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Clinton upbeat on McCain battle

Hillary Clinton says she has run a positive campaign

Hillary Clinton says she is the best placed candidate for the Democrats to beat Republican John McCain when it comes to the US presidential elections.

She says her win over Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary showed she could gather a broad base of support.

But Mr Obama's campaign points to polls suggesting that he would do better against Mr McCain than Mrs Clinton in a general election.

Mr Obama has won more elected delegates and raised more money than Mrs Clinton.

Mrs Clinton says an appeal launched after Tuesday's win raised $3m (1.5m).

The internet fundraising is a much-needed boost to her debt-laden campaign - in Pennsylvania, Mr Obama outspent her three-to-one.

She has said securing more donations was the only way she could continue to compete with a rival who was outspending her "massively".

Blue-collar appeal

The results in Pennsylvania, which Mrs Clinton claimed to be an "overwhelming victory", showed 54.3% for Mrs Clinton to 45.7% for Mr Obama, with a little over 99% of returns counted.

DEMOCRATIC DELEGATES
Barack Obama:
Pledged delegates: 1,488
Super-delegates: 235
Total: 1,723
Hillary Clinton:
Pledged delegates: 1,333
Super-delegates: 259
Total: 1,592
Source: AP at 1400 GMT, 23 April

Mrs Clinton has ruled out the possibility of her dropping out of the race before all primary and caucus contests were finished.

"We're going to go through the next nine contests and I hope to do well in many of them," she told NBC.

"But I'm confident that when delegates - as well as voters, like the voters of Pennsylvania just did - ask themselves who's the stronger candidate against John McCain that I will be the nominee of the Democratic party."

She told ABC television: "The big win that I had, the broad base of coalition is exactly what we are going to need in the fall [autumn]."

Mr Obama told the audience at a town hall meeting in Indiana not to be worried about the apparently divisive campaigns being fought by the two Democratic candidates.

"The Democratic party is going to recognise that, as soon as we have nominee, there is too much at stake for us to be divided," he said.

"They will see the choice between John McCain and the Democratic nominee and see that there is a clear choice. We know what they are offering - more of the same."

His speech on Wednesday focused more on attacking the policies of Mr McCain than Mrs Clinton.

Big-state winner

Exit polls for US media suggest Mrs Clinton won by taking the votes of blue-collar workers, women and white men, the Associated Press reported.

Women - who have tended to favour Mrs Clinton - made up 60% of Democratic voters in the state, according to the exit polls.

Barack Obama in a Pennsylvania diner 22 April
Barack Obama is leading the popular vote in the Democratic race

Neither candidate is expected to win sufficient pledged delegates to seal the nomination in the remaining primaries, which is why the candidates are focusing on the 800 or so unelected "super-delegates" to decide the outcome at the Democratic convention in August.

Mrs Clinton has won most of the contests in the big states. She argues that only she will be able to secure wins in critical large states come November's presidential election.

Mr Obama has dismissed the big-state argument, saying there was "no chance" of the Democrats losing New York or California in the presidential election, no matter who the candidate was.

In the next round of primaries, on 6 May, polls suggest that Mr Obama is likely to take North Carolina, while both candidates have a chance to win in Indiana.


Electoral College votes

Winning post 270
Obama - Democrat
365
McCain - Republican
173
Select from the list below to view state level results.



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