Texas and Ohio: Two states, two debates, one chance for Hillary Rodham Clinton to save her moribund candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The former first lady suffered another bruising night Tuesday, badly losing the Wisconsin primary and the Hawaii caucuses to Barack Obama. The Illinois senator has now crushed Clinton in 10 straight contests, amassing a growing delegate lead and building support among women and white working class voters who have long formed the core of Clinton's candidacy.
Barack Obama claimed major pieces of Hillary Rodham Clinton's usual coalition as his own Tuesday, winning a majority of white and working-class people while splitting women's votes in Wisconsin's Democratic presidential primary, according to exit polls.
Barack Obama cruised past a fading Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wisconsin primary and Hawaii caucuses Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in a Democratic presidential race for the ages.
The twin triumphs made 10 straight for Obama, and left the former first lady in desperate need of a comeback in a race she long commanded as front-runner.
"The change we seek is still months and miles away," Obama told a boisterous crowd in Houston in a speech in which he also pledged to end the war in Iraq in his first year in office.
"I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009. It is time to bring our troops home," he declared.
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.
Sen. John McCain moved closer to clinching the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, winning delegates in Wisconsin and competing for more in the state of Washington.
Sen. Barack Obama extended his delegate lead by winning the Democratic primary in Wisconsin.
McCain won 13 delegates by carrying the popular vote in Wisconsin, with 24 delegates still to be awarded. There were 19 GOP delegates at stake in Washington.
Barack Obama won the Wisconsin primary Tuesday night, his ninth straight triumph over a fading Hillary Rodham Clinton in their epic struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Obama cut deeply into Clinton's political bedrock, splitting the support of white women almost evenly with the former first lady and running well among working class voters in a blue collar battleground, according to polling place interviews.
The economy and trade were key issues in the race, and seven in 10 voters said international trade has resulted in lost jobs in Wisconsin. Fewer than one in five said trade has created more jobs than it has lost.
White House hopeful Hillary Clinton strove to stem rival Barack Obama's surge in the Democratic nomination race Monday as she wooed Wisconsin's blue-collar voters.
On the Republican side, runaway front-runner John McCain won the endorsement of former president George H.W. Bush, who could help the maverick senator court conservatives suspicious of where his loyalties lie.
First-term Rep. Carol Shea-Porter supports Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, even though her New Hampshire constituents voted for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"It came to a virtual draw in our state" in last month's primary, she says of the mismatch in positions. "I think it's a moot question."
In her case, perhaps so. But Shea-Porter is not alone, and increasingly in the close Democratic race, the political intentions of delegates picked outside the primaries and caucuses are cause for controversy.
John McCain picked up former President George H.W. Bush's support on Monday, a critical blessing by a pillar of the Republican establishment whose members aren't completely sold on the party's next standard-bearer.
"Few men walking among us have sacrificed so much in the cause of human freedom. And I'm happy to help this remarkable patriot carry our party banner forward," Bush said, standing alongside the GOP's nominee-in-waiting in an airport hangar.
Sen. Barack Obama said Monday that he doesn't think it's a big deal that he borrowed lines from his friend Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, although he probably should have given him credit.
Patrick said during his gubernatorial campaign a year and a half ago that words matter, like "I have a dream" and "all men are created equal."
Obama used the same lines Saturday night in Wisconsin. Obama said that Patrick suggested he use the lines to respond to Hillary Rodham Clinton's suggestion that Obama is more of a talker than a doer.