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Obama and Clinton-Still Tied After Super Tuesday

Former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford gives his analysis on the results and what lies ahead for the two front runners

The expectation is usually that, after Super Tuesday, a clear frontrunner for each partyís nomination will emerge. But despite primaries in more than 20 states on Tuesday, this was not the case for the Democrats, who saw a split decision between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. While Obama won more states, 13 to Clintonís eight, and more delegates, Clinton took more heavily populated states.

“Neither of them delivered a decisive blow,” Harold Ford Jr., chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, told ESSENCE. “Hillary Clinton probably had a slight advantage, but only because she won the biggest prizes. California, New York, New Jersey and some of the bigger states. But Obama has reason to be excited because he narrowed her lead in those key states, and he came out with a few more delegates.”

Republicans saw a clear victor in Senator John McCain, who took a commanding lead in the primaries over the other GOP candidates. With competition for the Democratic nomination still neck and neck, Ford offered advice to both contenders.

“My advice to Barack is: Be more specific on this issues,” he said. “One thing Hillary has done well is speak specifically to the anxieties people are facing, and she says what she would do to solve the fact that foreclosure rates and health care costs are going up. Barack has ideas, but he has to speak more specifically about them.

“As for Hillary, if I were her I would continue to put myself in smaller settings to offer answers on the issues. The more she’s in front of people, the more support she gets.a’

The focus of the campaign now shifts to February 9 primary elections in Louisiana, Nebraska and Washington State, and February 12 contests in Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia. “It’s exciting, but I hope it doesn’t last too long,” said Ford. “If we go to the convention and the nominee is still unclear, it doesn’t bode well for us in the fall. I hope this can be resolved because I want to win this race in November.”