NEW YORK - (AP) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton beat back a strong challenge by Barack Obama on Tuesday to win her adopted state in one of the most compelling state primaries in years. Sen. John McCain was in a good position to claim all of New York's Republican delegates.
Although Clinton won New York, Obama seemed poised to get a big chunk of New York's 232 Democratic delegates. The Associated Press made its call based on surveys of voters as they left the polls.
Clinton was tested by Obama in heavily black neighborhoods in New York City and liberal upstate stretches and on college campuses in his campaign to be the nation's first black president.
In the Republican primary, McCain had the backing of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was leading Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the quest for the state's 101 winner-takes-all delegates.
Giuliani ended his campaign last week after a poor showing in Florida's primary, the latest of several defeats after leading the GOP field months ago. Mike Huckabee, a Southerner and one-time Baptist preacher, was trying to emerge as the more conservative alternative to McCain.
A WNBC/Marist Poll last week found most New Yorkers felt Clinton was best able to handle the economy, the Iraq war and health care, but Obama embodied the best chance for undefined "change."
At an elementary school Tuesday, Clinton with her husband and daughter signed autographs on sample ballots for people at the polling place.
"If voters ask themselves who they think would be the best president, and if Democrats ask who they think would be the best candidate to win, I feel really good about the answers to those questions," she said.
Of New York's 232 Democratic delegates, 151 will be split based on the vote in each of the state's 29 congressional districts and the remaining 81 will be divided based on the statewide popular vote. A Democratic candidate must get 15 percent of the vote in a congressional district to earn delegates.
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