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The BBC's Philippa Thomas
"Contest is over in everything but name"
 real 28k

The BBC's Paul Reynolds in Washington
A night of triumph for Gore
 real 28k

Vice President Al Gore
"My heart is full tonight"
 real 28k

Bill Bradley
"He won, I lost"
 real 28k

George W Bush
"We have a national victory"
 real 28k

Senator John McCain
"Time to reflect on the direction of our campaign"
 real 28k

Jeffrey Robinson, author and commentator
"Two character issue"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 8 March, 2000, 17:43 GMT
Favourites clean up on Super Tuesday

A make-or-break test in the race for the White House
The two front-runners for the US presidency have strengthened their positions after scoring major victories in the crucial Super Tuesday primaries.

Texas Governor George W Bush and Vice-President Al Gore now appear certain to contest the poll in November, after what correspondents predict will be a bitter and bruising campaign.

Mr Bush fought off the challenge from Republican insurgent John McCain, winning all the key states in the Super Tuesday ballots.

We have good news - from sea to shining sea

George W Bush
In the Democratic race, Mr Gore looks set to sweep all the states, amid mounting speculation that his rival, former Senator Bill Bradley, would soon withdraw from the campaign.

Bradley advisers told AP news agency on Wednesday that their man would leave the race on Thursday and endorse Mr Gore.

Unofficial results gave the two party front-runners comfortable wins in the big three states of California, New York and Ohio.

George W Bush
George W Bush has the Oval Office in his sights
Together these account for more than half the delegates sent to both parties' nominating conventions later in the year.

In their victory speeches, Mr Gore and Mr Bush both laid out what are expected to be the themes of their coming presidential campaigns.

For the vice-president it was "continue the prosperity", while Mr Bush pledged to "restore honour to the White House".

Knock-out blow

Latest projections
Bush wins California, New York, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, Washington
McCain wins Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island
Keyes: no states
Gore wins California, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Vermont, Missouri, Maryland, Idaho, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Washington
Bradley: no states
Based upon exit polls and unofficial results
Arizona Senator McCain's victories in the Republican race were restricted to a few less politically important New England states.

Mr Bush told a victory rally in Austin, Texas: "We have good news - from sea to shining sea.

"Republicans and conservatives across American have said they want me to lead the Republican Party to victory come November, and I am ready and eager to do so."

He paid tribute to Mr McCain and former Ambassador Alan Keyes for mounting what he called a "spirited contest".

We will never give up this mission, my friends

John McCain
Shortly after polls closed in California, Mr McCain told a rally of supporters in Los Angeles that he would be consulting his campaign advisers on Wednesday to "talk about our future".

He added: "I want to assure you all that our crusade continues tonight, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that and for as long as it takes to restore America's confidence."

Gore triumphs

Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley appears set to quit the race
In the Democratic race, Mr Gore looks set to win all the states in Tuesday's poll, dealing a fatal blow to former Senator Bradley's campaign for the party's nomination.

In many states he is reported to have won as much as two-thirds of the vote. In Georgia, for example, unofficial results gave Mr Gore 83% of the vote.

Speaking to a victory rally in his home state of Tennessee, Mr Gore told supporters that he had received a "gracious" telephone call from his rival.

However, much of the rest of his speech looked forward to the presidential race itself, as he told cheering supporters "we need to build on our record of prosperity".

"We don't need to go back to where we were eight years ago," Mr Gore added.

"We are the party of the mainstream. We are the party of hope."

Later Mr Bradley told a rally in New York City that he would make an announcement about his future after consulting his supporters.

"He won, I lost," the former senator said, in a speech that hinted heavily that his challenge for the Democrat nomination had reached the end of the road.

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See also:

08 Mar 00 | Americas
Gore transformed
07 Mar 00 | Americas
In pictures: Super Tuesday
08 Mar 00 | Americas
Media review: Primaries hurt Bush
08 Mar 00 | Americas
The establishment strikes back
08 Mar 00 | Americas
Bush scrapes New York victory
08 Mar 00 | Election news
McCain and the character question
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