Sunday, June 1, 2008

Clinton wins in Puerto Rico, CNN projects

CNN - Sunday, June 1, 2008SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton will win Puerto Rico's Democratic primary by a wide margin, CNN projects, giving her the larger share of the territory's 55 delegates.

With about 70 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was leading Sen. Barack Obama by more than a 2-1 margin.

Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said Puerto Rico was "another great win" for the New York senator.

Clinton swept Obama in every major demographic group, including groups Obama generally wins, such as younger voters and higher income voters, according to CNN's exit polls.

Clinton's campaign has been arguing that a landslide victory would push her ahead in the popular vote and help her convince superdelegates to pick her instead of Obama.

To cross that threshold, she would need to win 65 percent of the vote with a turnout of at least 2 million people.

But Luis Hector, an elections official, said only 1.5 million ballots were printed.

CNN estimates turnout will be between 325,000 and 425,000.

"Most people in Puerto Rico, I would venture to guess, they are not even aware that there's a primary going on," said Luis Pabón-Roca, a local political analyst.

He said the political atmosphere on the island this week is subdued compared to the fever that sweeps the island before local elections.

Some poll workers in small towns started abandoning the polling stations because turnout was so low, he said.

Part of the reason for the lack of interest, he said, is because voters feel the primary isn't meaningful since Puerto Ricans cannot vote in the general election.

The Democratic and Republican parties run the primaries and caucuses, and they allow U.S. territories, such as the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, to take part in the process.

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