The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 11, 2004 - 5
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calls from home in Washington. He focused on Bush,
not his party foes.
"The wreckage of the Bush economy is all around
us," Kerry told supporters as some party elders said
it was about time to rally behind a nominee.
"I think Democrats need to unify behind John
Kerry and refocus on winning in November," said
former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon
Voters in the two states, like those in most of the
first dozen contests, said the ability to defeat Presi-
dent Bush was the top quality they sought in a candi-
date - and those who said so sided 6-to-1 with
Kerry, according to exit polls.
"Anybody but Bush," said Charles Edwards, 50, of
Falls Church, Va., who decided to vote for Kerry as
he entered his voting booth. "I'd vote for the devil."
Bush's poll ratings have dropped amid questions
about his use of U.S. intelligence in deciding to go to
war in Iraq. As Democrats cast their votes, the White
House released pay records and other information to
answer questions - echoed by Kerry - about
whether the president fulfilled his Vietnam-era com-
mitment to the National Guard.
The subject didn't come up yesterday night,
though Kerry said he and his fellow Vietnam veter-
ans are still fighting for their country.
"For more than three years, this administration has
failed to tell the truth about their economic record,"
Kerry told supporters.
He said it's not up to him to decide whether his
foes should stay in the race. Still, his every strategy
was designed to dispatch his rivals with yesterday's
triumphs, victory next week in Wisconsin or a nail-
in-the-coffin showing March 2.
"What we showed today is the mainstream val-
ues that I've been talking about, fairness and
hope and hard work and love of country, are
more important than boundaries and birthplace,"
the Massachusetts senator told The Associated
"People want change in the country. They want to
move forward in a new direction and I think I'm
articulating what that new direction can be," Kerry
said. "It's crossing all lines ... without regard to
region and other labels."
With 97 percent of the votes totaled in Virginia,
Kerry had 51 percent, Edwards 27 percent, Clark 9
percent, Dean 7 percent, Al Sharpton 3 percent and
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio 1 percent. In Ten-
nessee, with 63 percent reporting, Kerry had 42 per-
cent, Edwards 26 percent, Clark 23 percent, Dean 4
percent and Sharpton 2 percent.
Virginia and Tennessee had 151 delegates at stake.
An AP analysis shows Kerry has piled up twice as
many delegates as his closet pursuer. Counting early
results from Tuesday's races, Kerry now has 484 del-
egates to Dean's 182, with Edwards at 146. A total of
2,162 are needed to nominate.
Half of the voters said they made up their mind
in the last week, and many in the last three days,
according to exit polls conducted for The Associ-
ated Press and television networks by Edison
Media Research and Mitofsky International.
Eight in 10 said they were angry or dissatisfied
with Bush, and Kerry finished strong among them.
"I like the fact that he's a war hero," said Celia
Ambrester, 69, of Knoxville, Tenn. Kerry won three
Purple hearts, one Bronze star and one Silver star in
Vietnam. "We need someone in office who's been in
war and knows the issues."
For Edwards and Dean, the temptation to stay
in the race is strong because the front-runner has
not been tested by scandal or miscues thus far in
the primary season. Kerry's foes also point out
that the crowded election schedule has not left
much time for voters to take a second look at the
Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark, right, makes his way through the
crowd after speaking to supporters In Memphis, Tenn., after the Tennessee and
Virginia primary elections in which he finished'third. Clark, a retired general, will
announce today that he will drop out of the race.