(Corrects month to February in 12th paragraph)
(Adds Hawaii result, details)
By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent
MILWAUKEE, Feb 19 Democrat Barack Obama crushed
Hillary Clinton in two more presidential contests on Tuesday,
extending his winning streak and putting pressure on Clinton to
win in Ohio and Texas next month to salvage her campaign.
The victories in Wisconsin and Hawaii pushed Obama's hot
streak to 10 straight wins and expanded his lead in pledged
delegates who will select the Democratic presidential nominee
in November's election.
As the results rolled in, both Democrats looked ahead to
March 4 showdowns in two of the biggest states, Texas and Ohio,
which have a rich lode of 334 convention delegates at stake. A
struggling Clinton desperately needs wins in both to turn
around her campaign.
"The change we seek is still months and miles away, and we
need the good people of Texas to help get us there," Obama said
at a rally in Houston after his win in Wisconsin.
Republican front-runner John McCain also won in Wisconsin,
taking another big step toward becoming his party's nominee in
the presidential election.
McCain, an Arizona senator, beat his last remaining major
rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to expand his huge
and essentially insurmountable lead in delegates.
"Thank you Wisconsin for bringing us to the point where
even a superstitious naval aviator can claim with confidence
and humility that I will be our party's nominee for president,"
McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of
war, told supporters in Columbus, Ohio.
McCain took direct aim at Obama in his victory remarks,
previewing a possible general election match-up. "Will we risk
the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate?" McCain
"I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to
make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty
call for change that promises no more than a holiday from
history," he said.
Obama took his own shot at McCain, noting his support for
President George W. Bush's economic policies and his support
for a prolonged U.S. military presence in Iraq.
"He represents the policies of yesterday and we want to the
be the party of tomorrow," the Illinois senator said.
Obama has broadened his voting coalition and taken control
of the race with his string of victories in February. He now
has won 25 nominating contests to Clinton's 11.
Obama captured about 58 percent of the vote in Wisconsin, a
general election swing state with a large population of
blue-collar workers -- a big part of Clinton's constituency and
a similar demographic to Ohio.
Like Ohio, the primary also allowed participation by
independents -- and Obama won their votes. Exit polls also
showed Obama won a majority of voters who said the economy was
their top issue, and won among white voters, men, and in all
income and education levels.
But Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, is
the early favorite in both Texas and Ohio, although one public
opinion poll in Texas on Monday showed the race in a
statistical dead heat.
Clinton did not mention the Wisconsin results during a
rally in Youngstown, Ohio, after the race was called.
"We can't just have speeches. We've got to have solutions,"
said Clinton, who later called Obama to apologize. "While words
matter, the best words in the world aren't enough unless you
match them with action."
Obama has 1,156 pledged delegates to Clinton's 1,014,
according to a count by MSNBC. A total of 2,025 are needed to
win the nomination. Wisconsin and Hawaii had a combined 94
delegates at stake, and Obama won at least 40 in Wisconsin to
Clinton's 28, MSNBC said.
McCain, who won about 55 percent of the vote in Wisconsin,
had 880 delegates to Huckabee's 243, with 1,191 delegates
needed to win. Wisconsin had 37 delegates at stake.
McCain also easily won a primary in Washington state, the
second half of the state's two-tiered nominating contest. The
state's Republicans held a caucus on Feb. 9, won narrowly by
With his wins, Obama shrugged off a weekend controversy
over his uncredited use of speech lines from a friend and ally,
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Obama said he should have
credited Patrick but dismissed the controversy as no big deal.
(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan, Jeff Mason and Jason
Szep; Editing by Eric Beech)
(To read more about the U.S. political campaign, visit Reuters
"Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at