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Clinton 'excited' by Pennsylvania win

  • Story Highlights
  • Clinton beat Obama by 10 percentage points
  • Clinton campaign says it received $3 million in donations after victory
  • Obama already in Indiana, the next prize along with North Carolina
  • Obama leads in overall votes, states won and pledged delegates
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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- The race for the Democratic Party U.S. presidential nomination has taken a fresh turn after Hillary Clinton re-ignited her White House bid with a decisive win over frontrunner Barack Obama in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Hillary Clinton addresses supporters following her win in Pennsylvania.

She won the state by 10 percentage points, but is still trailing in the national race to become the Democratic candidate to run against presumptive Republican candidate John McCain.

"I won that double-digit victory that everybody on TV said I had to win, and the voters of Pennsylvania clearly made their views known -- that they think I would be the best president and the better candidate to go against Sen. McCain", she told CNN.

The former first lady said the past weeks have been "inspiring and so exciting" because of the head-to-head campaigning against Obama, the senator from Illinois.

"Voters got to look at both of us, consider both of us. I was outspent three to one, and the results were just enormously exciting and gratifying to me," she added.

A loss in Tuesday's primary -- a voting process that selects delegates for a national convention later in the year where the candidate for November's presidential elections will be formally chosen -- could have spelled an end to Clinton's campaign. See interactives on U.S. voting process

Nationwide, Obama is currently ahead in the race. And unless "the wheels come off his wagon," he was likely to hold that lead, said David Gergen, a former adviser to both Republican and Democratic candidates.

According to CNN's latest count, Obama leads in the delegate count -- 1,694 to Clinton's 1,556.

He also leads in the popular vote and the number of states won so far this primary season.

CNN analyst and Clinton supporter Paul Begala said Clinton still scored "an extraordinary victory" in Pennsylvania.

Obama congratulated Clinton on her win and said his campaign closed what had been a huge margin in her favor. Video Watch Obama claim his campaign's own victory »

"There were a lot of folks who didn't think we could make this a race when it started," he said at a campaign rally in Evansville, Indiana, where Democrats will go to the polls May 6.

"They thought we were going to get blown out. But we worked hard and traveled across the state ... now, six weeks later, we closed that gap."

Clinton told supporters Tuesday night: "The tide is turning."

"You know, some people counted me out and said to drop out. But the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either," Clinton said to cheers.Video Watch a Republican strategist describe how Clinton ran a Republican-like campaign »

The victory also translated into financial gains. Clinton said her campaign raised $3 million after her Pennsylvania victory became apparent. About 80 percent of that money came from new donors, the campaign said.

Obama drew more than 90 percent of the vote among Pennsylvania's black voters, who are heavily concentrated around Philadelphia. African-Americans made up about 14 percent of Tuesday's vote.

But whites made up about 80 percent -- and voted 60-40 for Clinton. Her supporters turned out heavily in Pittsburgh and the counties of western Pennsylvania, and she was racking up similarly lopsided margins in the state's industrial northeast, the exit polls found.

Obama also scored big with new Democrats in Pennsylvania.

One out of every seven Democratic party voters was not registered as a Democrat at the beginning of the year, and 60 percent of them cast their ballot for Obama, according to the exit polls.

Clinton fared better with voters who made up their mind in the last week, the exit polls showed.

Clinton's win adds to those in other big states, like Ohio, New York and California and, according to her campaign, should revive questions about whether Obama can beat presumptive Republican nominee John McCain in November. Video Watch Clinton's victory speech »


In recent weeks, Clinton fended off calls to drop out of the race as the increasingly bruising primary fight raised worries from within the party that the daily cycle of charge-and-countercharge could hurt the Democrats' chances in the general election.

Neither candidate is expected to win the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by the end of the primary season in June, pushing the decision down to the wire. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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