McCain Secures the Republican Lead; Clinton, Obama Still in Close Race

Download MP3   (Right-click or option-click the link.)

This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.

After Super Tuesday, Republicans have their likely nominee for president in the November election, John McCain. But for Democrats, there was nothing super about the biggest day of voting in the nation's presidential nominating history.

Almost half the states voted on delegates for the conventions this summer where the parties will nominate their candidates. California and other states that normally held their votes later in the year moved them up to have more influence. Yet the Democrats are no closer to a clear front-runner than they were before Tuesday.

Senator McCain of Arizona is now the clear Republican front-runner. He won nine states. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won seven. And former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee won the remaining five states where Republicans voted Tuesday, all in the South.

But on Thursday Mitt Romney left the race. He said taking his fight to the convention would delay the launch of a national campaign, and make it easier for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to win.

For Democrats, the fight continues between Senator Clinton of New York and Senator Obama of Illinois. He won more states, but she won delegate-heavy states like New York and, the biggest of all, California.

They ended up with close delegate counts as a result of the complex process that the Democrats use for dividing delegates.

The primary season will continue through June. Voters in eight states make their choices in the next week.

John McCain has well over half the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination. Some Republicans think he is not conservative enough; he is asking his party to unite behind him.

A new Time magazine poll suggests that John McCain would lose to Barack Obama, forty-eight to forty-one percent. But if the election were between John McCain and Hillary Clinton, the study shows that each would get forty-six percent.

As the Democratic race intensifies, so does the race for money. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each raised about one hundred million dollars last year. But his campaign reported raising thirty-two million dollars in January, compared to thirteen million for her campaign.

Unlike many Obama supporters, many Clinton supporters have already given the limit permitted by law. Hillary Clinton said this week that she loaned five million dollars of her own money to her campaign last month.

On Super Tuesday, voters who said they cared most about the economy were more likely to vote for Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Democrats who said the Iraq war was the most important issue were more likely to choose Barack Obama. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney captured the majority of voters who said immigration was the most important issue.

And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake.

Voice of America Special English

Source: McCain Secures the Republican Lead; Clinton, Obama Still in Close Race
TEXT = http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2008-02/2008-02-09-voa1.cfm?renderforprint=1
MP3 = http://www.voanews.com/mediaassets/specialenglish/2008_02/Audio/mp3/se-itn-pres-race-9feb08.mp3