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McCain wins Washington

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SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) - John McCain is edging closer to grasping the Republican nomination for president with a win in the Washington state primary.      

With about 40 percent of the vote in, McCain has 48 percent, far ahead of departed candidate Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who both had about 21 percent of the vote.      

McCain, who triumphed earlier in the evening in Wisconsin, says he's finally ready to declare that he will be the Republican nominee for the White House. McCain narrowly won the Washington caucuses on Feb. 5, but was a runaway winner in an election that drew a broader electorate.      

Nineteen GOP national convention delegates were at stake.      

In what amounts to a no-delegates straw vote, Barack Obama holds a slim lead over Hillary Clinton in the early count of eight Democratic candidates, many already departed from the race.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)