2008-01-09 / Features

Hillary Springs Surprise, Defeats Obama In N.H.

According to incomplete and unofficial returns, as the Gazette went to press, Hillary Rodham Clinton had a narrow lead over Barack Obama in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary,

The situation shaped up yesterday as a must-win for the New York senator, following Obama's decisive win in Iowa last Thursday.

When the candidates arrived in New Hampshire early last Friday, Clinton was still clinging to a narrow lead in the polls. Most observers expected that to be a short-lived phenomenon as the momentum from Iowa was sure to provide a bounce for Obama.

The first polls showed the Illinois senator easily passing Clinton. Clinton's change in tactics, trying to show voters her softer side while at the same time attacking Obama didn't seem to be working as huge crowds greeted him on the campaign trail.

But Clinton persisted. The strategy was interrupted for a brief moment on Monday when the usually unperturbed former First Lady appeared on the verge of tears at a campaign stop with a group of women voters, one of whom had asked sympathetically how she managed to remain upbeat with all the campaign pressure constantly on her.

Political pundits will be trying to assess what effect this might have had on yesterday's balloting and whether it was responsible for the unexpected outcome.

Now the next stop is Michigan next Tuesday and later this month interesting tests in South Carolina (January 26) and Florida (January 29), before Super Tuesday on February 5.

Clinton is expected to have an edge in these 22-in-one-day primaries because of her huge edge in campaign bank funds and manpower in these larger arenas such as New York, California, Illinois, and New Jersey.

- John Toscano

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