U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton has won Sunday's Democratic presidential primary contest in the commonwealth territory of Puerto Rico, soundly defeating rival Senator Barack Obama by a two to one margin. VOA's Michael Bowman reports, the Clinton victory comes near the end of the U.S. presidential primary season, and will only slightly erode Obama's lead among party delegates that will determine the Democratic presidential nominee.
Conventional wisdom holds that, at this point, Hillary Clinton has only the faintest hopes of securing the Democratic nomination. Nevertheless, she is finishing the primary season on a strong note. In recent weeks, she has scored overwhelming victories in the states of West Virginia and Kentucky. Now, she adds Puerto Rico to her win column.
Exit polls in the island territory showed her winning among all age groups, and among both men and women. Puerto Ricans may vote in primary contests, but not in the presidential election in November.
Obama still holds a comfortable lead among party delegates accrued from states and territories that have held primaries and caucuses since the beginning of the year. But Clinton's recent victories have, by some calculations, put her ahead in the popular vote tally of all ballots cast in the primary season to date.
Clinton highlighted her popular vote totals in a victory speech to supporters in Puerto Rico.
"More people have voted for us than for any candidate in the history of presidential primaries," said Hillary Clinton. "We are winning the popular vote. And it is important where we have won. We are winning these votes in swing states and among the very swing voters [that] Democrats must win to take back the White House."
Clinton added that so-called "super delegates" - party elders and elected officials who may endorse any candidate - will ultimately decide who becomes the Democratic presidential nominee. She urged super delegates to pick the strongest candidate to go up against Republican John McCain in November, and said she is that candidate.
But the Obama campaign counters that Clinton's popular vote argument is flawed, since it does not take into account vote tallies from many caucus states.