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Defiant Clinton delays Obama victory rally

world Updated: Jun 02, 2008 20:40 IST
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A fading Hillary Clinton scored a thumping win in Puerto Rico primary, delaying the inevitable loss to Barack Obama who is on the verge of scripting history by becoming the African American Presidential nominee of a major US party.

The 60-year-old former first lady grabbed 38 delegates while Obama got 17 and was 45 short of the magic figure of 2,118 needed to clinch the party nomination.

Obama, 47, can further close the gap on Tuesday as he is a favourite to win the last two primaries of South Dakota and Montana with 31 delegates area at stake that will be held on Tuesday. He now commands 2,073 delagtes against Clinton's 1,915.5.

Clinton, however, defiantly raised her last war cry of "popular vote" against her African-American rival in a bid to woo super delegates, who hold the key to choosing Democratic nominee in the party's Denver convention in August.

"We are winning the popular vote," Hillary said addressing supporters in Puerto Rico.

She stressed that she was in a much stronger position than Obama to win several swing states which the party must carry in the November presidential elections to wrest the White House from Republicans.

She also emphasised that neither candidate was in a position to win 2,118 pledged delegates.

However, Obama campaign expected that with his lead in pledged delegates, super delegates would swiftly declare support to him after Tuesday primaries which would enable him to lock the nomination.

It rejected Clinton's argument that super delegates go by the popular votes, saying that is not how the nomination process works. It depends on delegates, they stressed.