Washington, D.C. Barack Obama cruised past a fading Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Wisconsin primary Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in a Democratic presidential race for the ages.
It was Obama's ninth straight victory over the past three weeks - with results unknown from the Hawaii caucuses - and left the former first lady in desperate need of a comeback in a race she long commanded as front-runner.
In a race growing increasingly negative, Obama cut deeply into Clinton's political bedrock in Wisconsin, splitting the support of white women almost evenly with her. According to polling place interviews, he also ran well among working class voters in the blue collar battleground that was prelude to primaries in the larger industrial states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona won the Republican primary with ease, dispatching former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and edging closer to the 1,191 delegates he needs to clinch the GOP nomination at the party convention in St. Paul, Minn., next summer. He also won the primary in Washington, with 19 delegates at stake.