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Clinton and McCain pull off upsets in NH

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/primary_rdp;_ylt=Ao7UZlOp.1vz7mTjrPbpBpas0NUE Clinton and McCain pull off upsets in NH By DAVID ESPO and PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2008

      Clinton and McCain pull off upsets in NH

      By DAVID ESPO and PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press
      Writers 20 minutes ago

      CONCORD, N.H. - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won New
      Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday night in a
      startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and
      resurrecting her bid for the White House. Sen. John
      McCain powered past his Republican rivals and back
      into contention for the GOP nomination.

      Clinton's victory capped a comeback from last week's
      third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. It also
      raised the possibility of a long battle for the party
      nomination between the most viable black candidate in
      history and the former first lady, who is seeking to
      become the first woman to occupy the Oval Office.

      "I am still fired up and ready to go," a defeated
      Obama told cheering supporters, repeating the line
      that forms a part of virtually every campaign

      McCain's triumph scrambled the Republican race as

      "We showed this country what a real comeback looks
      like," the Arizona senator told The Associated Press
      in an interview as he savored his triumph. "We're
      going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and
      win the nomination."

      Later, he told cheering supporters that together, "we
      have taken a step, but only a first step toward
      repairing the broken politics of the past and
      restoring the trust of the American people in their

      McCain rode a wave of support from independent voters
      to defeat former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a
      showing that reprised the senator's victory in the
      traditional first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.

      It was a bitter blow for Romney, who spent millions of
      dollars of his own money in hopes of winning the
      kickoff Iowa caucuses and the first primary — and
      finished second in both. Even so, the
      businessman-turned politician said he would meet
      McCain next week in the Michigan primary, and he cast
      himself as just what the country needed to fix
      Washington. "I don't care who gets the credit,
      Republican or Democrat. I've got no scores to settle,"
      he told supporters.

      After Iowa, Clinton and her aides seemed resigned to a
      second straight setback. But polling place interviews
      showed that female voters — who deserted her last week
      — were solidly in her New Hampshire column.

      She also was winning handily among registered
      Democrats. Obama led her by an even larger margin
      among independents, but he suffered from a falloff in
      turnout among young voters compared with Iowa.

      Word of Clinton's triumph set off a raucous
      celebration among supporters at a hotel in Nashua —
      gathered there to celebrate a first-in-the-nation
      primary every bit as surprising as the one 16 years
      ago that allowed a young Bill Clinton to proclaim
      himself "the comeback kid."

      She had 39 percent of the vote in the Democratic
      primary to 37 percent for Obama, who is seeking to
      become the nation's first black president. Former Sen.
      John Edwards of North Carolina trailed with 17
      percent. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was fourth,
      polling less than 5 percent of the vote.

      Despite running a distant third to his better-funded
      rivals, Edwards had no plans to step aside. He pointed
      toward the South Carolina primary on Jan. 26, hoping
      to prevail in the state where he was born — and where
      he claimed his only victory in the presidential
      primaries four years ago.

      Among Republicans, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee,
      who won the leadoff Iowa GOP caucuses last week, was
      running third in New Hampshire.

      McCain was winning 37 percent of the Republican vote,
      Romney had 32 and Huckabee 11. Former New York Mayor
      Rudy Giuliani had 9 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul 8.

      Clinton's triumph was unexpected — and unpredicted.

      Obama drew huge crowds as he swept into the state
      after winning Iowa. Confident of victory, he stuck to
      his pledge to deliver "change we can believe in,"
      while the former first lady was forced to retool her
      appeal to voters on the run. She lessened her emphasis
      on experience, and sought instead to raise questions
      about Obama's ability to bring about the change he

      The grind took a toll on both of them.

      Obama suffered from a sore throat, while Clinton's
      voice quavered at one point when asked how she coped
      with the rigors of the campaign. That unexpected
      moment of emotion became the talk of the final 24
      hours of a campaign that was unlike any other in

      Clinton's performance came as a surprise even to her
      own inner circle.

      In the hours leading up to the poll closing, her
      closest advisers had appeared to be bracing for a
      second defeat at the hands of Obama.

      Officials said her aides were considering whether to
      effectively concede the next two contests — caucuses
      in Nevada on Jan. 19 and a South Carolina primary a
      week later — and instead try to regroup in time for a
      22-state round of Democratic contests on Feb. 5.

      These officials also said a campaign shake-up was in
      the works, with longtime Clinton confidante Maggie
      Williams poised to come aboard to help sharpen the
      former first lady's message. Other personnel additions
      are expected, according to these officials, who spoke
      on condition of anonymity while discussing strategy.

      Obama, who won the leadoff Iowa caucuses last week,
      looked for an endorsement from the powerful Culinary
      Workers union in Nevada in the days ahead. South
      Carolina's Democratic electorate is heavily black and
      likely to go for the most viable black presidential
      candidate in history.

      The Republican race turns next to Michigan, where
      McCain and Romney already are advertising on
      television, and where both men planned appearances on
      Wednesday. Huckabee also was expected to campaign in
      the state.

      According to preliminary results of a survey of voters
      as they left their polling places, more independents
      cast ballots in the Democratic race than in the
      Republican contest. They accounted for four of every
      10 Democratic votes and about a third of Republican
      ballots. The survey was conducted for The Associated
      Press and the television networks.

      Republicans were split roughly evenly in naming the
      nation's top issues: the economy, Iraq, illegal
      immigration and terrorism. Romney had a big lead among
      those naming immigration, while McCain led on the
      other issues.

      Half of Republicans said illegal immigrants should be
      deported, and this group leaned toward Romney. Those
      saying illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply
      for citizenship leaned toward McCain, while the two
      candidates split those saying those here illegally
      should be allowed to stay as temporary workers.

      Among Democrats, about one-third each named the
      economy and Iraq as the top issues facing the country,
      followed by health care. Voters naming the economy
      were split about evenly between Obama and Clinton,
      while Obama had an advantage among those naming the
      other two issues. Clinton has made health care a
      signature issue for years.

      About one-third said if Bill Clinton were running,
      they would have voted for him on Tuesday.

      It was hard to tell who needed a Republican victory
      more — McCain or Romney. McCain was the long-ago
      front-runner who survived a near-death political
      experience when his fundraising dried up and his
      support collapsed. He shed much of his staff and
      regrouped. An unflinching supporter of the Iraq war,
      he benefited when U.S. casualties declined in the wake
      of a controversial building in U.S. troops. By the
      final days of the New Hampshire race, he held a
      celebration of sorts to mark his 100th town hall
      meeting in the state he won eight years ago.

      "It has all the earmarks of a landslide with the
      Dixville Notch vote," an upbeat McCain quipped — he
      got four votes there to Romney's two and one for
      Giuliani — as his campaign bus headed to a polling
      place in Nashua. The crowd of supporters was so big,
      that voters complained and a poll worker pleaded with
      McCain to leave. Seconds later, the bus pulled away.


      David Espo reported from Washington. AP writers Liz
      Sidoti, Nedra Pickler, Scott Lindlaw, Glen Johnson,
      Beverley Wang, Charles Babington, Holly Ramer and
      Clarke Canfield contributed to this report.
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