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Clinton looks to Texas, Ohio to stop surging Obama

  • Story Highlights
  • Hillary Clinton says race is about "a choice between speeches and solutions"
  • Supporters say Clinton must win in Texas, Ohio to stop Barack Obama
  • Obama carries Wisconsin, Hawaii; McCain gets Wisconsin, Washington state
  • Obama makes inroads into Clinton's base -- women and lower-income voters
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(CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton on Wednesday cast herself as a candidate who "relies not just on words but on work" as she eyed the upcoming Ohio and Texas primaries in hopes of stopping Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton's supporters said she must win those two states March 4 if she is to close the gap with Obama in the delegate race and stop the momentum he has built up with 10 straight wins.

Rhode Island and Vermont also will hold primaries March 4.

Clinton and Obama will be in Texas to debate each other on CNN at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. Early voting already began there Tuesday. Photo See behind-the-scenes debate photos »

Obama scored overwhelming victories Tuesday in Wisconsin and Hawaii, his ninth and 10th wins in a row.

In the Wisconsin primary, Obama beat Clinton 58 percent to 41 percent, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting.

The senator from Illinois also won the caucuses in Hawaii, his native state, over Clinton 76 percent to 24 percent, with all precincts reporting.

On the GOP side, Sen. John McCain topped former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee 55 percent to 37 percent in the Wisconsin primary, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas received 5 percent of the vote.

Also in Tuesday's Washington state primary, McCain beat Huckabee 49 percent to 22 percent, with 57 percent of the precincts reporting. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was third with 20 percent despite dropping out of the race.

CNN estimates McCain has gathered 918 delegates toward the 1,191 needed for the Republican nomination, while Huckabee trails at 217.

Despite McCain's big lead in delegates, Huckabee has said he intends to stay in the race. Huckabee's campaign chairman on Wednesday said Texas could be the deciding factor.

"Two more weeks until Texas, then we'll see where we are. If we win Texas, we keep going," Ed Rollins said.

For the Democrats, Obama has emerged as the front-runner following a split decision with Clinton in the Super Tuesday contests two weeks ago.

Speaking to supporters Wednesday during an event at Hunter College in New York, Clinton said she would continue to present herself as someone who has the experience to provide solutions and not just give a good speech. Video Watch Clinton say 'the campaign goes forward' »

"Americans have a choice to make in this election, and that choice matters," she said. "It's about picking a president who relies not just on words but on work, on hard work, to get America back to work, to get America working again for all of our people.

"We need to make a choice between speeches and solutions, because while words matter greatly, the best words in the world aren't enough unless you match them with action."

Clinton made similar attacks before the Wisconsin and Hawaii contests, but they did not stop Obama's groundswell. Photo View pictures from Tuesday's primaries »

Clinton congratulated her rival Wednesday, saying, "He's had a good couple of weeks, and he's run a good race."

She added, "We're going to draw the contrasts and make the comparisons and give the people of Ohio and Texas and the other states a real choice."

Obama leads Clinton in the crucial delegate count -- 1,315 to 1,245, according to CNN calculations. The count includes superdelegates who have publicly declared their support for one of the candidates.

Superdelegates are elected and party officials who are allowed to vote at the Democratic National Convention. They are free to vote for any candidate and are not bound by primary or caucus results. See whom the superdelegates are supporting »

To win the nomination, 2,025 national convention delegates are needed. Neither candidate is expected to garner enough delegates in the remaining primaries and caucuses to take the nomination outright, and the roughly 800 superdelegates are likely to be the deciding factor in determining the nominee.

In what may be a troubling sign for the Clinton campaign in the weeks ahead, Obama was able to make inroads among Wisconsin voters with groups the former first lady had won in earlier primaries -- women and low-income voters. Video Watch how Obama won Wisconsin »

According to exit polls, Obama and Clinton split female voters in the state. In previous victories, Clinton enjoyed an advantage among women. Check out CNN's analysis of the results »

Among Wisconsin men, Obama benefited from an almost 2-to-1 advantage -- 67 percent to 31 percent.

Obama won among all income groups in Wisconsin, including the lower income voters Clinton had targeted, according to exit polls.

Among voters making between $15,000 and $30,000 a year, Obama edged out Clinton 52 percent to 46 percent. Obama had a 56 percent to 44 percent advantage over Clinton among voters making between $30,000 and $50,000.

Taking the stage Tuesday night in NASA's hometown, Obama remarked to supporters about his Wisconsin win: "Houston, I think we've achieved liftoff here."

He said, "It is going to require more than rousing speeches. ... It is going to require something more, because the problem that we face in America today is not the lack of good ideas. It's that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die." Video Watch Obama rally supporters »

As Obama has edged ahead of Clinton, McCain increasingly has directed criticism toward the senator from Illinois.

"I will fight every moment of every day in this campaign to make sure Americans are not deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change," McCain told supporters Tuesday night.

"Our purpose is to keep this blessed country free, safe, prosperous and proud." Video Watch McCain thank Wisconsin »

McCain was looking for big wins Tuesday to demonstrate he is starting to unify Republicans behind his nomination, including conservatives upset by his positions on immigration, campaign finance and other issues.


Wisconsin gave McCain at least 13 more delegates; 24 more are to be awarded to the winner of each congressional district. The remaining three GOP delegates are unpledged Republican National Committee members.

McCain and Huckabee were competing for 19 delegates in Washington state. Eighteen delegates were awarded earlier in the state's caucuses. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this report.

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