"WASHINGTON (AP) - Consider this the beginning of a long hard slog. The grand spectacle of Super Tuesday's coast-to-coast nominating contests marks a turning point in the Democratic presidential contest from euphoric election night victories to painstaking delegate counting. Now it's time for spreadsheets and green eye shades.
Barack Obama won the primary in Georgia, the state with the earliest closing time. But barring a remarkable sweep of most of the 22 states in play, Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton will end the day with a mix of wins and losses. And while each will accumulate delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer, neither will have enough to secure the nomination.
"Perception is not the reality, delegates are the reality," said Bill Carrick, a Democratic strategist based in California.
Preliminary exit polls of voters in primary states showed Obama encroaching on Clinton's traditional support. Clinton had only a slight edge among women and with whites, two areas where she has generally dominated Obama. Obama had a small advantage with men - including with white men, a group with whom he has struggled for votes in most previous contests.
Those results augured well for Obama for the remainder of the night and could help him in contests in coming weeks.
The campaigns, like sports teams that have clinched a playoff spot, already have been preparing for the landscape ahead. Obama has been advertising in states with primaries and caucuses over the next seven days. Clinton strategists are looking over the horizon into March and April when Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania hold primaries..."