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Obama claims a 'new American majority'

Obama 2008
Barack Obama tells supporters at a rally on Tuesday in Madison, Wis., that his campaign still has a long way to go.Rick Bowmer / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Sen. Barack Obama declared his latest trio of Democratic primary victories Tuesday part of a new majority drawing people from every region and every group behind his call for change.

"This is what change looks like when it happens from the bottom up," he told roaring supporters in a heartland rally that celebrated his triumphs in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. "This is the new American majority."

He relished the symbolism of winning in the nation's capital, although that race was never in doubt and its stakes were small.

"Though we won in Washington, D.C., this movement won't stop until there's change in Washington, D.C," he said.

Obama was campaigning in Wisconsin for its Feb. 19 primary.

The Illinois senator moved ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in the delegate count for the first time on Tuesday night, when the Washington state Democratic party released results from the caucuses there on the weekend. The latest victories were certain to pad his margin of 1,074 delegates to 967 for Clinton.

Neither candidate is close to the 2,025 needed to win the nomination, and they are swinging into a pitched battle for big delegate prizes in Ohio and Texas on March 4.

"We have much further to go," Obama said to cheers. "Now we carry our message to farms and factories across this state, and to the cities and small towns of Ohio, to the open plains deep in the heart of Texas."

He also plans to visit his native Hawaii, the second state holding a Democratic contest on Feb. 19.