BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 21:27 GMT
US rivals fight on after key day
John McCain campaigns on Super Tuesday
John McCain has wrapped up several winner-takes-all states

US Republican John McCain moved closer to his party's presidential nomination after Super Tuesday's polls, while the Democratic race stayed finely balanced.

Mr McCain won the big states of California and New York, although Mike Huckabee did better than expected.

For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton won in New York and California, but Barack Obama won in 13 states. Both hailed a "great night" and a "big victory".

It was the biggest day in the race to pick candidates in November's election.

But the campaigns are already looking ahead to contests on Saturday in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington state and primaries on 12 February in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.

Race not yet run

Mr McCain's gains seriously wounded his main rival, Mitt Romney, the BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington says.

Democrats

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton
17 states, 1,592 delegates
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas
Barack ObamaBarack Obama
24 states, 1,723 delegates
Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state, Wisconsin
2,025 delegates needed for nomination. Source AP (includes all kinds of delegates)
Q&A: US election delegates

Republicans

Mike HuckabeeMike Huckabee
8 states, 271 delegates
Campaign ended
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kansas, Louisiana
John McCainJohn McCain
20 states, 1,253 delegates
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state, Wisconsin
Mitt RomneyMitt Romney
11 states, 251 delegates
Campaign suspended
Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah
1,191 delegates needed for nomination. Source: AP (includes all kinds of delegates)

Mr McCain also won in Illinois, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Missouri, Connecticut, Delaware, and his home state of Arizona.

Speaking in Phoenix on Wednesday, Mr McCain said: "The majority of Republicans across the board have stated their view so I hope that we can now join together for the good of the party and the good of the conservative cause."

The Democratic race was as tight as forecast, although Mrs Clinton secured the two biggest prizes.

In New York, her home state, she captured about 57% of votes to Mr Obama's 40%.

In California, with most precincts counted, Mrs Clinton had won 52% of Democratic votes and Mr Obama about 42%.

Mrs Clinton also took Arizona, Massachusetts and New Jersey, as well as the southern, rural states of Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arkansas.

However Mr Obama won a greater number of states, namely Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah and his home state of Illinois.

I think we must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner
John McCain

The Democratic caucuses in New Mexico remained unsettled. Mrs Clinton had a 117-vote lead when the party shut down its counting operation. Counting was resuming on Wednesday morning.

Speaking in Chicago on Wednesday, Mr Obama said he had triumphed over Mrs Clinton by winning "more states and more delegates" on Super Tuesday.

"We had an extraordinary night. It was a big victory for our campaign," he said.

"I have great confidence this campaign is gaining momentum every day," Mr Obama added.

In terms of delegates captured, Mrs Clinton was only marginally ahead - under the Democrats' system of proportional distribution.

Both are still well short of the 2,025 needed to secure the party's nomination.

Mrs Clinton also hailed "a great night", and vowed to press ahead.

"We're going to compete everywhere and I'm very excited about competing. It's going to be a mad dash to Tuesday," she told reporters.

"We are at full speed ahead."

'All the way'

Overall, voters were choosing 42% of delegates on Super Tuesday.

REPORTS FROM THE CAMPS

In each state's primary or caucus, successful candidates are awarded delegates who formally choose the party's nominee at the national convention in six months' time.

In Arizona, Mr McCain's told supporters: "We must get used to the idea that we are the Republican Party front-runner for the presidency of the United States."

However it was Mr Huckabee who took the first state to announce a result, West Virginia.

WHAT IS SUPER TUESDAY?
24 states holding simultaneous contests to help decide the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations
About 40% of each party's delegates - who will choose the candidate - are up for grabs
Key states electing large numbers of delegates include California, New York and Illinois

Overall, he went on to confound the polls, which had put him in a distant third, and came not far behind Mr Romney.

He won across the south, in Arkansas, where he used to be governor, as well as Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

"We are still on our feet and much to the amazement of many we are getting there folks," he told supporters in Arkansas.

Mr Romney won in Colorado, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Alaska and Utah.

The former Massachusetts governor said he was not about to drop out of the race and was "going all the way to the White House".

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Super Tuesday result speeches



Select from the list below to view state level results.



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific