LANSING, Mich. - Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential front-runner, picked up a total of 50 GOP national convention delegates from Michigan and Louisiana yesterday.
Republicans met in both states to resolve how to divvy up delegates to the national convention in September.
Thirty-two of Louisiana's 47 delegates said they intend to vote for McCain, and another three are also expected to back him.
Likewise, a majority of Michigan's presidential delegates also say they will support the Arizona senator now that primary winner Mitt Romney is out of the race, although it's still unclear how many will go to the national convention.
As a result, McCain has 903 total delegates nationally, according to an Associated Press tally. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has 245, while Romney's total dropped to 253. A total of 1,191 are needed to secure the nomination.
The Republican National Committee stripped Michigan of half its 60 delegates for defying party rules by moving its presidential primary to Jan. 15.
Obama, McCain endorsed by papers in Texas, Wis.
MILWAUKEE - Barack Obama picked up key newspaper endorsements in Wisconsin and Texas yesterday as he and Hillary Clinton compete for delegates in states that may help determine which candidate wins the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin's largest daily newspaper, said it recommends that voters support Obama in the state's Feb. 19 primary because "change and experience are crucial to moving this country forward" and the Illinois senator is the "best-equipped to deliver that change."
The Houston Chronicle, the biggest daily publication in Texas, gave similar reasons for endorsing Obama, 46, over Clinton. He's "the best-qualified by life experience, skill, and temperament to be the standard bearer for his party," the newspaper said in an editorial yesterday. Texas will hold its primary March 4.
Both newspapers also backed Senator John McCain of Arizona for the Republican presidential nomination.
Clinton adviser wants all delegates counted
WASHINGTON - Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign who voted to strip Michigan and Florida of their delegates last year, now is arguing against the penalty.
In a conference call yesterday, the longtime Democratic Party member contended that the Democratic National Committee should reconsider its tough sanctions on the two states, which held early contests in violation of party rules.
He said millions of voters in Michigan and Florida would be otherwise disenfranchised - before acknowledging moments later that he had favored the sanctions.
Ickes said his different position essentially is because of the different hats he wears as both a DNC member and a Clinton adviser in charge of delegate counting. Clinton won the primary vote in Michigan and Florida, and now she wants those votes to count.
"There's been no change," Ickes said. "I wasn't acting as an agent for Mrs. Clinton. We stripped them of all their delegates in order to prevent campaigns to campaign in those states. . . . Those were the rules, and we thought we had an obligation to enforce them."
Clinton won after all the Democratic candidates agreed not to campaign in either states because they violated the party rules. Clinton, who flew into Florida in the night of the primary, tried to argue that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois had violated the pledge by airing a national ad campaign that also showed on Florida television stations.