Democrats vie for remaining delegates, face off against pro-war McCain |

Democrats vie for remaining delegates, face off against pro-war McCain

Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON ” Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton split delegates in four states tonight while Republican John McCain claimed his party’s nomination for president.

Clinton picked up at least 36 delegates in Ohio and Rhode Island, while Obama picked up at least 26 in Ohio and Vermont. More than 300 delegates were still to be awarded, including 193 in Texas.

Obama had a total of 1,429 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates, according to the Associated Press count. He picked up three superdelegate endorsements Tuesday,

Clinton had 1,331 delegates. It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

McCain surpassed the 1,191 delegates needed to secure the nomination by winning delegates in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island. He also picked up new endorsements from about 30 party officials who will automatically attend the convention and can support whomever they choose.

McCain had 1,199 delegates, according to the Associated Press count. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee had 257 delegates when he dropped out of the race Tuesday night.

The AP tracks the delegate races by calculating the number of national convention delegates won by candidates in each presidential primary or caucus, based on state and national party rules, and by interviewing unpledged delegates to obtain their preferences.

Most primaries and some caucuses are binding, meaning delegates won by the candidates are pledged to support that candidate at the national conventions this summer.

Political parties in some states, however, use multistep procedures to award national delegates. Typically, such states use local caucuses to elect delegates to state or congressional district conventions, where national delegates are selected. In these states, the AP uses the results from local caucuses to calculate the number of national delegates each candidate will win, if the candidate’s level of support at the caucus doesn’t change.

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