ST. PAUL, the United States, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- John McCain, a 72-year-old senator from Arizona, was formally nominated for president by the Republican Party after delegates to the Republican National Convention voted to choose him as their standard-bearer on Wednesday.
The roll call of states began Wednesday night shortly after McCain's surprise vice presidential pick Sarah Palin delivered her first major speech in prime time.
McCain needs 1191 votes to clinch the nomination. He got 1223 votes half way through the roll call when delegates from his home state Arizona cast all their votes for the senator.
McCain, who flew in earlier Wednesday, only made a brief appearance Wednesday night to greet Palin and her family after the first-term governor of Alaska finished her much-expected speech to the convention.
The senator is expected to accept the nomination and will be crowned as Republican presidential nominee when he delivers his acceptance speech on Thursday.
The speech is widely believed to be critical for McCain to jumpstart his final-phase bid for the White House.
Latest polls show that McCain is lagging behind his Democratic rival Barack Obama.