Barack Obama won 13 of the 24 states voting on 'Super Tuesday' in the Democratic primaries and caucuses to choose a nominee for US president. His rival Hillary Clinton won eight but these included the big delegates rich prizes of California and New York.

Obama triumped in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah.

Arizona Senator John McCain nosed ahead of his remaining rivals for control of the Republican race but faced a strong challenge in the Southern 'bible belt' from evangelical Mike Huckabee.

And his main rival, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, pledged to stay in the race after winning a half dozen states

Obama's quick victory in Georgia on 'Super Tuesday' was his second straight Southern triumph, and like an earlier win in South Carolina, was built on a wave of Black votes. He scored better than before among white voters but not blue collar lower paid workers and Hispanics who preferred Clinton.

She won in key East Coast states including Massachusetts and New Jersey, as well as the southern, rural states of Oklahoma, Tennessee and Arkansas and Arizona in the West.

However Obama won a greater number of states but this still put him narrowly behind on the overall haul of delegates. Before the final results were in, Mr Obama told supporters: "We don't need the final results to know our time has come."

In his inspiring home town of Chicago speech he told delirious supporters that his success was not about victory but refuelling America. Obama bravely reiterated that he will end the 'politics of fear', which used 9/11 as an excuse … he did not support the Iraq war … he will speak with countries seen as America's enemies to avoid potential conflict … not support torture … fix the economy … fix the healthcare … open college education … reward teachers … enhance entrepreneurship. He will bring fresh politics to America and improve its flagging standing around the world.