Democrat Barack Obama easily beat rival Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin on Tuesday, extending his US presidential winning streak and putting pressure on Clinton to win next month in Ohio and Texas to salvage her campaign.
The Obama win in Wisconsin pushed his hot streak to nine straight victories in Democratic nominating contests. Democrats in Hawaii, where Obama was born and is a heavy favorite, also were voting on Tuesday.
As the results rolled in, both Democrats looked ahead to March 4 showdowns in two of the biggest states, Texas and Ohio, which have a rich lode of 334 convention delegates at stake and where Clinton desperately needs to win.
"The change we seek is still months and miles away, and we need the good people of Texas to help get us there," Obama said at a rally in Houston after noting his win in Wisconsin.
Up for grabs in Wisconsin and Hawaii were a combined 94 delegates to the August convention that selects the Democratic presidential nominee in November's election. Obama has a slight lead in pledged delegates won in state presidential contests.
Republican front-runner John McCain also won in Wisconsin, and then later in Washington state, taking another big step toward becoming his party's nominee in the presidential election.
McCain, an Arizona senator, beat his last remaining major rival, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to expand his huge and essentially insurmountable lead in delegates.
"Thank you Wisconsin for bringing us to the point where even a superstitious naval aviator can claim with confidence and humility that I will be our party's nominee for president," McCain, a former Navy fighter pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, told supporters in Columbus, Ohio. (Reuters)
Obama and McCain score big wins in Wisconsin