NEW CASTLE, Del. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson won Delaware's Democratic caucuses Monday night, with Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis edging the uncommitted ranks for second place.
With all of the 41 precincts reporting, Jackson had won 86.5 delegates for 45% and Dukakis had 51.5 delegates for 27%. Tennessee Sen. Albert Gore Jr. received 2% of the vote and four delegates.
Forty-seven delegates were uncommitted for 25%. The delegates selected will attend the state convention May 23, where Delaware's 15 national convention delegates will be chosen.
Picked Up Seven Delegates
Based on the results, Jackson picked up seven delegates, Dukakis five and three are uncommitted. Candidates had to win at least 15% of the vote to receive a share of the national convention delegates.
The Jackson victory came on the heels of a months-long, statewide push, while Dukakis didn't open shop in the state until about three weeks ago. Gore had no organization in Delaware.
"We have an inspiring and fervent and committed group of people who think this is going to be a Jackson state," Jackson coordinator Vivian Houghton had said.
But party leaders have stayed neutral since favorite son Sen. Joseph Biden Jr. dropped out of the race in September.
Charges of Plagiarism
Biden called it quits in a campaign plagued with charges he plagiarized in law school, plagiarized speeches and exaggerated his academic credentials. The Dukakis campaign circulated a videotape showing Biden giving a speech with lines taken from a British politician's address without attribution.
"There's very much animosity against Dukakis," said Ken McDowell, chairman of the Sussex County Democratic Party. McDowell said many Democrats would have liked to vote for Dukakis but did not because "he cheap-shotted one of our own."
Republican caucuses began April 5 and will continue until Monday to select delegates to the GOP state convention, scheduled for May 14.