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OBAMA STRETCHES HIS DELEGATE LEAD

Sen. Barack Obama captured most of the delegates in the Wisconsin and Hawaii contests, increasing his lead in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, moved closer to clinching the Republican nomination.

Obama won 56 delegates in the two states, with one still to be awarded in Hawaii. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won 37.

Obama also got a boost from new superdelegate endorsements, as well as newly released returns from several elections that were on Super Tuesday. Election results have been slow in some states because of delays in assigning votes to the proper congressional district.

In the overall race for the nomination, Obama led with 1,351 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Clinton had 1,262.

Obama has built the lead by winning 10 straight contests since Super Tuesday. Clinton has kept it closer with more endorsements from superdelegates, who can support whomever they choose at the convention, regardless of what happens in the primaries.

It takes 2,025 delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, McCain won 34 delegates in Wisconsin and Washington state, while former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won three. One Wisconsin congressional district was too close to call Wednesday, and complete results in Washington state could take several days.

Overall, McCain had 957 delegates after picking up more endorsements from party leaders. Huckabee had 254.

It takes 1,191 delegates to get the Republican nomination at this summer's national convention.

Huckabee now needs help from Mitt Romney's former delegates just to remain a viable candidate. Romney has endorsed McCain.

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