DES MOINES — Democrat Barack Obama expanded his lead in delegates over rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday, picking up nine as Iowa activists took the next step in picking delegates to the national convention.
More than half of the 14 delegates allocated to John Edwards on the basis of caucus-night projections switched Saturday to Obama.
Iowa Democratic Party officials said that with all of the delegates picked, Obama claimed 52% of the delegates elected at county conventions Saturday, compared with 32% for Clinton. Some of the delegates picked at the conventions were sticking with Edwards, even though he dropped out of the race since Iowa held its caucuses in January.
Democratic Party projections said the results mean Obama increased by nine the number of delegates he collects from the state, getting a total of 25, compared with 14 for Clinton and six for Edwards.
Also Saturday, California's Democratic Party finalized the delegate counts from its Feb. 5 primary. Clinton picked up two more pledged delegates, raising her state total to 204; Obama gained five, raising his figure to 166.
Counting Saturday's new figures from Iowa and California, an Associated Press delegate tally showed Obama with 1,617 delegates and Clinton with 1,498.
Obama won Iowa's precinct caucuses in January with 38% of the vote, with Edwards narrowly edging Clinton to finish second.
Projections on caucus night showed Obama getting 16 delegates, compared with 15 for Clinton and 14 for Ed- wards.
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan said turnout Saturday was heavy, with more than 13,000 activists showing up at conventions in the state's 99 counties.
"Today Iowa Democrats again turned out in large numbers to reject the failed Bush-McCain campaign and its policies," Brennan said.
Obama has been endorsed by four of Iowa's 12 superdelegates, Clinton by three.