Clinton wins New Hampshire primary, defeating Obama

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Washington, Jan 9 (UNI) US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defeated her rival Senator Barack Obama in the New Hampshire Democratic primary last night, reviving her bid for the White House.

Ms Clinton, who lost to Mr Obama in the Iowa primary last week, defeated him narrowly. She polled 39 per cent of the votes as against 36 per cent scored by him.

The New York Senator's victory is all the more stunning because she came third in Iowa and most recent polls placed her far behind Mr Obama. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, who stood second in Iowa, came a distant third.

An identical trend was witnessed in the Republican primary, where Senator John McCain won, decisively defeating former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Mr McCain (71), a Vietnam War veteran, polled 37 per cent of the Republican vote. Mr Romney had 32 per cent and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won in Iowa, had 11 per cent.

The victories of Ms Clinton and Mr McCain marked dramatic comeback wins for both of them.

In her victory speech, the former first lady, who is campaigning to become the first woman President of the US, said, ''Together let us give America the kind of comeback New Hampshire has just given me.'' Mr Obama congratulated Ms Clinton on what he called her hard fought victory.

However, he is not giving up and told his supporters, ''We know the battle ahead will be long . But always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.'' The most important issues in the campaign are the economy and the war in Iraq.

After Iowa and the New Hampshire, other states will go through similar exercises in the coming weeks.

The state-by-state presidential nominating process will end at the Democratic and Republican parties' national conventions in August and September, where one candidate from each party will be formally named to run in the November elections.

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