Washington, Mar 5 : John McCain has clinched the Republican Party's nomination for the presidential election in November with projected poll wins in Ohio, Vermont, Rhode Island and Texas over his last major rival, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who has dropped out of the race and pledged to support McCain's candidacy.
McCain gained the 1191 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination, completing a remarkable comeback. President Bush today invited him to the White House for a show of support.
John McCain, the Arizona Senator is a political maverick and unflinching supporter of the war in Iraq. He is making his second try for the White House, after losing the GOP (grand old party, a term used for Republican Party since 1880) nomination to Bush in 2000.
On the other hand, in the Democrats camp, Barack Obama last night scored an easy win in Vermont over Hillary Clinton, even as the two rivals dueled in Ohio and Texas in a riveting race for their party's presidential nomination. Clinton's supporters, including her husband former president Bill Clinton, have said that Clinton must win in both Texas and Ohio to sustain her candidacy.
Hillary Clinton said: "You don't get to the White House as a Democrat without winning Ohio."
Hillary, the New York senator and former first lady, has played down suggestions that she is facing a make-or-break moment. She has focused her attacks on Obama's foreign policy and national security experience, echoing a campaign advert asking who would respond better to a national emergency in the middle of the night.
Obama, the Illinois senator, has countered that with an advert questioning Clinton's judgement in supporting the invasion of Iraq from the start.
US media networks say their contest in the larger Ohio poll is too close to call.
Meanwhile, with little more than a tenth of precincts in Rhode Island counted, Clinton led, 53 percent to 46 percent and celebrating a projected win in the delegate-rich state of Ohio, which could give Clinton her first victory in a primary or caucus since Feb. 5, Super Tuesday, when voters in 22 states went to the polls to choose between her and Obama.
At stake in today's primaries were 370 Democratic delegates.