"The sun hasn't come up yet, but I'm out here in Hudson, N.H., shaking hands with voters," Vice President Al Gore told CBS Early Show anchor Bryant Gumbel Tuesday.
VIEW VOTING RESULTS FROM IOWA
In the official start of the 2000 campaign year, the front-runners did as expected, but their margins of victory were the real story. For Gore, the night was reassuring, but for Texas Governor George W. Bush, the caucuses carry a cautionary note. On the GOP side, there are now three men - maybe even four - for whom New Hampshire will be critical: Bush, Forbes, John McCain, and Alan Keyes, who finished third in Iowa.
"John [McCain] is a good man. It's going to be a tough competition here. I feel good about my chances in New Hampshire," the Texas governor told CBS News correspondent Phil Jones Tuesday morning.
With his victory a foregone conclusion, Bush was battling expectations rather than other candidates. He garnered 41 percent of Iowa's vote, while publisher Steve Forbes, who spent big money in Iowa, pulled in 30 percent.
Just after Bush's campaign plane arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire, the candidate starting dealing with questions about McCain.
Gov. George Bush talks to CBS News correspondent Phil Jones.
While acknowledging that McCain would make for tough competition, Bush was still basking in what he's calling his "record shattering victory in Iowa."
Alan Keyes won the coveted third place spot among the six Republican candidates.
"We have walked the walk God wanted us to walk," he told a crowd of supporter after the caucuses were over. Keyes' energetic and entertaining campaign has propelled him past Gary Bauer and Orrin Hatch, who said Monday he'll drop out of the race this week.
Still, Keyes can't get too happy. Bush and Forbes outdrew him even among voters who describe themselves as conservative, or as part of the religious right. Third place is definitely still third place.
Bush did well among voters who cited experience, strong leadership and an ability to win as top concerns, and you can be sure he'll parade those points in the coming week.
In 1980, Bush's father won Iowa and lost New Hampshire. He says that he learned a lot from his father on just how treacherous the state can be.
Gore told Gumbel his convincing win over rival former Senator Bill Bradley was due to the open meetins he had with undecided voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.
"The so-called conversion rate was extremely high and I learned the music of this campaign from them," Gore said. "Once you catch the tune, it kind of stays with you."
Gore walloped Bradley, beating him 64 percent to 35 percent. His attacks on Bradley's health plan bore fruit: 60 percent of voters who cited health care as their main concern opted for the vice president, and he did well among senior citizens, who form a large block of Iowa's voters. In fact, regardless of issue, Gore fared better with Iowa caucus goers. The only group Bradley carried were voters who wanted a candidate with new ideas - 78 percent of them chose the former senator.
The vice president said he enjoyed the process leading up to the caucus and the primaries.
"I'm trying to get my message out to people and I'm grateful that a lot of people seem to be responding to it," Gore said. "We need to improve our schools dramatically, expand health care, keep our prosperity going and I think we need a fighter as president."
Bradley exceeded his own lowball figure of 31 percent, but those extra four points are still a little sad when you remember he spent more time and money in the state than the vice president.
Despite Gore's muscular finish, Bradley looked loose, relaxed and fairly chipper when he spoke to supporters Monday night. Smiling, he said he started his campaign, months ago, with humility. "Tonight," he continued, "I have a little more humility, but no less confidence that I can win, and do the job."
Also Monday morning, after a dismal showing, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch decided to quit the Republican presidential race, a senior adviser said. The adviser said Hatch would announce his decision on Wednesday.
"We've all seen the numbers," the aide said.