Democratic Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama won an easy victory in Vermont Tuesday, giving him 12 straight primary wins but early returns in Ohio appear to give Hillary Clinton a new lease on her political life.
John McCain won handily in Vermont and Ohio and appeared well on his way to officially capturing the GOP nomination.
Polls closed in East Texas at 8 p.m. EST and Obama held a 100,000 edge with 1 percent of the vote in. West Texas polls close at 9 p.m. EST.
Even with an early lead for Clinton in Ohio, the race remained too close to call and bad weather forced a delay in closing some Northern Ohio polling places.
GOP challenger Mike Huckabee sent signals Tuesday night that he is ready to concede the race to McCain and pull out of running on Wednesday.
Reports The Associated Press:
Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Vermont primary Tuesday night, and the two Democratic rivals dueled in competitive contests in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island in a riveting race for the party’s presidential nomination. John McCain edged close to the delegates needed to secure his Republican triumph after a decade’s struggle.
The Vermont victory was Obama’s 12th straight over the former first lady and left her desperate to rebound later in the night in the other three states holding elections. He was gaining nearly 60 percent of the statewide vote.
McCain added first Vermont, then Ohio to his column in the Republican race, and moved to within about 130 of the delegate total needed to clinch the nomination. Aides readied a giant banner bearing the magic number — 1,191 — to serve as a backdrop for an anticipated victory celebration in Dallas.
The Associated Press made its calls based on surveys of voters as they left the polls.
In the Democratic race, Obama took an early lead in Texas based almost entirely on votes cast before primary day.
The Ohio count was delayed by heavy voting that kept some polls in Sandusky and Cleveland open for 90 minutes past the scheduled 7:30 p.m. close.