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Obama narrowly wins Guam caucuses


Washington : Senator Barack Obama narrowly beat out rival Hillary Clinton in Democratic caucuses from the tiny, US territory of Guam Saturday, news reports said.

With all precincts reporting, Obama led Clinton by just seven votes, or 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent, CNN reported. Obama took 2,264 votes, while Clinton got 2,257 votes.

The candidates are locked in a tight contest to secure their party’s presidential nomination that has brought the unlikely political spotlight to the Pacific island.

The Democrats will formally choose a presidential candidate at their nominating convention in late August in Denver ahead of November general elections.

Guam will elect just four delegates with full voting rights to the convention, and Obama and Clinton will each receive two pledged delegates from the territory.

According to the website RealClearPolitics.com, Obama had 1,738 delegates, to Clinton’s 1,599 ahead of the caucus. Both are still a long way off the 2,024 needed to secure the nomination.

More important than the number of delegates is the chance to flaunt a triumph over the losing rival – even if that triumph takes place more than 20 hours from Washington on an island with only 170,000 people.

Guam has little in common with the mainland, and its importance is almost exclusively strategic. The 550-square-km island is home to US Navy and Air Force bases.

Though its delegates may be the focus Saturday, Guam will likely fall back into political obscurity as its citizens cannot even vote in November’s presidential election.

The candidates have focused most of their recent attention on the Midwestern state of Indiana and the southern state of North Carolina, which hold primary contests Tuesday.