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Kerry Wins Second Major Victory In NH; Dean Remains Defiant After Coming In Second

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Sen. John Kerry won the New Hampshire primary last night capturing 39% of the vote with Howard Dean coming in second with 26%. Gen. Wesley Clark edged by Sen. John Edwards, both with 12%, for third place and Sen. Joseph Lieberman came in fifth with 9%. Rep. Dennis Kucinich had 2% of the vote and Al Sharpton, who skipped New Hampshire, came in last with less than 1%.

Senator John Kerry easily won New Hampshire’s primary yesterday, scoring a second-straight victory one week after winning the Iowa caucuses and establishing himself as the Democratic Party’s presidential front-runner.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Kerry had 39 percent of the vote, followed by Howard Dean with 26.

Gen. Wesley Clark and Senator John Edwards battled for third place with 12 percent each, but it looks like Clark just edged ahead for third.

Although Senator Joe Lieberman came in fifth with 9 percent of the vote he painted the outcome as a “three-way split decision” for third and rejected advice from some advisers to abandon his bid. Rep. Dennis Kucinich had 2 percent of the vote and Al Sharpton, who skipped New Hampshire to focus on South Carolina, came in last with less than 1 percent.

The New York Times calls Dean’s second place finish a “significant setback.” Dean was seen as the clear frontrunner in New Hampshire less than two weeks ago. It was also a disappointing day for Clark and Lieberman, who skipped the Iowa caucuses to focus on New Hampshire.

The campaign now moves south for the Feb. 3 primaries, which will take place in seven states from Delaware to Arizona, from South Carolina to North Dakota.

President Bush who won comfortably in the Republican primary against no serious opposition has scheduled a visit to New Hampshire tomorrow. Bush used a similar tactic last week when he scheduled his State of the Union Address one day after the Iowa caucuses.

According to the Washington Post, Kerry demonstrated across-the-board support from voters winning among both men and women, among all ages except the very youngest, and among the richest and poorest and every income group in between.

Kerry easily won among voters with a college degree and even more handily among those with a high school education. Voters with postgraduate degrees favored Dean.

The Post reports that among ideological groups, Dean did best only among voters who described themselves as “very liberal,” while Kerry carried moderates, liberals and conservatives.

Tape–Candidates speak in New Hampshire after primary votes counted:

  • Sen. John Kerry
  • Howard Dean
  • Gen. Wesley Clark
  • Sen. John Edwards

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