From the Washington Post tomorrow morning, Wednesday, Jan. 9: MANCHESTER, N.H. With her husband Bill callng her the “Comeback Kiddo,” New York’s U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton yesterday ran a surprisingly close second place finish to Illinois’ U.S. Sen. Barack Obama in the New Hampshire Democratic primary for president.
On the Republican side, Arizona’s U.S. Sen. John McCain, boosted by a strong turnout among independent voters, won an unexpectedly easy victory over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Obama beat Clinton just 39.5 percent to 36.5 percent, with former U.S. Sen. John Edwards well back at 20 percent. McCain defeated Romney 38 percent to 30 percent.
In a mild surprise, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who had given up campaigning in the state, appeared to edge former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee for third place, with both receiving just under 11 percent of the vote with 98 percent of precincts reporting.
But the big story of the night was that Sen. Clinton, who seemed to have fallen behind Obama by a double-digit margin, instead made a very close race of it.
In exuberant election night remarks from her Manchester headquarters, Clinton said that her ability to “get off the mat” showed that her “combination of experience and change is the right answer for a nation shaken by two terms of poor leadership and arrogant, insider politics.”
Analysts will long argue about whether Clinton’s brief episode of “crying” on Monday at a women’s forum helped or hurt her, but exit polls indicated that she drew more votes from women than did Obama.
“Everybody seemed to think that Hillary’s tears would be the nail in her coffin, but they clearly didn’t hurt her,” said analyst Stu Rothenberg.
“She seemed so real, so human, and so dedicated to her country; I was wavering until I saw that video, but it helped me be sure of what I was doing, and I just voted for her,” said New Hampshireite Susan Prescott as she left her polling place in Center Harbor. Ms. Prescott said she knew at least two other friends who reacted similarly. On the GOP side, meanwhile,
McCain rode his traditional support from independents, along with solid support from conservatives reassured by the enthusiastic backing of the conservative Manchester Union Leader. Some polls had indicated on Monday that Romney was making a late comeback, but the comeback did not materialize….
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