Texas primaries crucial to presidential race

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    Today is the last day to vote in the Texas primary, a primary that could make or break some of the candidates.

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Monday that if he wins the Texas Republican primary, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., may not earn enough delegates to lock in the nomination. This, he said, would send the nomination decision to the Republican National Convention in September.

    The race for the Democratic nomination is neck and neck, with a poll released Monday by Reuters, C-SPAN and the Houston Chronicle giving New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 45 percent of the vote and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 47 percent. The margin of error for the poll was 3.7 points.

    In his Dallas speech Feb. 20, Obama stressed the importance of Texas’ vote.

    “If we win Texas, we will win the nomination and will win this country,” Obama said. “We will change America.”

    Candidates have crisscrossed the Metroplex over the last week, and during their time here they have expressed their stances on some key issues.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton

    Iraq: “We have a war to end in Iraq and a war to win in Afghanistan.” She said she will immediately start bringing troops home.

    Economy: She plans to lower taxes, strengthen unions and strengthen retirement security by promoting savings and investment.

    Health care: She wants to provide tax credits for working families and a no-discrimination rule so insurance companies can’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    Immigration: Clinton believes in federal assistance to local governments, strict penalties for exploiting undocumented workers and a path to earned legal status for those who are here.

    Sen. Barack Obama

    Iraq: Wants to bring troops home and utilize regional diplomacy in Iraq and the Middle East.

    Economy: Says he will cut tax breaks from the wealthy and increase minimum wage with inflation. Bankruptcy laws will be reformed and free enterprise will be emphasized.

    Health care: Plans within his first term to negotiate with drug companies to lower prices, make health care mandatory for children and have them covered by their parents’ insurance until age 25.

    Immigration: Undocumented immigrants can pay a fine, learn English and become a citizen; also, border security would be added.

    Mike Huckabee

    Iraq: “Withdrawal would have serious strategic consequences for us and horrific humanitarian consequences for the Iraqis.”

    Economy: Huckabee supports the a unified sales tax to replace the IRS and all income taxes.

    Health care: Huckabee opposes universal health care because it would require more federal funds, but said preventative care needs to be taken more seriously.

    Immigration: “We shouldn’t have amnesty, but we should have a process and policy in which when people come,” he said Friday at the Stockyards. He supports increasing border security by using 23,000 more agents and building fences.

    Sen. John McCain

    Iraq: Success in Iraq is mandatory. “If we want to set a date for withdrawal, my friends, that’s a date for surrender,” McCain said.

    Economy: The tax cuts in place should be made permanent, and corporate taxes should be lowered to encourage businesses to stay in the U.S.

    Health care: Controlling costs is the only way to ensure affordable health insurance for everyone.

    Immigration: “I want to secure our borders,” McCain said. “Tight border security includes not just the entry and exit of people, but also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of entry.”

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