Thursday, February 14, 2008

After a week, New Mexico results official

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton finally won the popular vote in New Mexico's Democratic caucus and picked up one extra delegate Thursday, nine days after Super Tuesday voting ended.

State Democratic Chairman Brian Colon made the announcement after a marathon hand count of 17,000 provisional ballots that had to be given to voters on Feb. 5 because of long lines and a shortage of ballots. The final statewide count gave her a 1,709-vote edge over rival Sen. Barack Obama, 73,105 or 48.8 percent of the total vote to 71,396 or 47.6 percent.

The former first lady's victory in the popular vote swung the final unallocated New Mexico delegate into her column, which gave Clinton 14 delegates in the state to 12 for Obama.

With the addition of New Mexico's delegate, the national delegate count stood at 1,276 for Obama and 1,220 for Clinton on Thursday.

"I am so proud to have earned the support of New Mexicans from across the state," Clinton said in a written statement. "New Mexicans want real solutions to our nation's challenges. As president, I will continue to stand up for New Mexico and will hit the ground running on day one to bring about real change."

The Obama campaign appeared to accept the outcome.

Obama's state director, Carlos Monje Jr., was asked Thursday if he was confident the results were 100 percent accurate and replied, "We have confidence in the process." Asked if Obama might seek a recount, he said Obama has momentum from eight wins since Super Tuesday and "we are going to look forward at the contests we have remaining."[...]

New Mexico awards Democratic delegates proportionally, based on statewide vote totals and on the results in individual congressional districts.

In two of the state's three congressional districts, Clinton and Obama equally split an even number of delegates at stake. In District 2, which had an uneven number of delegates, Clinton won the additional one by outpolling Obama by 55 percent to 41 percent, according to unofficial results.

Nine statewide delegates were at stake. Obama and Clinton evenly split the eight delegates already awarded. The final one was assigned to the statewide popular vote winner.

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