McCain beats Romney to win Fla. primary

By DAVID ESPO and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers
MIAMI – Sen. John McCain won a breakthrough triumph in the Florida primary Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of next week’s contests across 21 states. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared ready to quit the race.

“It shows one thing. I’m the conservative leader who can unite the party,” McCain said in a brief interview with The Associated Press.

“It’s a very significant boost, but I think we’ve got a tough week ahead and a lot of states to come.”
The victory was worth 57 national convention delegates for McCain, a winner-take-all haul that catapulted him ahead of Romney for the overall delegate lead.
Giuliani ran third, his best showing of the campaign but not nearly good enough for the one-time front-runner who decided to make his last stand in a state that is home to tens of thousands of transplanted New Yorkers.
In remarks to supporters in Orlando, he referred to his candidacy repeatedly in the past tense — as though it was over. “We’ll stay involved and together we’ll make sure that we’ll do everything we can to hand our nation off to the next generation better than it was before,” he said.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee trailed, but told supporters he would campaign on. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was fifth, and last.
Romney, who has spent millions of dollars of his personal fortune to run for the White House, also vowed to stay in the race.
“At a time like this, America needs a president in the White House who has actually had a job in the real economy,” he told supporters in St. Petersburg.
Florida marked the end of one phase of the campaign, the last in a series of single-state contests.
The campaign goes national next week, with 21 states holding primaries and caucuses on Tuesday and 1,023 party convention delegates at stake.
Returns from 73 percent of the state’s precincts showed McCain, the Arizona senator, with 36 percent of the vote and Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, with 31 percent.
The victory was another step in one of the most remarkable political comebacks of recent times. McCain entered the race the front-runner, then found his campaign unraveling last summer as his stands in favor of the Iraq War and a controversial immigration bill proved unpopular.
The war gradually became less of a concern after President Bush’s decision to increase troop deployments began to produce results. McCain also sought to readjust his position on immigration.
By the time of the New Hampshire primary, he was primed for victory, and got it. He won the South Carolina primary last week, taking first place in the state that had snuffed out his presidential hopes in 2000.

Campaign 2008 Updates

GOP funk slows turnout, moneyBy: JIM VANDEHEIand JOHN F. HARRIS So far, the story of the 2008 campaign on the Republican side is what’s not happening. Read More Comment

Romney skips S.C., bets on NevadaBy: JONATHAN MARTINand LISA LERER Just a day after his big win in Michigan, he cedes South Carolina to his rivals. Read More Comment

Anti-war groups retreatBy: RYAN GRIM Anti-war groups back away from drive to cut funding and pass timelines for bringing U.S. troops home. Read More Comment

Jewish voters lean toward Hillary ClintonBy: BEN SMITH Clinton emerges as candidate with the bulk of establishment Jewish support. Read More Comment

Economic distress forces bipartisanshipBy: MARTIN KADY IIand PATRICK O’CONNOR Nancy Pelosi and John A. Boehner meet in rare closed-door meeting to discuss economic stimulus package. Read More Comment

Michigan Primary Update

Romney Wins Michigan Primary

In what amounted to a must win for his presidential campaign, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the projected winner of tonight’s Michigan presidential primary. With 11 percent of precincts reporting, Romney has 37 percent of the vote; McCain, 31 percent. Last week, Romney pulled his resources out of South Carolina and Florida to focus solely on the state where his father was once governor — a strategy that appears to have paid off. READ MORE

On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s name was the only one on the Michigan ballot among the top three Democratic contendors. Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards removed their names from the ballot after the DNC revoked the state’s delegates to the national convention for moving the state’s primary to Jan. 15 in violation of DNC rules.
With 12 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton has 61 percent of the vote; uncommited 34 percent. READ MORE

McCain Surges to Lead in New Poll

CBS News
Posted: 2008-01-14 10:41:49
Filed Under: Elections News
(Jan. 13) – Surging after his win in the New Hampshire primary, Arizona Sen. John McCain has come from behind to now lead the national Republican race, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. However, among Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has maintained her double-digit national lead in the race, despite winning only one of the two contests so far.McCain is now the choice of 33 percent of Republican primary voters in the poll, up from just seven percent in the last CBS News/New York Times poll taken in December. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is in second place with 18 percent, down from 21 percent in December. The biggest drop downward is in former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s support, from leading at 22 percent in the last poll to ten percent now. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson are tied in this poll at eight percent.

McCain Projected to Win N.H. Republican Primary

With 12 percent of precincts reporting, Arizona Sen. John McCain is projected to win the New Hampshire Republican primary. He leads with 37 percent of the vote; former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney follows with 28 percent of the vote.

Check later for full analysis and results.

Clinton Wins N.H. Democratic Primary

Sen. Hillary Clinton tonight was declared the winner of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, ensuring the continuation of a tight two-way race between Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, who won the Iowa caucuses.

With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton has 40 percent of the vote; Obama, 36 percent.

“It looks like a heavy turnout among women, particularly older women may have really helped [Clinton],” said pollster John Zogby. “And it looks like the emotion she showed yesterday may have helped her too, especially with women.”
Exit polls suggest as many as 18 percent of Democratic voters did not decide on a candidate until today — a significantly higher percentage than usual, Zogby said.

Check later for full analysis and results.

Huckabee, Obama Declared Caucus Winners

With most precincts reporting, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is projected to defeat his nearest rival former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 11 percent in the Iowa Republican caucus. On the Democratic side, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois leads former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York by 7 percent.

Check for full analysis and results.