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Clinton wins Nevada popular vote

Image: Hillary Rodham Clinton
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. reacts to supporters after being declared winner of the Democratic Nevada presidential caucus in Las Vegas on Saturday.Elise Amendola / AP

Hillary Rodham Clinton said her victory in the popular vote at Nevada's caucuses on Saturday gave her a positive send off into the next big battleground — South Carolina.

"I guess this is how the West was won," she told cheering supporters.

Nevada was the first Western state in competition in the presidential nominating contests. Clinton won the popular vote, but Barack Obama edged her out for national convention delegates at stake, taking 13 to her 12.

"Obviously, this is about delegates," Clinton said, "but it's also about what people are voting for and who they think the best president will be."

She promised to build on her showing in Nevada and "continue to make it clear here in Nevada and across the West: The Democrats, we're the problem solvers. We have the answers to what we need to do to keep our country strong and move with confidence and optimism into the future."  

Clinton had stumbled in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, and won the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 8.

From Nevada, she headed for the next battleground of South Carolina with a new dose of momentum.

Obama is leading her in South Carolina, a state where about half of the Democratic electorate is black.

Clinton won in Nevada despite Obama's backing from the Culinary Workers Union, the largest labor organization in the state.

Clinton, joined on stage by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, said she was grateful to the members of the culinary union who caucused for her even after Obama won the union's endorsement.

"We will all be united in November," she said, as the crowd chanted H-R-C! H-R-C!