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Primary Election Results (and background info)

Posted by Eliot Weinstein on January 9, 2008

After the somewhat unexpected victories of the young, “paradigm-shifting” candidates Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama in the Iowa Caucuses, last night’s New Hampshire Primary results have changed the tenor of the primary elections.

Hillary Clinton, New York Senator and wife of the 42nd President of the United States, narrowly beat Illinois Senator Barack Obama 39% to 37% in yesterday’s election. Although the two Democratic Senators will split the state’s delegates about evenly, polls predicted an Obama victory. Former Senator John Edwards finished in a distant 3rd place. After delivering a highly-regarded New Hampshire concession speech, Obama has received more than $500,000 in donations over the past 20 hours (Hilary is trying to beat that total), while the top news headlines often failed to note how close the final vote totals were (and the fact that a few weeks ago, Senator Clinton held a commanding lead). Obama and his campaign representatives assert that they are preparing to adjust their strategy in the weeks ahead. Moreover, Hillary’s victory has reversed the seemingly-unstoppable momentum granted to Obama by his Iowa win, suggesting that the two well-known and well-funded rivals have a long fight ahead to win their party’s nomination for the 2008 presidential election.

Arizona Senator John McCain won the New Hampshire Republican Primary with 37% of the vote to Mitt Romney‘s 31%, followed by Mike Huckabee with 11%. Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani edged out Texas Congressman Ron Paul for fourth place by approximately 2,000 votes (<1.5%). McCain was predicted to win, but only by around 4-5%, and considering that his campaign has been short on supporters and money, and was declared dead by the media over the summer, the victory is significant. Many who backed McCain when he challenged George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 abandoned him for Giuliani (if socially liberal), for former Tennessee Senator/Law and Order star Fred Thompson (if socially conservative). or left the Republican party entirely (if extremely dissatisfied by the conduct of President Bush). With Giuliani and Thompson finishing poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire (both are pinning their hopes on later states where they are more popular) McCain’s campaign is attracting new recruits and donations and hoping to bank on their recent success (McCain tied with Thompson for 3rd in Iowa, despite not campaigning in that state–not to mention McCain’s strong opposition to federal ethanol subsidies, the largest beneficiaries of which are Iowa farmers and agribusinesses). McCain is now moving to compete against Romney and Huckabee in next week’s Michigan and South Carolina primaries. Romney–the son of extremely popular Michigan governor George Romney–faces a “must-win” in Michigan, while McCain won that state in 2000 and Huckabee has made inroads with the working-class socially conservative voters there (who were called “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s).

Finally, RealClearPolitics has tentative general election polls, which show that McCain is the only Republican candidate currently beating Hilary Clinton, as well as the only Republican candidate not currently losing to Obama (McCain and Obama are tied).

One Response to “Primary Election Results (and background info)”

  1. […] by Eliot Weinstein on June 24, 2008 On January 9, 2008, I wrote (regarding Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama): …the two well-known and well-funded rivals have a long fight ahead to win their party’s […]

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