Tuesday’s contests could go a long way toward determining both nominees for president – once the delegates are calculated. But for the Democrats, that could get complicated.

Barack Obama goes into the contests with a 110-delegate lead over Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to the Associated Press.

There are 370 Democratic delegates at stake in four states, but the party’s system of awarding delegates proportionally will make it tough for either candidate to post big gains.

The biggest prize is Texas, with 193 delegates, where the Democrats will have a primary and a caucus.

The primary will determine 126 delegates, based on voting in 31 individual state Senate districts. The caucuses will determine 67 delegates. They will be awarded based on the statewide results of the caucuses, which will be held after the primary polls close.

The two-step system increases the possibility that the primary winner might not win the most delegates to the party’s national convention this summer.

Ohio will have 141 Democratic delegates available, with 92 based on voting in 18 congressional districts, and 49 based on statewide results. Late returns in some areas, particularly Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio, could delay the awarding of some delegates.

Rhode Island will have 21 Democratic delegates at stake and Vermont 15.

In the overall race for the Democratic nomination, Obama leads with 1,386 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. Clinton has 1,276.

It will take 2,025 delegates to secure the Democratic nomination.

A breakdown of the race for Democratic delegates:

Pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses: Obama, 1,187; Clinton, 1,035.5.

Superdelegates: Obama, 199; Clinton, 240.5.

On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain could officially clinch the presidential nomination with a strong showing Tuesday.

McCain goes into the contests with 1,014 delegates – 177 short of the 1,191 needed for the nomination. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is far behind with 257 delegates.

There are 256 Republican delegates at stake in four states: Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Texas will have 137 GOP delegates at stake – 41 based on statewide results and 96 based on the voting in 32 congressional districts.

If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the statewide vote, he wins all 41 statewide delegates. If no one gets a majority, the statewide delegates will be awarded proportionally among the candidates who receive at least 20 percent of the vote.

There will be three delegates at stake in each of Texas’ 32 congressional districts. If a candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a district, he gets all three delegates.

If no one gets a majority, the highest vote-getter receives two delegates and the second highest gets one, as long as he gets at least 20 percent of the vote. Otherwise, all three go to the highest vote getter.

Ohio has 85 GOP delegates at stake. Thirty-one go to the candidate who wins the statewide vote. Three delegates are available in each of the 18 congressional districts. The candidate who gets the most votes in each district wins all three.

Republican voters in Ohio will have two chances to vote for president on their ballots: One vote will determine the statewide delegates and the other will determine the delegates awarded in congressional districts.

Rhode Island has 17 GOP delegates at stake. They will be awarded proportionally, based on the vote in two congressional districts. Candidates must get at least 15 percent of the statewide vote to be eligible for delegates.

Vermont also has 17 GOP delegates, with all of them going to the statewide winner.

DirtyElection.com prediction: Obama and Clinton to split. Clinton in Texas and Obama in Ohio. The race will continue……………

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