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Clinton on the edge as she fails to pull off double win

Hillary Clinton's hopes of winning the race for the Democratic nomination for president were dwindling dwin·dle  
v. dwin·dled, dwin·dling, dwin·dles

To become gradually less until little remains.
To cause to dwindle. See Synonyms at decrease.
 last night as she failed to close the gap on Barack Obama, who won a clear victory in North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures

Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.

She had needed to win big in both North Carolina and Indiana, which went to the polls yesterday, to stand a chance of reining in Obama. It was her last big chance after battling it out in state after state since Iowa on January 3.

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 and other TV stations called North Carolina for Obama within minutes of the polling booths closing, based on exit polls. The Clinton team was confident last night of winning Indiana, though the exit polls said it was too close to call.

She needed to win by an enormous margin in Indiana, as well as taking North Carolina, to eat into Obama's overall lead. With only six primaries left, he remains the favourite to win the Democratic nomination and face the Republican John McCain For McCain's grandfather and father, see John S. McCain, Sr. and John S. McCain, Jr., respectively
John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936 in Panama Canal Zone) is an American politician, war veteran, and currently the Republican Senior U.S. Senator from Arizona.
 in November's general election.

David Axelrod David Axelrod can either be:
  • David Axelrod, a US based political consultant
  • David Axelrod, a musician
  • David B. Axelrod, a poet and educator
, Obama's chief strategist, said the victory in North Carolina "continues our momentum towards the nomination". In North Carolina, with only 14% of the vote counted, he had 291,989 to her 164,085. With 52% of the vote counted in Indiana, Clinton had 336,892 of the votes and Obama 282,659.

While Obama emerged from the night better off, Indiana showed up his inability to finish off Clinton. He failed to do this in primaries in February, March and April and again last night.

The votes also highlighted the extent to which the Democratic party is divided. While Clinton has virtually no support among African-Americans, last night showed Obama's continued difficulties in attracting white voters - a weakness that could hurt the Democrats against McCain.Exit polls show that Clinton won 61% support among white women in Indiana and 58% among white men.

The racial divide was stark in North Carolina where Obama took 91% of the African-American vote and Clinton only 6%. The two primaries came after Obama had been on the back-foot for the last two months. Opinion polls in North Carolina had suggested that Obama's 25% lead at the start of the campaign had withered to single digits. He had also appeared to be losing ground in Indiana.

Last week was his worst since he launched his campaign in February last year. He was tested by an incendiary INCENDIARY, crim. law. One who maliciously and willfully sets another person's house on fire; one guilty of the crime of arson.
     2. This offence is punished by the statute laws of the different states according to their several provisions.
 public appearance last week by his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a 8000+-member African-American megachurch in Chicago. , which pushed race up the agenda.

Among voters polled yesterday, 48% of Democrats in Indiana and 48% in North Carolina said Wright's comments, portrayed in the US media as unpatriotic, were "very" or "somewhat" important to their vote. White voters tended to say it was important while African-Americans tended to say it was not.

The primary attracted a record turn-out in North Carolina and a large turn-out in Indiana. But the end result was that Obama once again secured a net increase in his share of the delegates, who will choose the nominee,to add to his already commanding lead.

At the start of the night, Obama had 1,745 delegates to Clinton's 1,608. A total of 2,025 delegates are needed to clinch the nomination. The proportional representation proportional representation: see representation.
proportional representation

Electoral system in which the share of seats held by a political party in the legislature closely matches the share of popular votes it received.
 system means they will divide almost evenly the 72 delegates at stake in Indiana. He is expected to take more than half of the 115 delegates at stake in North Carolina. Only six more primaries remain, ending with Montana and South Dakota South Dakota (dəkō`tə), state in the N central United States. It is bordered by North Dakota (N), Minnesota and Iowa (E), Nebraska (S), and Wyoming and Montana (W).  on June 3, but these have a relatively small number of delegates.

From today, Clinton and Obama shift their attentions to winning over about 270 undecided Democratic superdelegates - Congress members and others with an automatic vote.

The populist strategy deployed by Clinton in Indiana and North Carolina will be crucial. Her campaign argues that Clinton's success in winning over working class voters makes her a stronger candidate than Obama against McCain, even though he has won the majority of Democratic contests. In Indiana, the strategy saw Clinton ditching her persona of worldly First Lady and policy wonk Policy wonk is a term of art of politics, meaning an expert with a detailed knowledge of current or potential government policies, administrative matters, and the effects of policy and programs.

It entered general usage in the 1990s during the administration of U.S.
 to re-invent herself as a tough, beer loving heroine of the working classes.
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Date:May 7, 2008
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