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Clinton beats Obama in Pennsylvania


WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton won a hard-fought Pennsylvania primary Tuesday, beating rival Barack Obama in a scrappy victory that she hopes will keep her underdog campaign alive to fight another day.

The New York senator was carried to victory by whites, women, the working class and the elderly — the third time she’s been rescued from the brink of political death after must-win victories in New Hampshire in January and Ohio in March.

With 76 percent of the precincts reporting, Clinton led by a margin of 54-46 percent. The television networks and the Associated Press declared her the winner based on exit polls and early return trends.


"Some counted me out and said to drop out," Clinton told cheering supporters in Philadelphia Tuesday evening. "But the American people don’t quit. And they deserve a president who doesn’t quit, either.

"You listened and today you chose. ... Because of you, the tide is turning."

Noting that Obama outspent her 3-1 in the state, Clinton made a direct appeal for contributions to shore up her cash-starved campaign.

"We can only keep winning if we can keep competing against an opponent who outspends us," she said.

Clinton was desperate for a win, especially a big win, to jumpstart her campaign heading into the final stretch of primaries. She’s looking for a series of victories to convince pivotal superdelegates that she’s the strongest Democrat and that Obama is a flawed candidate who can’t win big states against the Republicans this fall because he couldn’t beat her in them in the spring.

"I think maybe the question ought to be: Why can’t he close the deal? With his extraordinary financial advantage, why can’t he win a state like this one, if that’s the way it turns out?" Clinton said earlier Tuesday.

Exit polls showed that Clinton won among whites, women, those with incomes below $50,000 and no college education, those older than 65, Roman Catholics and Jews, and gun owners.

Among whites 60 and older — a solid third of the vote — she won by nearly 2-1.


More than one in 10 white voters said the race of the candidate was important to their decision, and they went for Clinton by a 3-1 margin.

Obama won among African-Americans, men, those under the age of 44 and those with incomes above $200,000.

He won Philadelphia and its suburbs; she won everywhere else.

With 158 delegates at stake — likely to be divided almost evenly — Clinton could gain only incrementally on Obama, who entered the day leading by 1,648 to 1,509, a margin of 139.

She also looked to gain on Obama in the popular vote.

But it was her last chance to score a big gain on Obama, who led in the nationwide vote count by as much as 800,000. After Tuesday, there are only seven states — and Puerto Rico — left to vote, none of them as big.

Her win came after an often bitter campaign that saw both candidates waging personal campaigns against each other, often aimed at winning over the state’s white, working-class voters.

The final votes are May 6 in Indiana and North Carolina, followed by West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, Puerto Rico and South Dakota.

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