Key Races Shape Election Year - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Key Races Shape Election Year

Sen. Barack Obama Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. John McCain Sen. John McCain
Sen. Hillary Clinton Sen. Hillary Clinton
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

By Leland Kim

WISCONSIN (KHNL) -- Besides Hawaii, voters in two other states went to the polls to make their voices heard.  Washington and Wisconsin held primaries Tuesday.

A strong showing in Washington helped Republican Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) inch closer to his party's nomination.

But the focus is on Wisconsin, where results there could further shape the Democratic race.

Voters in Wisconsin fought freezing conditions to make their voices heard in this red hot race.

"Well, think the Obama-Clinton race is really controversial," said a voter.

Leading up to Tuesday's contest, both Democrats were polling neck-and-neck in Wisconsin.

Tuesday evening, NBC News projected Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) and Sen. McCain as winners in Wisconsin.  It was Obama's ninth consecutive win.

This victory could help propel Obama to join McCain, as their respective party's front runner.

But earlier in the day, both Democrats delivered some sharp jabs.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) was critical of Obama's position on healthcare.

"Because my opponent does not have a plan," said Sen. Clinton.  "He would leave out millions of people and I do not think that's very smart."

And Obama critical of Clinton's proposal on adjustable rate mortgages.  

"A blanket freeze, as she's proposed, will drive rates through the roof on people who are trying to get new mortgages to buy or refinance a home," said Sen. Obama.

Things were a bit calmer on the Republican side.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Arkansas) lost to Sen. McCain, who is inching towards becoming his party's nominee.

But McCain's wife took a jab at Obama's wife, who had this to say on Monday:

"And let me tell you something, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback," said Michelle Obama.

Cindy McCain had a comeback of her own.

"I'm proud of my country, I don't know about you, if you heard those words, earlier," she said. "I'm very proud of my country."

The Republican senator downplayed his wife's statement.

"I don't think we have any comment on that," said Sen. McCain. 

"Do you -- do you have any comment?" he asked his wife, who shaked her head.

Ultimately, the candidates want to let the voters comment at the polls in Tuesday's primaries and caucuses.

Despite his loss, Huckabee plans to stay in the race.

And on the Democratic side, Senators Clinton and Obama are already looking ahead, campaigning in states that have major primaries on March 4.

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