"I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded," Clinton said in victory remarks before cheering supporters. "Now together, let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me." (
Her victory capped a revival 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 his own backers, repeating the line that forms a part of virtually every campaign appearance he makes. (
McCain's triumph scrambled the Republican race as well.
"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 government." (
CBS News exit polls show Clinton pulled together a traditional coalition of Democratic voters for this victory - labor households, voters with low incomes and less education, and, of course, women. ()
McCain won New Hampshire by a late surge in support, according to a CBS News exit poll. A majority of his support came from voters who decided whom to support in the past week. ()
McCain rode a wave of support from independent voters to defeat former Gov.of Massachusetts, a showing that reprised his victory in the traditional first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.
"McCain needed this primary victory and got it, enabling him to take his campaign forward into contests in Michigan and, more importantly, South Carolina," CBSNews.com senior political editor Vaughn Ververs said. "It sets him up for a tough battle with Mike Huckabee in the south, with Mitt Romney hanging on for dear life." ()
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. (
Former Arkansas Gov., who won the leadoff Iowa GOP caucuses last week, was running third in New Hampshire. (
With votes counted from almost all of the state's precincts, McCain was winning 37 percent of the vote, Romney had 32 and Huckabee 11. Former New York Mayorhad 9 percent, Texas Rep. 8.
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 - returned to her column in New Hampshire.
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."
Clinton was winning 39 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary to 36 percent for Obama, With almost all precincts reporting. Former Sen.of North Carolina trailed with 17 percent. New Mexico Gov. was fourth, polling less than 5 percent of the vote.
"The Clinton campaign said they had built a fire wall in New Hampshire and it came through a blazing Obama inferno still standing," Ververs said. "She accomplished a somewhat stunning comeback and the two major Democratic candidates have now fought to a draw through the first two contests with several more to come before the crucial February 5th races that could well decide the nomination."