Obama picks up delegate in Nevada | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Obama picks up delegate in Nevada

Kathleen Hennessey, Associated Press Writer

RENO ” Barack Obama picked up one additional Nevada delegate today, stealing it from rival Hillary Rodham Clinton by drawing more supporters to the party’s state convention.

A vote of more than 2,500 convention delegates broke 55-45 percent in Obama’s favor, giving Obama 14 of Nevada’s 25 pledged delegates to the National Democratic Convention in Denver this summer to Clinton’s 11.

The shift is a gain of one pledged delegate for Obama over the split calculated after the state’s January caucuses.

Although Clinton won the support of 51 percent of the caucus-goers in January, under the complicated system of awarding delegates Obama was put on track to winning 13 delegates to Clinton’s 12.

The state convention vote has typically been a little-watched process conducted well after the party has rallied behind its nominee. It took on new intensity this year as the race between the two Democratic presidential candidates remained unsettled.

The party also was scheduled to select later in the day an additional unpledged, or “add-on,” delegate.

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Saturday’s vote was the final step in the state’s three-step delegate selection process.

Obama’s supporters are energized by the Illinois senator’s solid lead over Clinton in pledged delegates to the national convention, and his campaign has been projecting an air of inevitability. In Nevada, he fared better than Clinton in northern Nevada and may have found it easier to corral supporters to Reno.

In an attempt to draw supporters, the Clinton campaign sent the New York senator’s most popular surrogate to speak on her behalf: her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Faced with a vocal crowd of Obama backers, Clinton all but abandoned typical campaign rhetoric. He mentioned his wife’s candidacy only briefly, and instead focused his comments on a call for party unity against the Republicans in November.

“Don’t you forget why you came here. You did not go to all this trouble to have an argument with each other,” Clinton said. “The argument is necessary so we can pick the best president and the most electable one. Those are the only two things that matter. … After that, we have to get the show on the road, folks. We have a country to change and a future to secure.”