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:

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Louis van Gaal
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own