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Two senators declare support to Obama

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama wins the endorsement of two fellow Democratic senators from the Midwest - Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill.

world Updated: Jan 13, 2008 12:09 IST

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has won the endorsement of two fellow Democratic senators from the Midwest - Ben Nelson, a popular moderate in largely Republican Nebraska and Claire McCaskill from Missouri, a state that is historically a bellwether in presidential contests.

Nelson said yesterday he believes Obama has ability to bridge the partisan divide and to carry Democratic candidates across the United States to victory in 2008. Nelson, pledging his support for his Illinois colleague, said Obama has "the greatest potential to ending the bitterness and poisonous atmosphere in Washington".

McCaskill plans to announce her support for the Illinois senator today, according to an Obama aide and a McCaskill staffer who spoke yesterday.

Her endorsement is expected to be a major boost for Obama in Missouri, one of nearly two dozen states holding primaries or caucuses on February 5, and could help Obama woo female voters in his race against New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination.

The backing from Nelson and McCaskill caps a slew of big-name endorsements for Obama over the past week, including former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and Arizona Gov.