Obama defeats Clinton in Guam caucuses by 7 votes ~ Post No. 050308-2

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Video | Guam and the 2008 election

 — Sen. Barack Obama won Guam’s Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday by just seven votes, according to a Guam election official.

With all 21 precincts reporting, Obama finished with 2,264 votes, or 50.1 percent. Sen. Hillary Clinton got 2,257 votes, or 49.9 percent.

The presidential candidates were battling for Guam’s four pledged delegate votes. Eight delegates will be elected, each with half a vote at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, this summer.

According to CNN’s latest estimate, Obama has a total of 1,734 delegates (1,491 pledged delegates, 243 superdelegates). Clinton has a total of 1,597 delegates (1,332 pledged delegates, 265 superdelegates).

Also on the ballot Saturday was the race for chairman and vice chairman of the U.S. territory’s Democratic Party. The winners of that race will serve as superdelegates.

According to the election official, the slate of Pilar Lujan and Jaime Paulino leads the slate of Joseph Artero Cameron and Arlen Bordallo. Lujan remains uncommitted in the race for president, but running mate Paulino has endorsed Obama.

Both Cameron and Bordallo have endorsed Clinton. Incumbent Chairman Tony Charfauros and running mate Mary Ann Cabrera are in third place. Neither has endorsed a presidential candidate.

Although called “caucuses,” Saturday’s event in Guam functions more like a party-run primary.

Voters cast secret ballots in polling places as opposed to publicly aligning themselves in presidential candidate preference groups, as in more traditional caucuses, such as in Iowa and Nevada.

Polls closed in Guam at 6 a.m. ET. Guam is 14 hours ahead of Eastern time.

Cathleen Moore-Linn stood in line for more than an hour outside the old police precinct in Dededo, Guam’s most populated village. Despite the 90-degree tropical heat and a lack of air conditioning at the polling site, she said, “Nobody left. A lot of manamko’ [elderly people] came out to vote. And people were filling out the forms to join the Democrat Party.”

At villages in the southern end of the island, which is far less populated, election committee member Nancy Weare says the voting is running smoothly. “There’s a constant flow of traffic and good voter turnout.”

Vying for Guam’s delegate and superdelegate votes in their tight race for the nomination, the two remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls have inundated the island with radio and TV advertisements, each promising long-awaited political gains: the ability for Guamanians to be able to vote for president, lifting the territory’s cap on Medicaid and, perhaps the most coveted prize of all, war reparations in the form of more than $120 million.

A war reparations bill, sponsored by Bordallo, would issue payments to the survivors of Japan’s control of the island during World War II and would create educational and research programs about the occupation. The legislation is stalled in the U.S. Senate.

In the island’s 2006 gubernatorial election, 55,311 people were registered to vote. The Democratic candidate received nearly 19,000 votes, and although voter turnout was steady Saturday, election officials say it is not expected to be unusually high.

  1. Hank Wilfong said:

    A win is a win…..eat your own words Hillary…

    And, defeat tastes bad, however the margin may be.

    I think I may go over to Guam, to thank them personally.

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