Obama captures Kansas

/ Source: The Associated Press

Barack Obama rolled to an easy victory Tuesday in Kansas' Democratic presidential contest as large crowds of voters overwhelmed some caucus sites.

With two-thirds of the sites reporting results, the Illinois senator had captured 72 percent of the vote, compared with 27 percent for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Obama had given Republican-leaning Kansas an unusual amount of attention and had picked up the endorsement of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

In Topeka, organizers of a caucus in a middle school cafeteria set up chairs for about 350 people, and about 900 showed up. Sebelius stood with Obama supporters there, and they outnumbered Clinton supporters three to one. The two sides chanted campaign slogans back and forth.

"He's fresh. He's new. He's going to change the status quo," said Janet Radziejeski, 54.

Obama has ties to the traditionally Republican state: His mother was born at Fort Leavenworth during World War II, and Stanley Dunham, her father and Obama's grandfather, was a native of El Dorado.

Obama opened his Kansas headquarters in Lawrence in October, five months before the caucuses, and he eventually devoted 20 staff members to the state, compared with three for Clinton, who didn't open a Kansas headquarters until January.