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Republican candidate McCain wins Super Tuesday presidential nominee race
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12:12, February 07, 2008

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· U.S. Presidential Election 2008
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U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain overwhelmingly won the Super Tuesday presidential nominee race, with victories in nine delegate-rich states out of the total 21.

So far, McCain has been projected to hold 487 delegates who are supposed to vote for him on the party's nomination convention, followed by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with 176 and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee with 122.

Among popular votes, McCain has won 40 percent at 3,027,772, followed by Romney with 31 percent at 2,346,943, and Huckabee with21 percent at 1,604,010.

The Republican Super Tuesday races would be officially finished after Alaska caucuses' result comes out, only yielding 29 delegates.

"We've won some of the biggest states in the country. We've won primaries in the west, the south, the Midwest, and the northeast..." McCain hailed his outstanding Super Tuesday at a supporter rally.

The Arizona senator prevailed in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Delaware, Missouri and his home state.

Supported by a large number of liberal Republican voters and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, he was also projected to sweep New York primary.

His unbeatable victory on the Super Tuesday was established with the projected lead in California, the most populous and delegate-rich state in the nation. According to the state's Republican primary "winner-take-all" rule, McCain would be awarded with all of the 173 delegates.

Romney was seen well-performed in his home state, and Utah with a large number of conservative and Mormon voters. He was also the projected winner of the Minnesota, Colorado, Montana, and North Dakota states.

Despite of lame performance on the Super Tuesday, Romney insisted that he would stay in the race, saying at a rally "it's not all done tonight. We're going to keep on battling ... go all the way to the convention."

Another contender, Huckabee, won the West Virginia caucuses earlier the day, taking away the first batch of 18 delegates. He was also projected to sweep his home state Tennessee and Alabama.

After a long-term slight lead in the Georgia primary, Huckabee was finally projected to win the state.

Prior to the Super Tuesday, McCain has won the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries that were key to the Republican presidential nominee race, supported by independent, moderate Republicans and veteran voters and those who care more about security issue and complain about President George W. Bush's administration.

However, McCain, a self-claimed moderate Republican, started to portrait himself a "real conservative" days ago to woo a large number of conservative voters in most Super Tuesday states.

Romney, who used to be a successful businessman and has invested much of his own fortune in the campaign, won most votes from those whose priority was economic issue. His tough stance on illegal immigrants was also appealing to voters having such concern.

A total 24 states and American Samoa are holding their primaries and caucuses, virtually making the Super Tuesday a key day in the Democratic and Republican races for the White House.

States such as California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York are expected to play a decisive role in the full-scale race due to their population and the number of delegates to nomination conventions they will award to candidates.

Exit polls showed that among the Super Tuesday Republican voters, 40 percent cited economy as their priority, 20 percent listed immigration as the top concern and the same percentage of people said they care more about Iraq war.

The polls also showed that voters of both Romney and Huckabee named "share my values" as the most important quality of a candidate, while McCain's supporters preferred a candidate's experience and credibility.

About a quarter of Republican voters are older than 65 and less than 10 percent are under 30, according to the polls.

Due to the "winner-take-all" rule applied to many of the states holding races on Tuesday, especially those delegate-rich big states, McCain's double-digit lead in the previous national poll over Romney was expected to be widened, solidifying his status as the most hopeful for the presidential nomination.

Whoever is supported by a majority delegates of 1,191 or more at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in early September, can win the nomination to contend for the White House.

Source: Xinhua

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