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In a sign of Barack Obama's growing financial advantage in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged Wednesday that she loaned her campaign $5-million late last month as Obama was outraising and outspending her heading into the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday contests. Some senior staffers on her campaign also are voluntarily forgoing paychecks as the campaign heads into the next round of contests. Clinton's personal loan illustrated her financial disadvantage. She sent an e-mail appeal to donors Wednesday seeking $3-million in three days - an effort that, if successful, would match the fundraising rate Obama averaged for the entire month of January.


Democratic race still undecided

New Mexico's Democratic presidential caucuses went into overtime Wednesday. The day after Super Tuesday, only 210 votes separated Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, four precincts were still out and more than 16,000 ballots remained to be counted. With 180 of 184 precincts reporting, Clinton held a slim lead - 66,173 votes, compared with 65,963 for Obama. Both had roughly 48 percent of the vote. Clinton and Obama are vying for 26 of New Mexico's 38 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Twelve so-called superdelegates are not bound by caucus results. New Mexico is the last of 22 states that held Democratic primaries and caucuses Tuesday to report a winner.


Rumors swirl over Huckabee, Romney

Even with Republican presidential candidate John McCain saying Wednesday that the nomination is his, neither Mitt Romney nor Mike Huckabee offered any hint that they were ready to exit the race. Among Republicans, there was speculation that Romney was contemplating a withdrawal, but he said little, announcing only that he would appear before conservatives and make a speech to Maryland Republicans today. Huckabee has said he will stay in the race until someone has enough delegates to clinch the nomination. Interviewed on CBS, Huckabee sidestepped when asked whether he might be an irresistible vice presidential running mate on a ticket headed by McCain. "I still want to be the irresistible choice to be the president," he said. McCain wasn't talking on that subject, but the vote totals and exit polls made it abundantly clear that he was weak where the former Arkansas governor was strong: in appealing to evangelical conservatives in the Bible Belt.


States break voter turnout records

Voters came out in record numbers in about half of the 20 states that have voted in presidential primaries so far, according to an analysis Wednesday. The findings from American University's Center for the Study of the American Electorate were based on unofficial results from the primaries held through Tuesday. Caucuses and California primary results were excluded. Democratic primaries in 12 states set records, as did Republican primaries in 11 states, including Florida. About 14-million people have voted in the Democratic primaries this year compared with the slightly more than 10-million who voted in GOP primaries.