Obama, with his national grass-roots network and Internet-fueled fundraising, was ready to campaign in a way Clinton was not. Over the next month, between Feb. 5 and March 4, he won 11 straight contests and expanded his lead among pledged delegates to more than 150. Although it was not clear at the time, the contest was essentially over. The Democrats allocate their delegates on a proportional basis, meaning even a losing candidate is guaranteed a share. Although Obama lost most of the bigger states to Clinton, he often walked away with a healthy chunk of delegates by keeping competitive; under party rules, his big wins in small places paid off much more than Clintons smaller victories in big states.
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