Clinton prevails in tight Missouri contest

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) held off Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) in Missouri’s Democratic primary Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press, giving the former first lady a win in the first major toss-up state on Tuesday.

Obama made up ground on Clinton in the state, but she won despite the endorsement and avid campaigning of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill for Obama.

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Clinton also held off Obama surges in the Northeast, winning New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts despite Obama winning the endorsements of both Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy.

The Clinton campaign called the Massachusetts win “the upset of the night,” saying that the even the endorsements of Kerry, Kennedy and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick did not stop Bay State voters from supporting the former first lady.

The New York Democrat’s success in the Northeast did not extend to Connecticut where Obama was able to close on Clinton in her neighboring state. Obama made up Clinton’s double-digit lead of only a few weeks ago to win Connecticut.

Obama also picked up wins in Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Delaware, North Dakota, Kansas, Utah, Minnesota as well as his home state of Illinois, while Clinton also won in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Obama’s wins in North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho and Kansas continue a streak of success in caucuses for the Illinois Democrat whose organization has performed well in each caucus state starting in Iowa.

The attention of the Obama and Clinton campaigns now turns to California and the Southwest where fluctuating polls and early voting make the states unpredictable.