maui. Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, has been campaigning in the islands for months. Voters will decide how 20 of Hawaii’s delegates will represent the candidates. Nine other super delegates will not be decided by the vote.