PHILADELPHIA - Hillary Rodham Clinton staved off elimination in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, defeating Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary to keep alive her hopes of becoming the first female US president.
The New York senator's comfortable victory on Tuesday means the historic, hard-fought and often heated Democratic contest will continue for at least two more weeks - and maybe for months to come.
It is likely to tamp down, for the moment, suggestions that Clinton quit the race in hopes of uniting the party for the election against Republican John McCain.
Obama remains the clear front-runner. With only nine contests remaining, Clinton has few opportunities to narrow his lead in delegates who will choose the party's nominee at the Democratic National Convention in August.
Clinton faces another critical test in two weeks in Indiana, where polls show a close race. North Carolina votes the same day, with Obama already the clear favourite in a southern state with a large black population.
But Clinton assured cheering supporters on Tuesday night that "the tide is turning."
Clinton won Pennsylvania by a comfortable margin, taking 55 percent of the vote to 45percent for Obama with 99percent of the vote counted. - Sapa-AP