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Key states in U.S. presidential race on Super Tuesday
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13:33, February 05, 2008

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· U.S. Presidential Election 2008
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U.S. presidential candidates will count on some key states on Feb. 5, the Super Tuesday when a total of 24 U.S. states and American Samoa hold their presidential primaries or caucuses.

The following are some states that 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:


-- California is the most populated state in the United States, with a population of over 37.7 million. It is also the state that has the largest minority population, with 6.1 percent black and 35.5 percent Latino. The state is home to the country's largest economy, the 8th largest in the world.

Median household income in the state stays above national average, but about 13 percent lived below the poverty line. The median age is 35.5, younger than the national average.

Economic and housing issues concern voters most since the state was badly hit by subprime mortgage crisis.

The state will send 441 delegates to the Democratic National Convention and 173 to Republican convention, making it a priority to both parties' candidates.

A recent poll by Reuters/Zogby showed Democratic candidate Barack Obama led his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the state by 46 percent to 40 percent. On Republican side, Mitt Romney led John McCain 40 percent to 37 percent, even though the latter was endorsed by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.


-- Georgia is the 9th populous state with a population of almost 10 million, growing by 44.5 percent since 1990. Historically, about half of Georgia's population was African Americans, and they remain nowadays the most populous race in many rural counties. Traditionally as a Democratic state, it, however, has voted Republican in the past two presidential elections.

According to a recent local poll, Obama led Clinton by 48 percent to 30 percent on the Democratic side, and McCain was ranked the No.1 among Republican candidates at 31 percent, followed by Romney at 29 percent.

Whoever wins the Republican primary can take away all 72 delegates, while for the 103 Democratic delegates, the two Democratic candidates have to be allocated proportionally according to their supporting rates.


-- Illinois is the most populous Midwestern state and 5th most populous in the nation. It is also unique for its demographical diversity. According to U.S. Census Bureau, about 12.1 percent of the population were 65 or older as of 2005 and female made up about 51 percent of the total.

Illinois Senator Obama has showed overwhelming lead over Clinton by an average of 32 percentage points, and McCain also beat Romney by 14 percentage points, according to a poll.

However, there is no easy way to take all of 185 Democratic delegates and 70 Republican delegates due to its rule on allocation of delegates proportionally.


-- Massachusetts has an estimated population of 6.5 million as of 2006, with almost 88 percent whites. On Super Tuesday, independent voters are also allowed to cast their ballots, which is considered as a boost to the campaign of Obama and McCain.

Although Obama was endorsed by three senior politicians in the state, including former Democratic presidential candidate and Senator John Kerry and Senator Edward Kennedy, he was still left behind by Clinton by about 25 percentage points in the local poll. The two will divide a total of 121 delegates to the Democratic nomination convention.

On the Republican side, recent polls show former Massachusetts governor Romney's lead over McCain. To Republicans, Massachusetts' primary is less important because it yields only 43 delegates.

New Jersey

-- New Jersey is the 11th most populous state with a population of almost 9 million, but the most densely populated in the nation. Over 19 percent of the total were foreign-born. It is also the 2ndwealthiest state with its per capita second only to California in 2006.

Home to many pharmaceutical companies, the state has witnessed healthcare becoming one of the controversial issues.

Compared to 127 delegates yielded from Democratic primary, Republican race only leads to 52 delegates and the winner can take them all.

Obama and Clinton were caught in a tie at 43 percent and McCainled Romney 52 percent to 26 percent, according to the Reuters/Zogby poll.

New York

-- New York is ranked as the third most populous state with 19 million residents, and over 42 percent of them live in New York City. Official statistics showed that 12.9 percent of the total population were 65 or older and 51.8 percent were female.

The state's median household income is slightly higher than thenational average but the percentage of people living under poverty line to the total is also above the national level.

As a two-term Senator representing the state, Clinton retains atwo-digit lead over Obama in most polls. McCain was also considered more competitive after former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed him as the presidential nominee.

The state will reward Democratic candidates a total of 281 delegates and Republican winner all of the 101 delegates.

Source: Xinhua

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