(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) thanked Indiana voters Tuesday night for her close primary win in that state. She took 51 percent of the vote to Sen. Barack Obama's 49 percent.
But Obama won North Carolina by double digits -- 56 percent to 42 percent -- and by most accounts, that strong showing, along with his lead in the delegate count, is enough to make him the Democratic presidential nominee. (The Drudge Report captioned Obama "The Nominee" on Wednesday morning.)
But Clinton is not giving up.
"Not too long ago, my opponent made a prediction. He said I would probably win Pennsylvania. He would win North Carolina, and Indiana would be the tie-breaker. Well, tonight we've come from behind, we've broken the tie, and thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House," Clinton said in Indianapolis.
Clinton "commended" Sen. Barack Obama for his win in North Carolina, where the race wasn't even close.
As she did after the Pennsylvania primary, Clinton told her supporters she can keep winning only if she's able to keep competing against an opponent who is "massively" outspending her. She urged Democrats to contribute to her campaign.
Obama says he now has a "clear path to victory."
"As of Tuesday morning, we needed just 273 delegates to clinch the nomination," he said in a message on his Web site. "When the votes are fully counted Wednesday morning, we will have gained more than a third of them in a single day."
Keep going, Clinton says
Obama said it's time to "do what we can to close out this primary." But Sen. Clinton indicated that she won't be leaving the race any time soon -- even though she may not win her party's nomination:
"I know that people are watching this race and they're wondering, I win, he wins, I win, he wins. It's so close," she said Tuesday night. "And I think that says a lot about how excited and passionate our supporters are and how intent so many Americans are to really taking their country back. But I can assure you, as I have said on many occasions that no matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party, because we must win in November."
For the time being, however, it's "on to West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, and the other states where people are eager to have their voices heard," Clinton said Tuesday night.
"For too long, we've let places like West Virginia and Kentucky slip out of the Democratic column. Well, it's time for that to change, and these next primaries are another test. I'm going to work my heart out in West Virginia and Kentucky this month and I intend to win them in November in the general election."
Clinton put in another plug for the Florida and Michigan delegates to be included in the final delegate tally. Primaries in those states did not count -- because the Democratic Party disqualified them when Florida and Michigan moved their nominating contests up to January, against the party's wishes.
"I am running to be the president of all of America -- north, south, east and west, and everywhere in between," Clinton said. "That's why it is so important that we count the votes of Florida and Michigan. It would be a little strange to have a nominee chosen by 48 states," she said.
Obama said his resounding victory in North Carolina and his close finish in Indiana show that it's possible to "overcome the politics of division and distraction" and "the same old negative attacks" that are more about scoring points than solving problems.
"This has been one of the longest, most closely fought contests in history. And that's partly because we have such a formidable opponent in Senator Hillary Clinton. Tonight, many of the pundits have suggested that this party is inalterably divided - that Senator Clinton's supporters will not support me, and that my supporters will not support her.
"Well I'm here tonight to tell you that I don't believe it. Yes, there have been bruised feelings on both sides. Yes, each side desperately wants their candidate to win. But ultimately, this race is not about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John McCain. This election is about you -- the American people -- and whether we will have a president and a party that can lead us toward a brighter future."
Obama said when the primary season ends, the party will unite around a common vision for the country. "Because we all agree that at this defining moment in history - a moment when we're facing two wars, an economy in turmoil, a planet in peril - we can't afford to give John McCain the chance to serve out George Bush's third term. We need change in America."
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