*Tuesday's primaries in Oregon and Kentucky were sort of a mixed bag for Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. As expected Obama won in Oregon and Clinton took Kentucky.See Also:
However, with Obama's win in the Beaver state, he pretty much has cemented his standing as the candidate with the majority of total pledged delegates in Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses.
As noted, the junior senator from Illinois' victory was tempered by another late-inning win in Kentucky by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who bested him by gigantic 35 percentage points.
In the end, it doesn't matter because if you do the math, Obama has won 1,649.5 pledged delegates in the primaries and caucuses, surpassing the 1,627 needed to claim a majority, according to an Associated Press tally.
To acknowledge the milestone, Obama was in Iowa where he won his first victory in the Democratic race back in January.
"We have returned to Iowa with the majority of the delegates ... and you have put us in reach of the nomination for president of the United States of America," Obama told a cheering crowd of supporters.
Nonetheless, he seemed to also be holding out the olive branch to his formidable Democratic opponent Senator Clinton.
"We've had our disagreements in this campaign, but we all admire her courage," he said. "Sen. Clinton has shattered myths and broken barriers and changed the America in which my daughters and your daughters will come of age."
In his speech, Senator Obama referred to presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, business-as-usual politics and the policies of President Bush, and he even took a veiled shot at the GOP candidate's age - noting that McCain arrived in Washington "nearly three decades ago."
Meanwhile Clinton, addressing her own cheering supporters in Louisville, focused on her own political prospects and her intentions to fight. Her 35 point victory in Kentucky, on the heels of a 40-point win in West Virginia last week, handed her ammunition to argue that she is the stronger candidate for the general election.
"In one of the closest races for the nomination in the party's history ... we're winning the popular vote, and I'm more determined than ever to see that every vote is cast and every ballot counted," she told supporters in Louisville, flanked by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea.
Clinton won nearly 75 percent of the white voters and an equal number of rural voters in Kentucky while Obama was boosted by young, urban and highly educated voters in Oregon.
Tuesday's results dramatized Clinton's intentions to fight on - even as Obama has increasingly turned his attention to McCain, who begins a two-day California campaign and fundraising swing Wednesday.
In other campaign news, Obama camp announced it had collected more than $31 million in April, "bringing his total amount raised so far this year to $167 million -- a staggering total that suggests his vaunted fundraising machine continues to churn."
Clinton's campaign, on the other hand, is said to be over $21 million in debt.
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