Clinton victory extends Democrats' civil war

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Hillary Clinton pulled off a thumping 10 percentage point victory over her rival Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

The dramatic sweep of her victory last night threw a financial lifeline to her near bankrupt campaign and boosted her case for remaining in the race.

"Some people counted me out and said to drop out, but the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit either," Mrs Clinton told supporters jammed into a hotel ballroom. She was accompanied by Bill Clinton and her daughter Chelsea who played a large part in her victory, campaigning tirelessly across the state.

Mrs Clinton has now won another opportunity to persuade the Democratic high command that she is the tougher candidate, better prepared to defeat the Republican candidate John McCain in the general election in November.

The six-week campaign saw her excoriate Mr Obama – who still leads in the popular vote as well as the delegate count for the nominating convention in August – and portray him as an ineffectual elitist to the state's white working class voters.

The tactic worked for Mrs Clinton who captured vast swathes of rural and small town Pennsylvania, while Mr Obama won very heavily in the Philadelphia which has a large black population. Pennsylvania is viewed as an electoral microcosm of the US and Mrs Clinton will now attempt to persuade the 311 remaining uncommitted superdelegates, mostly senior party and elected officials, to come over to her side and secure the nomination.

But she faces huge obstacles ahead, not least the millions of dollars of debt her campaign has run up. Democratic party leaders also fear that the ferocity of the nomination fight could wreck their prospects of winning the White House in November. While Mr Obama outspent Mrs Clinton three to one in Pennsylvania he did not come close to challenging Mrs Clinton. But thanks to earlier victories in smaller states, Mr Obama still leads in the popular vote and he is so far ahead in the race to win the 2,025 delegates he needs to secure the nomination that she cannot catch him.

Mrs Clinton cut slightly into Mr Obama's delegate lead winning at least 66 delegates to the party's national convention (with 35 still to be awarded). Despite his defeat Mr Obama collected at least 57 delegates which are allocated by proportional representation.

In the overall race for the nomination, Mr Obama leads with 1,705.5 delegates, including superdelegates. Mrs Clinton had 1,575.5 delegates, according to he Associated Press tally.

Mrs Clinton's only possible path to victory is through the superdelegates. Recognising this she was gracious in her victory speech in Philadelphia last night. Rather than attack Mr Obama, she addressed the voters in the upcoming states of Indiana and Nor Carolina while painting a more human side of her personality.

Earlier yesterday she played up Americans fears of terrorism as well as worries about an Iranian nuclear attack on Israel to make the case that she would be a better commander in chief.

"I want the Iranians to know that if I'm the president, we will attack Iran," she She told ABS news . "In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

The lesson she appears to have drawn from her victory is that negative works. In an editorial this morning, the New York Times, which is endorsing her run for the presidency said her campaign was worse that the "mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it."

Mr Obama did not escape the newspaper's wrath either, but the focus of the paper's anger was on Mrs Clinton saying that her tactics do "nothing but harm to her, opponent, her party and the 2008 election."

The lesson Mrs Obama has drawn from the campaign is that he now needs to use his huge financial edge to try and crush her in Indiana and North Carolina which vote n two weeks time.

Mr Obama has a war chest of $42 million collected in March against $21 million Mrs Clinton raised and can vastly out spent her in political advertising.

In her victory Mrs Clinton was quick to ask her supporters to log onto her website and donate more money, telling them "We can only keep winning if we can keep competing with an opponent who continues to out spend us massively."

Amid the euphoria of her victory her officials claimed their best night ever in internet fund-raising which they said had brought in $2.5 million in a few hours.

The upcoming Indiana primary, is viewed as another key test for Mrs Clinton, who is slightly ahead in the polls there. But Mr Obama faces his own problems, thanks to the bitterness of his nomination battle with Mrs Clinton. As he goes into North Carolina any attempts by the Republican party or Mrs Clinton to highlight his association with his firebrand pastor Jeremiah Wright could be toxic for him.



For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick