Voting Underway in "``Potomac Primaries''

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Washington (AP) Barack Obama is refusing to look ahead to the primaries in early March, when Hillary Rodham Clinton is hoping to rebound with some victories. He says he first wants to get through Tuesday’s primaries in Washington, D.C. and neighboring Virginia and Maryland -- all of which he's expected to win.

He surprised customers this morning at a doughnut shop across the street from a polling place in Washington.

Early turnout has been heavy in Virginia -- a state without party registration, and in which voters can take part in either primary. A state board of elections spokeswoman says by 9 a.m., voters had to wait as much as 45 minutes in some areas.

Maryland elections officials have also been anticipating better-than-average turnout -- with about 35 percent of the eligible voters expected to cast ballots.

Dozens of people filled a school gym in Washington, D.C. as voting began at 7 a.m. one Democratic voter said he planned to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, but that he believed both candidates are highly qualified.

John McCain, the Republican front-runner, is favored in Tuesday's votes. He's hoping to put more distance between his campaign and that of underdog Mike Huckabee, who won two of three contests over the weekend.

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