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Obama Ahead in Texas Caucuses

A man enters a polling place at DeSoto East Middle School, just before 9:00 p.m. to participate in the Texas caucuses on March 4.  The state held both a primary and caucus.
Brian Harkin / Getty Images
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Getty Images
A man enters a polling place at DeSoto East Middle School, just before 9:00 p.m. to participate in the Texas caucuses on March 4. The state held both a primary and caucus.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has claimed victory in the Texas primary — but her rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, may walk away with a greater share of the state's delegates.

That's because the Texas contests are actually both a primary and a caucus.

Clinton won the primary with 51 percent of the popular vote to Obama's 47 percent, according to the Associated Press. Those results earned her 65 delegates to Obama's 61 delegates.

But allocating delegates in the Lone Star State takes a "Texas two-step." After the polls closed, more than 1 million Texans also attended caucuses, the results of which determine how about one-third of the state's delegates get awarded.

The state Democratic Party estimates that Obama will come out ahead: 37 pledged delegated to Clinton's 30 delegates. But the official tally of the Texas caucus won't be ready for months.

The end result of the Texas caucuses was that attendees picked delegates. These delegates will then go on to attend a county convention in late March to caucus. Then, the delegates from the county convention must go to the state convention and hold another caucus. The whole Texas process will not be wrapped up until June.

If the numbers stand as they are now, Obama could come out ahead in the Texas contests by just three delegates.

All of this ambiguity is causing strife between the two Democratic candidates.

The Clinton camp is threatening to take legal action because it says it won the state. The Obama campaign is trying to retroactively claim victory in a place which many news organizations had already reported that Clinton won.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
Wade Goodwyn
Wade Goodwyn is an NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.