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Pennsylvania clinches nomination for Bush

| Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Bush officially secured the GOP presidential nomination on Tuesday with the votes of delegates from Pennsylvania, the same battleground state Republicans hope will deliver a win come November over Democratic challenger John Kerry.

The carefully choreographed roll call, which went by alphabetical order of states, started Monday and was to last until today. A number of states passed when their turns came up, allowing Pennsylvania to put Bush over the top.

"Pennsylvania has a proud tradition of leading America. ... America, Pennsylvania is a George W. Bush state. Pennsylvania is proud to cast its 75 votes for President George W. Bush," delegate Renee Amoore, of suburban Philadelphia, said in pushing the president past the 1,255 needed to capture a nomination never in doubt.

Delegates cheered and waved red, white and blue placards reading "4 More Years."

Polls show Bush and Kerry neck-and-neck in Pennsylvania, which Democrat Al Gore won in 2000 by 4 percentage points. The president has visited the state 33 times since taking office in 2001, more than any other state, including a stopover Tuesday night in Gettysburg.

Bush is scheduled to make another trip through the Keystone State later this week after the convention.

Democrats during the roll call at their convention in Boston in July maneuvered to allow another battleground state, Ohio, to clinch the nomination for Kerry.

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