Clinton's tight Indiana win rested with Lake County

By: Alana Greenfogel
By: Alana Greenfogel

Indiana's Lake County gave Hillary Rodham Clinton a razor-thin victory.

The northwest Indiana county the state's second-most populous with nearly 500,000 people. It reported its results several hours after the polls closed as a large number of absentee ballots and a record turnout delayed the tallies.

Although Barack Obama prevailed countywide by more than 10 percentage points, Clinton held onto a statewide win.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay told The Associated Press that voters in his city were giving huge margins for Barack Obama. He's an Obama supporter and the Lake County Democratic chairman,

But state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker, a superdelegate who is backing Clinton, says preliminary figures from Hammond and the county's suburban communities gave Clinton enough support to help her win the state.

"Oh come on! Can't they count faster!"

Candie Birchfield, a Hillary Clinton supporter from South Bend, went to the West Side Democratic Club to watch the results come in with hundreds of other people. As the hours past and the race got closer, Candie couldn't take her eyes away from the television.

"I'm getting nervous," Candie says. "It's a nail bitter"

The outcome wasn't clear for more than six hours after the polls closed, the uncertainty stemming from slow counting in Lake County near Obama's home city of Chicago.

At the West Side Democratic Club, folks passed the time chatting, listening to speeches, and a few people even broke out dancing.

But when Obama and Clinton addressed the nation, the crowd listened attentively and cheered along with those in North Carolina and Indianapolis.

Before the race was called in Indiana, Clinton told her listeners, "Thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House."

In what was perhaps a nod to her uphill struggle to overcome Obama's delegate lead, Clinton pledged anew that she'll swing behind the Democratic nominee "no matter what happens."

She says she's taking the contest forward to the states holding contests this month -- West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon -- and plans to work her heart out.

Information was used from The Associated Press.

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