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Huckabee, Obama Win Iowa Caucuses

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/03/politics/main3669580.shtml Huckabee, Obama Win Iowa Caucuses CBS News Projections Show Romney Second For GOP;
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2008
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      Huckabee, Obama Win Iowa Caucuses
      CBS News Projections Show Romney Second For GOP;
      Clinton, Edwards Tight For Dems

      Comments Comments85

      DES MOINES, Iowa, Jan. 3, 2008

      (CBS/AP) CBS News projects Mike Huckabee the winner of
      the Iowa Republican caucuses and Barack Obama the
      winner of the Democratic caucuses.

      Mitt Romney is second among Republicans. It's a tight
      race between Hillary Clinton with John Edwards for
      second place.

      Click here for complete results.

      Huckabee's win was partly fueled by Republican caucus
      attendees' concern with values. Just under half of
      attendees chose "shares my values" as the candidate
      characteristic that mattered most to them in deciding
      their support - compared to a third who wanted a
      candidate who says what he believes, and 14% who want
      a candidate with experience. Among those who wanted a
      candidate that shared their values, nearly half
      supported Huckabee.

      "Huckabee's victory rocks an already unpredictable GOP
      race," said CBSNews.com senior political editor Vaughn
      Ververs. "As the race heads to the New Hampshire
      primary just five days from now it's not at all
      certain Huckabee has the time to capitalize on his
      momentum but John McCain has surged there in recent
      weeks, setting up a three-way battle that could be a
      must-win for Romney."

      Entrance polls of caucus attendees confirm some
      expectations for the evening - Clinton starts the
      night with strong support among women, and Obama is
      showing strength among young attendees.

      Iowans rendered their judgments in meetings at 1,781
      precincts from Adel to Zwingle, in schools, firehouses
      and community centers where the candidates themselves
      could not follow.

      Iowans were summoned to the evening caucuses in biting
      cold but generally clear skies. It was for them to
      untangle a knotted race too close to call on either
      side, with three Democrats and two Republicans
      seemingly in contention for victory and a larger field
      hoping for bragging rights - or survival.

      The candidates' challenge in the opening contest of
      the 2008 election was twofold: to get supporters out
      to the meetings and to win over the large numbers of
      voters who were stubbornly refusing to make up their
      minds until the very end, a quarter of caucus-goers by
      one recent estimate.

      In the hours before decision time, most candidates
      filled their Thursday calendar with still more
      speeches and events to give their final say.

      Huckabee took his case to a crowd of about 175 at a
      Burlington, Iowa, casino - only about half of whom
      were committed to him, judging by a show of hands.

      Reprising his theme as a common man in a field of
      elites, he told the crowd he reminds people of the guy
      they work with, not the guy who laid them off. He
      dismissed the idea it takes millions of dollars to
      win, drawing an unspoken but unmistakable contrast
      with the wealthy Romney as well as other big spenders.

      "It's about believing in a cause," the former Arkansas
      governor said. "It's about believing in some core
      values, some convictions about what makes this country
      strong, and what can keep it strong and make it even

      Huckabee's socially conservative views and populist
      approach have propelled him to the front of the pack
      in Iowa, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.
      But to get his message out to a national audience, he
      really needs the positive publicity a win here would
      provide because he does not have the resources to
      finance a major ground game or television ads.

      "Huckabee a month ago would have been the shock of the
      year but he's been ahead for a month and right now a
      win for him is what people expect," CBS News senior
      political correspondent Jeff Greenfield said. "A Mitt
      Romney loss puts him in New Hampshire against a
      resurgent John McCain, and a loss back to back means
      he would have lost to two people who spent less than
      his catering. Romney has spent a fortune. That's a
      real bad scenario Romney has to avoid."

      On the Democratic side, John Edwards switched from his
      familiar jeans and blazer to a dark suit and blue tie
      as he made his last pitch to middle-class Iowans
      worried about health insurance, drug costs and other
      pocketbook issues. Rallies in Des Moines, Iowa City
      and Cedar Rapids on Thursday were capping his push in
      a state he has repeatedly visited for the past four

      "Our campaign to stand up for the middle class and
      stop corporate greed is unstoppable," the Democrat
      told about 200 cheering steelworkers in a brief
      morning stop in Des Moines. Polls suggested he was in
      an improbably tight race with Clinton and Obama.

      "We need you to make calls, talk to your friends,"
      Edwards told 100 people in Iowa City, jettisoning his
      anti-corporate stump speech in favor of an appeal to
      spur turnout. And above all, he said, "Don't be late."

      All that excitement means nothing if they don't
      actually go to the caucus, reports CBS News
      correspondent Chip Reid, so the campaign had more than
      a thousand people out today.

      Candidates hedged their Iowa bets, declaring "anything
      is possible," "it's too close to call" and all now
      depended on getting the people who've been cheering
      their words to come out to vote and arm-twist
      neighbors to do the same.

      Romney most explicitly ramped back expectations, at
      least for public consumption, saying he'd settle for
      second in the opening contest of the 2008 election
      season as well as in the New Hampshire primary only
      five days after Iowa.

      Clinton, in a historic effort to become the first
      female president, said: "I feel good, but it depends
      on who comes out, who decides to actually put on their
      coats, warm up their cars and go to the caucuses."

      Obama echoed the sentiment. "Anything is possible at
      this point," he said. "We've put a lot into Iowa and
      our efforts here. We feel good about what we've done,
      but this is the beginning and not the end." Candidates
      spoke on the morning talk shows.

      The Obama campaign believes the more undecideds and
      first-timers turnout tonight, the better for Obama,
      reports CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds.

      CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod
      reports that a high level source in the Clinton
      campaign tell CBS News explains the contest between
      Clinton and Obama like this: People voting for a
      president will choose Hillary, but people voting for a
      feeling will choose Obama.

      New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Sens. Chris Dodd of
      Connecticut and Joe Biden of Delaware and Rep. Dennis
      Kucinich of Ohio also contested the state for the

      For Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain, Rep. Ron
      Paul of Texas and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson
      were also on the ballot, although their aides made no
      claim they were in the running for a first-place
      finish. So, too, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York
      mayor who largely abandoned the state in the
      campaign's final days.

      Win or lose, there was little time for rest. New
      Hampshire's first-in-the nation primary is set for
      next Tuesday, and the campaign quickly accelerates
      into a rush of contests culminating in more than two
      dozen on Feb. 5.

      With President Bush constitutionally barred from
      seeking re-election, both parties had wide-open,
      costly campaigns.

      Iowa sends 45 delegates to the Democratic National
      Convention next summer in Denver and 37 to the GOP
      gathering in St. Paul, Minn. But that was hardly the
      reason the crowded field of presidential hopefuls
      devoted weeks of campaigning, built muscular campaign
      organizations and spent millions of dollars on
      television advertising in the state.

      For three decades, Iowa's caucuses have drawn
      presidential hopefuls eager to make a strong first
      impression, and this year was no different.

      Obama, Clinton and Edwards spent at least $19 million
      on television advertising among them, and all three
      capped their campaigns with statewide broadcasts on
      Wednesday. Romney told supporters in a final daylong
      swing around the state he had been in 68 of 99
      counties since he began his quest for the White House,
      had spent 55 days in Iowa and spoken before 248
      separate audiences.
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