WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton looked forward Wednesday to distant battles in big states and Barack Obama eyed contests in the South and mid-Atlantic, as the two Democrats began what's likely to be a prolonged struggle to round up delegates and votes.
Super Tuesday was widely considered a draw between the senators, and each spent the day afterward plotting how to inch ahead of the other.
Obama won 13 states, while Clinton took eight — including California and New York — and held a tiny but inconclusive lead in New Mexico. They split popular votes almost evenly: Clinton got 7,347,971 (50.2 percent), while Obama got 7,294,851 (49.8 percent), according to one unofficial calculation by Time magazine. They also split delegates won Tuesday almost evenly, though precise final numbers weren't available, and their camps argued about them.
Clinton said Wednesday that she'd loaned herself $5 million last month because "we intended to be competitive and we were." However, she also tried to position herself as an underdog while boasting that she was ahead in the delegate count.
Obama countered by asserting "I'm always the underdog," yet he confidently claimed important momentum, and his camp also claimed to be ahead in delegates.
"I think we're less of an underdog than we were two weeks ago," the Illinois senator told a Chicago news conference.
A patchwork of skirmishes across a diverse group of states lies ahead, starting Saturday in Louisiana, Nebraska and the Virgin Islands.
Louisiana and Nebraska demographics probably favor Obama — a large black electorate in Louisiana and rural blocs in Nebraska — judging by Tuesday's results. He also seems well positioned for next Tuesday's primaries in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, all of which have large black populations. African-Americans voted 4-1 for Obama on Super Tuesday.
Clinton strategist Mark Penn said that Obama "enjoys some advantages in contests in the rest of February" and urged looking ahead instead to the Ohio and Texas primaries March 4, calling them "definitely critical for us. They're the kind of places you see us consistently win."
Ohio's electorate trends older and whiter, with a large working class. Texas features a large Hispanic minority, which tilts toward Clinton.
March 4 also features voting in Vermont and Rhode Island, and is the biggest single day of voting left, with 370 delegates, or 11.4 percent of the total, at stake.
Penn said that Clinton's victories Tuesday in New Jersey, her home state of New York, California, Massachusetts and Arizona — all by sizable margins — were good harbingers not only for Ohio and Texas on March 4 but also for Pennsylvania on April 22.
Obama countered by noting that Clinton got only 55 percent of the Latino vote in Arizona. He also said he'd won or come close in a lot of places where "nobody thought we would come out of Feb. 5 standing. I think the Clinton camp's basic attitude was that the whole calendar was set up to deliver the knockout blow on Feb. 5."
Both camps are vying for the 2,025 delegates needed to secure the nomination. Both suggested that the outcome could well be decided in August at the convention in Denver.
Precise counts of delegates Wednesday varied, but it was clear that no one was even halfway to the total. The Associated Press gave Clinton 1,000 pledged delegates to Obama's 902.
Obama's team claimed that he was 15 delegates ahead of Clinton in the Super Tuesday balloting; Clinton said she was ahead by one. Counting only delegates won in primaries and caucuses so far, Obama claimed a lead of 28.
But Clinton includes "super-delegates," her share of the 796 party officials and luminaries who aren't chosen by the primary or caucus systems and are free to switch candidates.
Obama is counting on that. If he winds up with more delegates won in primaries and caucuses, he said, super-delegates "would have to think long and hard about how they approach the nomination when the people they claim to represent have said, 'Obama's our guy.' That's a very strong argument that we're going to be able to make."
Clinton has another worry: money. Obama raised $32 million in January to her $13.5 million. Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said money was pouring in Wednesday over the Internet, and the aim is to raise $3 million by Friday, a pace that would match Obama's.
Wolfson said that Clinton's loan, made late last month as Obama ran ads in virtually all of Super Tuesday's 22 states with Democratic contests, showed her "commitment to this effort."
(William Douglas contributed to this article from New York.)