GA: Obama Celebration; GOP Waits
By Darryl Fears
Georgia supporters of Sen. Barack Obama. (Ill.) started celebrating early, after the Democratic candidate was predicted to win soon after voting ended. Gathered at the Fox Sports Grill in Atlanta, they scurried happily about, waved placards and chanted for the senator. Obama never gave up a lead he held throughout the campaign.
In the Republican contest, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) were battling it out, with Huckabee gaining a slight lead. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was a distant and disappointing third among Republicans following a last-ditch effort to greet voters at Georgia Tech University yesterday.
As in many other states, turnout was strong in Georgia. With 10 percent of precincts reporting, Secretary of State Karen Handel estimated that 50,000 votes had been cast. With 21 percent of precincts reporting, the number of voters grew to 135,000. More than 600,000 voters cast ballots in the two primaries four years ago.
"We're just as happy as we can be," said Martin Metheny, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. "I think it's a reflection of how hard the candidates worked in Georgia. I feel pretty confident in saying we're headed for records right now."
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