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Obama Closing Ugly

Clinton wins big in Kentucky, while Obama edges closer to the finish line with win in Oregon.

Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) split Tuesday night's two primaries. Obama won Oregon 58% to 42% but took a big beating in Kentucky, losing by 72% to 27%. Obama's lead was trimmed in both delegates and the popular vote.

Nevertheless, Obama declared change has come to America in his victory speech. Obama made the unusual move of presenting his Oregon victory speech from Iowa, the site of his first caucus victory more than five months ago. He said to his supporters:

The same question that first led us to Iowa fifteen months ago is the one that has brought us back here tonight ... the question of whether this country ... will keep doing what we've been doing for four more years, or whether we will take that different path. It is more of the same versus change. It is the past versus the future.

Obama chose not to declare himself the presumptive Democratic nominee, as had been expected. But he is close, as he now holds a majority of the pledged delegates with three races remaining, including Puerto Rico (63 delegates) on June 1 and then Montana (25 delegates) and South Dakota (23) on June 3.

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The Illinois senator also leads in superdelegates. Since Super Tuesday, he has overcome a deficit of more than 100 superdelegates, and now leads in that category by almost 30. He needs 64 overall delegates to reach 2,025, the magic victory number according to Democratic Convention Watch, a Web site tracking delegates.

Clinton won't surrender, however, and continues to do well. She campaigned hard in Kentucky and it paid off in a big win -- 65% to 30% -- netting her a nice win in delegates and voters. She said in her victory speech:

This is one of the closest races for a party's nomination in modern history. We're winning the popular vote and I'm more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot counted.

She contends that if Florida and Michigan were counted, then she would lead in the popular vote count. According to, Clinton would edge Obama in the popular vote by about 72,000 voters.

Both candidates need the superdelegates to decide the race, despite all of the spinning from their campaigns. So far, the superdelegates have sided with Obama. If that trend continues, he will be able to call himself the nominee after all of the contests on June 3.