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Obama defeats Clinton in Guam caucuses by 7 votes

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Obama gets 50.1 percent of the vote
  • At stake Saturday were four pledged delegates
  • Also on ballot: chairman and vice chairman of Guam's Democratic Party
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(CNN) -- Sen. Barack Obama won Guam's Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday by just seven votes, according to a Guam election official.


Voters line up Saturday in Dededo, Guam's largest village.

With all 21 precincts reporting, Obama finished with 2,264 votes, or 50.1 percent. Sen. Hillary Clinton got 2,257 votes, or 49.9 percent.

Each candidate picked up two delegates.

The presidential candidates were battling for Guam's four pledged delegate votes. Eight delegates will be elected, each with half a vote at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, this summer.

According to CNN's latest estimate, Obama now has a total of 1,736 delegates (1,493 pledged delegates, 243 superdelegates). Clinton has a total of 1,599 delegates (1,334 pledged delegates, 265 superdelegates).

The Democratic contest moves to North Carolina and Indiana, which hold their primaries Tuesday.

Also on the ballot Saturday was the race for chairman and vice chairman of the U.S. territory's Democratic Party. The winners of that race will serve as superdelegates.

According to the election official, the slate of Pilar Lujan and Jaime Paulino leads the slate of Joseph Artero Cameron and Arlen Bordallo. Lujan remains uncommitted in the race for president, but running mate Paulino has endorsed Obama.

Both Cameron and Bordallo have endorsed Clinton. Incumbent Chairman Tony Charfauros and running mate Mary Ann Cabrera are in third place. Neither has endorsed a presidential candidate.

Although called "caucuses," Saturday's event in Guam functions more like a party-run primary.

Voters cast secret ballots in polling places as opposed to publicly aligning themselves in presidential candidate preference groups, as in more traditional caucuses, such as in Iowa and Nevada.

Polls closed in Guam at 6 a.m. ET. Guam is 14 hours ahead of Eastern time.

Cathleen Moore-Linn stood in line for more than an hour outside the old police precinct in Dededo, Guam's most populated village. Despite the 90-degree tropical heat and a lack of air conditioning at the polling site, she said, "Nobody left. A lot of manamko' [elderly people] came out to vote. And people were filling out the forms to join the Democrat Party."

At villages in the southern end of the island, which is far less populated, election committee member Nancy Weare says the voting is running smoothly. "There's a constant flow of traffic and good voter turnout."

Vying for Guam's delegate and superdelegate votes in their tight race for the nomination, the two remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls have inundated the island with radio and TV advertisements, each promising long-awaited political gains: the ability for Guamanians to be able to vote for president, lifting the territory's cap on Medicaid and, perhaps the most coveted prize of all, war reparations in the form of more than $120 million.

A war reparations bill, sponsored by Bordallo, would issue payments to the survivors of Japan's control of the island during World War II and would create educational and research programs about the occupation. The legislation is stalled in the U.S. Senate.

CNN Research Director Robert Yoon, CNN Political Producer Ed Hornick and special contributor Jayne Flores contributed to this report.

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