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Huckabee beats Romney in first vote

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080104/pl_nm/usa_politics_dc;_ylt=AtktdTIVV5pDEPLQscLSSVGs0NUE Huckabee beats Romney in first vote By John Whitesides, Political
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2008
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080104/pl_nm/usa_politics_dc;_ylt=AtktdTIVV5pDEPLQscLSSVGs0NUE

      Huckabee beats Romney in first vote

      By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent 15 minutes
      ago

      DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike
      Huckabee won the Iowa Republican caucus on Thursday,
      surging past better-known rivals to triumph in the
      first nominating contest of the 2008 U.S. presidential
      election, U.S. media reported.

      The Iowa victory gave Huckabee, an ordained Baptist
      minister, momentum and national credibility for his
      shoestring campaign as he headed toward the January 8
      primary vote in New Hampshire, where polls showed him
      running a distant third.

      Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who had
      invested a lot of time and money in his effort to get
      off to a fast start in Iowa, finished second, CNN and
      ABC news reported.

      Iowa voters began the process of choosing the next
      U.S. president in two close nominating races, the
      first test in the Democratic battle between Hillary
      Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards came down to a
      nail-biting finale.

      Voters filed into gathering spots in more than 1,700
      precincts around the state to declare a presidential
      preference in Iowa's caucuses, which open the
      state-by-state battle to choose candidates in the
      November 4 election to succeed President George W.
      Bush.

      In the Democratic caucuses, voters debated their
      options and cajoled their neighbors to switch to their
      candidate. Republicans conduct essentially a
      preference poll, casting votes soon after the caucus
      begins.

      Obama, Clinton and Edwards have been in a three-way
      dogfight among Democrats for weeks. With about 19
      percent of Democratic precincts reporting, Edwards, a
      former North Carolina senator, led 33 percent to
      Clinton's 32 percent and 31 percent for Obama, an
      Illinois senator.

      For the winners in Iowa, the prize is valuable
      momentum and at least a temporary claim to the
      front-runner's slot in their party's nomination
      battle.

      The third-place finisher in the heavyweight Democratic
      showdown, meanwhile, could find themselves hobbling
      into the next contest in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

      (Additional reporting by Matthew Bigg, Andy Sullivan
      and Ed Stoddard; Editing by David Wiessler)

      (For more about the U.S. political campaign, visit
      Reuters "Tales from the Trail: 2008" online at http://blogs.reuters.com/trail08/)
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