For those keeping score at home, Tuesday’s victories in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., make it eight in a row for Barack Obama since Super Tuesday. Hillary Clinton is looking forward to Ohio and Texas, which are now must-win states for her, but Obama’s impressive streak of landslide victories (which could grow) might upset her early advantage there.
Obama won by a commanding margin in all three states, including Virginia, the only primary of the three that Hillary Clinton seriously contested. With almost all precincts reporting, Obama was beating Clinton by about 30 percentage points in the commonwealth.
Obama, who stretched his streak of consecutive victories over Clinton to eight, also emerged for the first time as the Democratic delegate leader. A count by the Associated Press showed him leading Clinton by a 1,186 to 1,181 margin Both are far from the 2,025 needed to win the nomination.
Turnout was high throughout the region as voters went to the polls in chilly temperatures and a gathering glaze of sleet and rain. A Maryland judge extended voting statewide for 90 minutes - until 9:30 p.m. - because of traffic problems caused by bad weather. Returns from D.C. also also were delayed.
Republicans also had contests in all three localities, with Arizona Sen. John McCain hoping to brush back a recent surge by his chief remaining rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. McCain, after trailing Huckabee in early returns, won in Virginia and also triumphed handily in Maryland and D.C.