Kerry powers through the south

By Mark Follman
Published February 11, 2004 6:57AM (UTC)
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After walking away with roughly 50 percent of the vote in Virginia earlier tonight, John Kerry is also expected to win decisively in Tennessee, where he's projected to finish with nearly half the vote.

But many are watching the Wesley Clark camp, after John Edwards decisively beat out Clark for second place in Virginia tonight. If Edwards also tops Clark in Tennessee (the numbers are close at the moment with roughly 25 percent for each, but Edwards is expected to pull away), many analysts believe it will mean an end to Clark's presidential bid. Meanwhile, the once-formidable Howard Dean, who only saw about 6 percent of the vote in Virginia, sits in the single digits in Tennessee as well.

The final numbers in Tennessee are a mere formality for Kerry as he rolls on toward the nomination, but more importantly, his big numbers in two southern states tonight may help to quiet detractors who say the native New Englander won't be able to compete with Bush in Dixie come November.

Get the full rundown on the final Tennessee numbers on CNN's elections page.

Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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