NEW YORK (CNN) – Barack Obama was looking to score major victories Tuesday in Ohio and Texas - wins he hoped would put Hillary Clinton away, and provide him with a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination. But long before polls closed in either state, his campaign was laying the groundwork for contests in states to come.
It was a smart precaution: the New York senator has won the Ohio and Rhode Island primaries, assuring that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination would go on. As of 11:45 p.m. ET, CNN had not projected a winner in Texas. Earlier in the evening, Obama won the Vermont primary.
Anticipating the race would continue, the Illinois senator opened campaign offices in Mississippi last week, and began an advertising effort to try and woo the state’s voters. He has already aired more than 80 television ads in the state, which will hold its own primary next week. Compared to the pricey media markets in Ohio and Texas, Mississippi has been a relative bargain: Obama has only had to spend $23,000 on ads that have appeared in four different markets across the state, according to TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN’s consultant on political television advertising spending.
Next stop for Obama and Clinton is Wyoming on Saturday, where 12 delegates are on the line. Neither candidate has bought television time to try and influence Democratic voters who will attend that state’s caucuses, though Obama is scheduled to campaign there later this week. Mississippi’s primary, with 33 delegates at stake, follows on March 11.
- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston