WASHINGTON - Both major U.S. parties were facing the prospect that there could be few or no knockout blows in Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting.
Democratic races in particular were hard to call. While it may have been clear early on whether Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., won the popular vote in a particular state, it may take some time before the delegate distributions are clear.
All Democratic contests allocate delegates proportionately, which means if a particular candidate wins the popular vote but not enough congressional districts, the popular vote winner may come in second in delegates.
On the Republican side, there was no requirement for proportionality, and some contests were winner take all.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was trying to derail his chief opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, while the third candidate in the race, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, has pledged to continue the fight no matter what the results from Super Tuesday.
At stake were 53 percent of the Democratic delegates to the national convention and 41 percent of the GOP delegates. In terms of winning of the nomination, more than 80 percent of the delegates needed to claim the prize were on the table Super Tuesday.
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