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The New Hampshire Primary

Aired January 8, 2008 - 21:00   ET


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tonight, I was able to call Governor Romney and Senator McCain and congratulate them on finishing ahead of us. But ladies and gentlemen, a few weeks ago, we were back in not so even sixth place and nobody thought that we would even be one of the contenders in New Hampshire. But something over the past...

HUCKABEE: But because so many people in this state just worked their hearts out -- and it wasn't like we had a whole lot of money to help you with. So you made up for it with hard work, phone calls, e- mails. Frankly, I'm not sure what all some of you did that I don't even want to know.


HUCKABEE: But thank you for getting it done, because tonight, we're going to come out here with the continued momentum. And I want to just tell you from the depths of my heart that we thought that if we could finish in the top -- we kept saying four or five, we'd feel pretty good about that, knowing just how tough it's been to try to break through. But tonight, you've given us so much more than we could have imagined just a few days or weeks ago. And over the last few days, we've seen that momentum build and the excitement at our rallies and the enthusiasm of our people and the size of our crowds. And we just sensed that we were going to do better than a lot of people thought that this old unknown Southern boy could possibly do up here in New England.


HUCKABEE: Janet and I want to say -- just pay special tribute to our leaders here, Fred Bramante and Cliff Hurst, our co-chairmen here, have been magnificent, and from the very first day they signed on. My heartfelt thanks to them for a great job of leading our campaign here.


HUCKABEE: Thank you, guys.

Thank you.


HUCKABEE: And Fred does want me to remind everybody that today is Elvis' birthday. So I wanted to throw that in. (LAUGHTER)

HUCKABEE: To all of these wonderful people on this stage with me from New Hampshire who have given their -- not just their time, but, really, they put their reputations on the line for us. And, you know, when they came on board, you have to understand, people were saying you're going to endorse who?


HUCKABEE: And I want to say how much I appreciate the people in New Hampshire for standing with us. And it wasn't because that they could see a few weeks ago some obvious victory. It was because they saw in this country the opportunity to really bring the kind of leadership that you and I all know we really need to take America up and not down. And that's what we're going to continue to do.


HUCKABEE: So many others -- Senator Bob Clegg has headed up our legislative effort. And I hope Bob is up on this stage. Thank you, Bob, for a great job.

Where were you a while ago?


HUCKABEE: But all over this state, people like you and others who couldn't be here with us in Manchester tonight certainly recognize the incredible hard work that's been put forth. Ladies and gentlemen, we've had the time of our lives. If there's any sadness tonight, it's not where we finished, because, frankly -- whooo -- we're pretty happy about that.


HUCKABEE: But there is some sadness. And let me share with you what it is. Over the past year or so, I've had the incredible joy of making regular visits in and out of New Hampshire. And it got to be where I just knew I was going to be up here two or three times a month and I'd get to see what has become, really, not just some casual acquaintances and some friends, but people that have grown as close as family. And I want to tell you something, I always had thought that Southern hospitality was extraordinary and special. And I thought it was unique to those of us who live in the Deep South. You guys have proven to me that love, friendship, kindness, hospitality and family is not geographical. And tonight, I want to express to you, from the depths of my heart, the appreciation that Janet and I feel for all that you have done to make us feel like we're part of you. And you're part of us.


HUCKABEE: And we're going to miss coming back over and over every month. But let me tell you something, we're going to be back in New Hampshire, because after we secure the nomination, we've got to come up here and make sure we carry New Hampshire.


HUCKABEE: Did I tell you I bought a summer home?


HUCKABEE: And I promise if we keep coming, I'll even learn to say chowda.


HUCKABEE: One final word. Deb Vanderbeek has been our campaign manager here in New Hampshire and has been more than magnificent. She put together a great staff and they did more work with fewer people than anybody's campaign could ever have imagined and hoped for. I told her tonight before we came out, I said, Deb, if I had it all to do over, I'd want you to make sure you know that I wouldn't ask anybody to manage this campaign in this state other than you. And I thank you so much, Deb, for a great job.


HUCKABEE: We may even get a halfway decent night's sleep tonight.


HUCKABEE: We sure are feeling better about you guys. And then from here, we're going to head to South Carolina. We'll be down there at Greenville -- a big rally to kick off -- in Michigan and South Carolina, in Florida and the next three days, what you helped us continue will be carried right on through. And it won't be long. We're going to be able to secure this nomination and on to the White House and on to leading America.


HUCKABEE: Thank you folks.

God bless you.

Thank you.

Thank you.


BLITZER: All right, so Mike Huckabee sounding victors. He knows -- it looks like he's going to come in third in New Hampshire after winning in Iowa.

John McCain the winner in New Hampshire.

Take a look at this -- 30 percent of the precincts now officially reporting. We've projected that John McCain is the winner. So far, he has 38 percent. And Mitt Romney is 29 percent. Mike Huckabee, 12 percent. But Huckabee saying he's going on to Michigan, South Carolina, Florida and the rest of these primaries.

John McCain is getting ready to speak, as well, at McCain headquarters.

There are live pictures. You're seeing Dana Bash is there. A very enthusiastic, excited crowd. A huge comeback for John McCain -- Dana, set the scene for us, because I take it momentarily the senator from Arizona will be walking out for his victory speech in New Hampshire.

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. We expect him down here any minute. He has been upstairs in his suite in this hotel. Actually, you can hear the crowd behind me saying "We Want John!". They're making their chant. They are -- it is impossible to overstate how excited this crowd is that is crowded in here, because they never thought they were going to see this moment.

If -- you know, if you go back to the summer, if you go back to where John McCain was -- you know, Wolf, I was talking to Phil Gramm, former Senator Phil Gramm, who is one of the chairmen of John McCain's campaign. And he told me the story of when John McCain called him in and said look at my books. Look at how much money I have. And he said, you know what, John, you have to get rid of staff. You have to basically revamp your campaign. And the reason is because the money wasn't coming in.

Why is that?

Because John McCain was not on the right side of some very important, very volatile issues for the Republican Party, primarily immigration. You remember he pushed immigration legislation that allowed a path to citizenship. That set the Republican base on fire against John McCain. And, also, because of the war in Iraq.

And, you know, it was very interesting. If you're looking back on it, it's easy to see that what that did is it certainly forced John McCain into a bit of a tailspin, as he likes to say, with regard to his campaign. But what it did is it made him go back to his comfort zone. And his comfort zone is what you saw from the summertime until today here in New Hampshire.

You saw him going back to the insurgent kind of candidate, to the nobody can expect you to do anything candidate who went around on his bus here. He had 101 town hall meetings. He sat he sat with voters. He took the tough questions, especially on issues like immigration, which were really hard for him to do. He sort of changed his tune on that issue and said I learned my lesson. And that is really what helped him come back here.

And, you know, it is interesting. You know, some of his rivals sort of deride him and say well, he's just the president of New Hampshire, because he does have such an incredible bond with the people of New Hampshire because of his win here and because of how much time he spent here, Wolf.

So it's going to be fascinating to see the kind of connection -- and probably emotion -- we're going to see from John McCain when he speaks here. It's very, very soon.

BLITZER: An important speech coming up by John McCain. We're going be listening very carefully. And once he starts speaking, we'll, of course, bring that live to our viewers in the United States and around the world.

Dana, stand by.

Dana is over at McCain headquarters.

We'll go to John McCain and his speech. That's coming up.

We just want to remind our viewers, we can't project a winner yet on the Democratic side because it's a close contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Right now we can project that John Edwards will be coming in third in New Hampshire.

Let's walk over to Anderson Cooper right now.

He's got the best political team on television watching all of this -- Anderson, once McCain starts speaking, we'll go there.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We'll obviously bring that to you live.

We want to talk with Ralph Reed, a political strategist, a little bit.

When we watched Mike Huckabee giving that speech, at the end, he talked about South Carolina. But all throughout, he was sort of sending a message to the folks in South Carolina. The man standing just to his left, the former governor of South Carolina, David Beasley, a favorite among Christian conservatives in that state.

RALPH REED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: No question, Anderson. There's no doubt about the fact that tonight, as Mike Huckabee stood at that podium, he was saying to the people of the South Carolina, I'm on my way. And the reason why is because if you look at the exit polls tonight, only about one in every 10 voters whose shadow darkened the threshold of a Republican voting booth tonight attends church every week. When you get to South Carolina, that number is going to rise to about 50 percent. If Mike Huckabee does as well with that group in South Carolina as he did in Iowa, he could very well win that primary.

COOPER: Bill Bennett, we're watching there, John McCain enter the room with his wife.

You have some thoughts about John.

WILLIAM BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. Well, first about John McCain. You know, right -- he rode the surge and tied his political fortune to the surge. But the other side of this is true, without John McCain's support of the surge, we might not have had that surge. So he's going to -- he's going to remind people of that, too.

It's an extraordinary win for John McCain. Look at all of the names that are coming up. Mike Huckabee, strong in South Carolina. John McCain wins tonight. Romney's -- Romney's second. Rudy Giuliani is alive because of the split in Iowa and New Hampshire. And I'll tell you, this Republican thing is wide open.

COOPER: Let's listen in to Senator John McCain.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


MCCAIN: The first time...

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back!

MCCAIN: Thank you.


MCCAIN: Thank you.


MCCAIN: First, I'd like to thank my wife Cindy and my seven children...


MCCAIN: ...and all of our...


MCCAIN: And all of our campaign team, who did such a wonderful job. And I'm very grateful.

My friends, you know, I'm past the age when I can claim the noun kid, no matter what adjective precedes it. But tonight, we sure showed them what a comeback looks like.


MCCAIN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back!

MCCAIN: Thank you.


MCCAIN: Thank you.

When the pundits declared us finished, I told them I'm going to New Hampshire, where the voters don't let you make their decision for them.


MCCAIN: And when they asked, how are you going to do it, you're down in the polls, you don't have the money -- I answered, I'm going to New Hampshire and I'm going to tell people the truth.


MCCAIN: We came back here to this wonderful state we've come to trust and love. And we had just one strategy -- to tell you what I believe. I didn't just tell you what the polls said you wanted to hear. I didn't tell you what I knew to be false. I didn't try to spin you. I just talked to the people of New Hampshire. I talked about the country we loved, the many challenges that we faced together and the great promise that is ours to achieve; the work that awaits us in this hour -- on our watch -- to defend our country from its enemies, to advance the ideals that are our greatest strengths, to increase the prosperity and opportunities of all Americans and to make in our time, as each preceding American generation has, another better world than the one we inherited.


MCCAIN: I talked to the people of New Hampshire. I reasoned with you. I listened to you. I answered you. Sometimes I argued with you.


MCCAIN: But I always told you the truth as best as I can see the truth. And you did me the great honor of listening.

Thank you, New Hampshire from the...


MCCAIN: ...from the...

UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back!

MCCAIN: Thank you.

Thank you, New Hampshire, from the bottom of my heart.

I'm grateful and humbled and more certain than ever before that before I can win your vote, I must win your respect. And I must do that by being honest with you and then put my trust in your fairness and good judgment.

Tonight, we have taken a step -- but only the first step toward repairing the broken politics of the past and restoring the trust of the American people in their government. The people of New Hampshire have told us again that they do not send us to Washington to serve our self- interests, but to serve theirs. They don't... (APPLAUSE)

MCCAIN: They don't -- they don't send us to fight each other for our own political ambitions, but to fight together our real enemies. They don't send us to Washington to stroke our egos, to keep this beautiful, bountiful, blessed country safe, prosperous and proud. They don't send us to Washington to take more of their money and waste it on things that add not an ounce to America's strength and prosperity. They don't help a single family realize the dreams we all dream for our children, that don't help a single displaced worker find a new job and the security and dignity it assures them, that won't keep the promise we make to young workers that the retirement they have begun to invest in will be there for them when they need it. They don't...


MCCAIN: They don't they don't send us to Washington to do their job, but to do ours.


MCCAIN: My friends,...


MCCAIN: , my friends, -- my friends, I didn't go to Washington to go along to get along or to play it safe to serve my own interests. I went there to serve my country.


MCCAIN: And that,, my friends,...


MCCAIN: And that, my friends, is just what I intend to do if I am so privileged to be elected your president.


UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!

MCCAIN: Thank you.

I seek the nomination of a party that believes in the strength, industry and goodness of the American people. We don't believe that government has all the answers, but that it should respect the rights, property and under opportunities (ph) of the people to whom we are accountable. We don't believe in growing the size of government to make it easier to serve our own ambitions. But what government is expected to do, it must do with competence, resolve and wisdom.

In recent years, we have lost the trust of the people who share our principles, but doubt our own allegiance to them. I seek the nomination of our party to restore that trust, to return our property -- our party to the principles that have never failed Americans -- the party of fiscal discipline, low taxes, enduring values, a strong and capable defense that encourages the enterprise and ingenuity of individuals, businesses and families who know best how to advance America's economy and secure the dreams that have made us the greatest nation in history.


MCCAIN: The work...


MCCAIN: The work that we face in our time is great, but our opportunity is greater still. In a time of war and the terrible sacrifices it entails, the promise of a better future is not always clear. But I promise you, my friends, we face no enemy -- no matter how cruel -- and no challenge -- no matter how daunting -- greater than the courage, patriotism and determination of Americans. We are the makers of history, not its victims.


MCCAIN: And as we confront this enemy, the people privileged to serve in public office should not evade our mutual responsibility to defeat them because we are more concerned with personal or partisan ambition. Whatever the differences between us, so much more should unite us. And nothing, nothing should unite us more closely than the imperative of defeating an enemy who despises us, our values and modernity itself. We must all pull together -- all pull together in this critical hour and proclaim that the history of the world will not be determined by this unpardonable foe, but by the aspirations, ideals, faith and the courage of free people in this great historic...


MCCAIN: this great historic task, we will never surrender. They will.


UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!

MCCAIN: Thank you.


MCCAIN: The results of the other party's primary is uncertain at this time tonight. But I want to congratulate all the campaigns in both parties. I salute the supporters of all the candidates, who worked so hard to achieve a success tonight and who believe so passionately in the promise of their candidate. And I want to assure them that though I did not have their support and though we may disagree from time to time on how to advance America's interests and ideals, they have my genuine respect. For they have worked for a cause they believe is good for the country we all love -- a cause greater than their self-interest.

My friends, I learned long ago that serving only oneself is a petty and unsatisfying ambition. But serve a cause greater than self- interest and you will know a happiness far more sublime than the fleeting pleasure of fame and fortune. For me, that greater cause has always been my country, which I have served imperfectly for many years, but have loved without any reservation every day of my life.


MCCAIN: And, however -- however this campaign turns out -- and I am more confident tonight that it will turn out much than what's expected...


UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back! Mac Is Back!


MCCAIN: I am grateful beyond expression for the prospect that I might serve her a little while longer.


MCCAIN: That gratitude imposes on me the responsibility to do nothing in this campaign that would make our country's problems harder to solve or that would cause Americans to despair that a candidate for the highest office in the land would think so little of the honor that he would put his own interests before theirs. I take that responsibility as my most solemn trust.

So, my friends -- so, my friends, we celebrate one victory tonight and leave for Michigan tomorrow to win another.


UNIDENTIFIED SUPPORTERS: Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan! Michigan!


MCCAIN: But -- but let us remember, let us remember that our purpose is not ours alone. Our success is not an end in itself. America is our cause -- yesterday, today and tomorrow. Her greatness is our hope. Her strength is our protection, her ideals our greatest treasure, her prosperity the promise we keep our children. Her goodness, the hope of man kind. That is the cause of our campaign and the platform of my party. And I will stay true to it, so help me God.


MCCAIN: Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you, my friends. And God bless you as you have -- God bless you as you have blessed me.



MCCAIN: God bless you as you have blessed me. Enjoy this. You have earned it more than me. Tomorrow we begin again.


MCCAIN: Thank you.


BLITZER: A very excited group of supporters of John McCain.

John McCain the winner tonight in New Hampshire, just as he was eight years ago the winner in New Hampshire. He says now on to Michigan and South Carolina and Florida. He's got his work cut out ahead of him. But delivering a passionate speech today, suggesting that he has what it takes to be the president of the United States.

We're watching this closely. Just to recap, as you see his supporters there in New Hampshire, with 40 percent of the actual vote in New Hampshire. The precincts now in. McCain with 38 percent; Romney, 29 percent; Huckabee, 12 percent; Giuliani, 9 percent. A disappointment for Rudy Giuliani.

But McCain, a nice, decisive win for him in New Hampshire. He needed to win tonight to go on. He goes on for sure, just as the others will go on -- at least most of them.

We're also watching a very close race shaping up among the Democrats. With 42 percent of the precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton slightly ahead of Barack Obama, 39 percent to 37 percent. Edwards will come in third, with 17 percent. Very disappointing, only 5 percent for Bill Richardson. We're told he's going to be heading back to New Mexico to reassess what's going on.

Here are the actual votes -- the raw votes that have come in so far, with 42 percent of the precincts -- 40,090 for Hillary Clinton; 37,766 for Obama; just more than 17,000 for Edwards; 4,800 for Richardson; 1,500 or so for Kucinich; 133 for Mike Gravel, the former -- the former senator from Alaska.

But look at how close it is, what, only about 2,200 votes separating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama right now, with 42 percent of the precincts reporting.

Remember, you can always go to and see these numbers change literally moment by moment. We're constantly updating the scorecard at I want to make sure you know about that. We're watching this incredibly tight race.

Anderson Cooper has got the best political team on television watching it, as well.

And I want to remind our viewers -- Anderson, once we get closer to seeing who wins among the Democrats, Hillary Clinton will be speaking, Barack Obama, John Edwards. And we're going to, obviously, bring those speeches to our viewers live, as well.

COOPER: Yes, a lot more live events to be covering. But, certainly, this race is closer on the Democratic side than a lot of observers -- and certainly the polls -- had indicated.

Gloria Borger, senior political analyst, are you surprised?

GLORIA BORGER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I am surprised. I think that -- what's going on, according to my sources, is that what we're seeing is that the college towns in New Hampshire have not reported. Then in Hanover, New Hampshire, where, of course Dartmouth College is, 6,000 people voted. That's apparently 2,000 more than the Hillary Clinton campaign expected to vote. So that makes them nervous. And so while they look like they're up...

COOPER: Young people overwhelmingly going for Barack Obama in...

BORGER: For Barack Obama...


BORGER: So while it looks like they're up there, they're a little nervous. Also, women are really supporting Hillary Clinton. And that may be why this race is tighter than we thought, because more women are supporting her this time than did in Iowa.

JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In addition to Hanover, which she mentioned, Durham, where the University of New Hampshire is, we're still waiting to see result there. And Keene -- it's a smaller town, but it's a college town, as well. There could be some numbers there. Those are places Obama is expected to do well.

But if you're Hillary Clinton and you're watching the returns come in in Manchester and Nashua -- the two biggest cities in the State of New Hampshire -- you are happy and you are thanking your ground operation. Manchester especially -- blue collar, gritty town, traditional Democrats, lower down on the income, the people she does best with. She's posting big margins there. And she needed a big margin there.

So we wait for the college towns. It's an incredibly close race. And...

COOPER: But even if she comes in second, a close finish allows her to -- and her campaign to say this was a major comeback.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: A new ball game. But let's talk about someone else. Let's talk about Bill Clinton. This is a guy who is treated -- on our network and, I think, most places in the news media, as a one man train wreck over the past couple of days. You know, that we have said, oh, he was terrible, he did such a terrible job criticizing Obama. Maybe people out there in the real world like Bill Clinton. Maybe that is actually a positive out there for him. And I think it just, you know, all of his campaigning may really be helping her.

COOPER: There's been a lot of criticism, a lot written about the lackluster attendance to some of his campaign events. Do you buy into that?

KING: Much as we said all night long, the people in New Hampshire, even the Democrats, respect John McCain. The people of New Hampshire remember with some nostalgia Bill Clinton. Remember, in 1992, when he ran for president, the character crisis, everybody in our business thought, no way, the guy can't survive. It was about the economy then. The economy was going in the tank. He has a great reservoir there.

Even her own campaign said what he said yesterday was a great distraction. But maybe Jeff's on to the hidden secret.

BORGER: Democrats like Bill Clinton, obviously. Just remember, around Christmas Hillary Clinton was ten points ahead. Now she's struggling to survive. If this is his strategy, it's a problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was down ten points in the polls 24 hours ago. So if she comes back, that's good news for her.

COOPER: Candy Crowley standing by live at Clinton headquarters. Candy, what's the scene there?

CROWLEY: Well, the scene here obviously is every time the TV shows the outcome or the preliminaries and she's up. they cheer. These are Clinton supporters. These are volunteers. These are staff members. They're high hopes.

But I have to tell you that inside the Clinton campaign, they're still pretty cautious. They are looking at two cities in particular. I'm sorry, you can hear that they're looking at the numbers behind me. But they are looking at Salem and they're looking in the vicinity of Dartmouth where they expect -- and Hanover particularly, will be very, very strong Barack Obama territory.

So they're a little worried about that. They say, look it will be close. We thought we were ten points down yesterday. There are areas where we are coming in two points ahead when we were five points down. So they're hopeful, but they're really very concerned about Salem and Hanover.

COOPER: How much of an effort in the last couple of days has Senator Clinton made to reach out to young voters. There was a lot of talk about it. How successful was she in doing that?

CROWLEY: Well, young voters have been the place where even tonight someone said to me obviously we haven't made as big an effort on college campuses and where young people are as Barack Obama has done. But we intend to change that. This has not a constituency that they have courted as much others. Basically, it's been 45-year-old women that they have looked at.

As we some from some of those exit polls, certainly they've been successful in bringing those women out.

COOPER: The Hillary Clinton that we expect to see tomorrow, regardless of what happens tonight, given what seems to be at this point a very close race, how will she be different from the Hillary Clinton we have seen up until now?

CROWLEY: Well, it will be a lot tougher. We have seen in the last couple of days, both with Bill Clinton and with Hillary Clinton, that the rhetoric is really ratcheting up. They are pounding reporters, I can tell you, and putting out there any number of things about Barack Obama's lack of experience, as they see it, about his record, as they see it. So they are definitely going to go after him.

There also is some thought that she's going to play on a larger playing field than just South Carolina and Nevada. That may change. I mean, they told us tonight that really where they go next and how they operate next is going to depend a lot on what the margin is here, whether she wins or loses. They're certainly going to be looking at the numbers, trying to figure out whether they should move on to the February 5th states or whether they should play heavily in South Carolina and Nevada.

COOPER: Candy, stand by. Let's go to Suzanne Malveaux, who is at Obama headquarters. Suzanne, the mood there -- what are you hearing from inside the Obama camp.

MALVEAUX: Sure, they're a little bit surprised by all of this, because you looked at some of the polls from earlier and you looked at really the sense that it could have even been a double digit lead, that they might have repeated what they did in Iowa and even perhaps do better. Do, they are looking at this and thinking, well, perhaps things are a lot closer than what we imagined.

And they are, as Candy mentioned, looking closely at some of the numbers that have not come in, those are the ones in the college towns, where they have worked so hard for those young voters to get them turned out. So, in some ways they do believe that these numbers will shrink, that this lead will shrink and diminish. There's still some hope inside of Obama's campaign that they can pull this out in the end.

They certainly have not given up on it. They're looking very closely at those young voters. They're also, of course, competing fiercely over the independents. And it was interesting how strong McCain came out on that score, because that really could ultimately damage and hurt Obama. So that's another number that they're looking at.

They're optimistic. They're enthusiastic. They figure, even if it's very, very close, it is a very strong showing for them. But clearly there was a sense here -- it's like pins and needles that -- they thought they were going to be way out ahead at this point. But those numbers still too small to give up on it yet.

COOPER: Quite an exciting night on the Democratic side. We're going to check in with Candy and Suzanne throughout the evening. Right now let's go to John King, who is at the big board, trying to get a breakdown of where the votes have already come in and where we're still waiting to hear votes, John?

KING: The still waiting to hear, Anderson, is the key point at this part. Let's look at the map here, again. This is the state of New Hampshire, the entire state. This is the Democratic primary for president. Here's what we know, 39 percent for Senator Clinton, 37 percent for Barack Obama. As you see, a very close margin here.

The white areas of the map are the ones that have not come in yet. Now, there's not much population up in here. What are we looking for? Let me bring this out a little bit to enlarge the map a little bit. One of the places we're looking for is right here.

Come on out, that's Durham, University of New Hampshire; it is a college town. As you can see, no results in yet, not available. So that is one spot, if you're in the Obama campaign or the Clinton campaign, you want to know how this town voted.

Let's go back, show you the entire state again. Another spot everybody is looking for -- Gloria just talked about it a moment ago. Here's Concord, the state capital. You go up over here. And you come to Hanover, the home of Dartmouth College, another college town, another big place where Obama is hoping to win. As Gloria just noted, the Clinton campaign was telling her, turnout was very high there. So they're concerned about that, obviously, because they're worried young voters are the difference for Obama.

Now, small towns, not a huge place, you're not going to get a lot of votes out of these places. But if you look at statewide, this is your margin, it doesn't take many votes. As these vote came in, and we get closer and closer to 100 percent, you obviously want to look at Manchester, see if Senator Clinton can hold her lead there. You want to come back down and look at Nashua to see if she's posting, continues to win here.

Can she keep a margin like that? If she can keep the margins in the big cities, Nashua and Manchester, she can perhaps offset Obama when he comes back in these other places. So you're looking now at the college towns again. If these results are all in -- let's see how much is in Portsmouth. Portsmouth is Obama country here. He needs to pad his margins there.

So again, the college towns we're looking for. There's here and the key numbers down in here. But the big one you're looking for is right here, Dartmouth College and Hanover, and we'll continue to watch that as we go to see if Obama can get the votes out in the college towns, the younger voters that propelled them in Iowa. We'll see if they show up in New Hampshire. Wolf? BLITZER: All right, John, thanks very much. An Incredibly close race right now. The polls have been closed now for more than an hour and a half, an hour and 37 minutes in New Hampshire. Forty percent so far for Hillary Clinton, 36 percent for Barack Obama with nearly half, nearly half of the precincts reporting, 47 percent.

It's an incredibly tight race, 49,719 votes for Hillary Clinton, 45,383 for Barack Obama. John Edwards coming in a distant third. We're going to continue to watch this Democratic contest, almost 50 percent of the precincts now reporting a very, very close race. Once it becomes clear who wins, who comes in second, we're going to be hearing from Hillary Clinton, from Barack Obama, from John Edwards. But so far, they're not speaking. They're waiting like the rest of us to see who wins the Democratic primary in New Hampshire.

Remember, go to You can see the numbers change second by second -- certainly minute by minute. You can constantly refresh your laptop and get these numbers. Much more of our coverage from the CNN Election Center. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Two headlines so far emerging tonight, approaching two hours since all of the polls closed in New Hampshire. The first headline, John McCain wins -- wins the New Hampshire Republican primary. The second headline, there's a dramatic development involving Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The race very, very close.

CNN can not project a winner yet with nearly 50 percent of the precincts reporting. Hillary Clinton has 40 percent of the Democratic vote. Obama has 36, John Edwards will come in third with 17, Bill Richardson a disappointing fourth place with five percent.

Take a look at the raw numbers and see how close they really are. Hillary Clinton, 49,941; 45,850 for Barack Obama. That's not a huge difference. It's enough between 50 percent and 36 percent, 48 percent of the precincts reporting. It's showing that the race is still very, very close.

And we'll see what happens. But Soledad O'Brien and Bill Schneider are taking a closer look at these number. The Democratic standoff, the fight between Clinton and Obama is intense. We'll hear from them once we know where the political dust settles. That could be a while.

O'BRIEN: Intense and a surprise for many people when you looked at the polls over the last couple of days. It seemed like it was quite a big gap, or a decent sized gap, with Barack Obama with a significant lead. You look at who was supporting Barack Obama in Iowa, women clearly going for him. How are women doing now? What are you seeing?

SCHNEIDER: If I had a single word to tell you why this race is so close, the word would be women. Take a look at women over here. Women are voting for Clinton over Obama by a 13-point margin. Obama narrowly carried women in Iowa. She got the women back. Very important, there will be a lot of discussion of how she did that. I'm not going to go there, but she got them back.

What about men? They voted -- as we see here - -they voted for Barack Obama, 42 to 30 percent. There it is. They voted for one of their own. Guess what folks, the gender gap is back.

O'BRIEN: That's why it's so close. All right, when you look at registered Democrats versus people who are registered independents, what are you seeing?

SCHNEIDER: Well, this is another division among Democratic primary voters. Half of them are registered Democrats. They voted for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama by about a 12-point margin. Clinton wins registered Democrats. But almost half of the voters in the Iowa Democratic primary were not registered Democrats. They came in as registered independents and that's where Barack Obama did well.

He carried registered independents 41 to 34 percent. There you see it, 41 to 34 for Obama. So Democrats for Clinton, independents for Obama, a real showdown.

O'BRIEN: Another category you have not spoken about that was important when we spoke about Iowa, how about for New Hampshire, age.

SCHNEIDER: Once again, young voters, those under 30 -- that would be your age group I think. Those voters voted for Barack Obama big time, 51 to 28 for Obama over Clinton. That was a very big margin, just as it was in Iowa.

Why is New Hampshire different? Because middle aged voters, 30 to 50, and the old geezers, 50 and plus, they voted for Hillary Clinton by a somewhat narrower margin. But only 18 percent of the voters were under 30. So the large number of older voters coming out that Hillary Clinton relied on appear to have giving the edge to her.

O'BRIEN: So Wolf, in a nutshell, it's close. Everybody's waiting to see what happens.

BLITZER: That's the second story line that's emerging right now. One story, McCain Wins, second story, we don't know. Obama or Clinton, who will win the Democratic primary. but we're watching it very, very closely.

I wanted our viewers to check in with Ron Paul. He's in a fight right now for fourth place among Republicans with Rudy Giuliani. Ron Paul has got some passionate supporters. Let's listen briefly to hear what he's saying.

RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They talk about the future. They talk about the hope. Occasionally, they even mentioned the constitution. Can you imagine? But there is no doubt in my mind that we're on the right track. We're moving. And your generation, the young people of this country, have awakened and this is just going to be the beginning of something very, very big for this country. BLITZER: There's Ron Paul. He's a Republican candidate. Right now, he's in a pretty tight race with Rudy Giuliani for fourth place. Take a look at the raw numbers coming in, 8,846 for Giuliani, Ron Paul 7,972. So it's a close race, 48 percent of the precincts reporting right now. So, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani fighting it out for fourth place so far among the Republican presidential candidates.

There's no doubt, though, that Ron Paul has generated a lot of excitement out there. Wherever you go on a campaign trail, you see his supporters. They're active. They're very involved. Let's go back in and listen to what Ron Paul is saying.

PAUL: -- exciting for me; you know, I talked about several policy -- the number one policy, of course, is individual liberty and our constitution. But I have always had a deep concern about honest money. The government is supposed to be there to protect honesty in money, not to destroy the money.

But I never thought I'd see the day where we would get loud cheers on the University of Southern California and the University of Michigan when I started talking about getting rid of the Federal Reserve system.

BLITZER: Ron Paul has got a lot of enthusiastic supporters out there right now. We'll continue to watch. Remember, you can always go to You can watch all of these feeds coming in from the various campaign headquarters and you can see their remarks on and

The story, though, right now, McCain wins on the Republican side. But it's a very close race emerging on the Democratic side. And we're watching it very closely. In fact, with 52 percent, now more than half of the precincts reporting, Senator Clinton is still ahead with 39 percent, Barack Obama 37 percent, tightening up a little bit; 53,636 for Senator Clinton, 50,146, about 3,500 votes separating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, 52 percent of the precincts reporting.

It's a dramatic story. We can't project who's the winner yet. We're going have to perhaps wait and see the old-fashioned way who wins in New Hampshire, actually let the ballots be counted. Anderson Cooper, you have the best political team on television. You're watching it as well. This could be, who knows, a long night. Wasn't on the Republican side, but on the Democratic side, could be an old- fashioned brawl.

COOPER: Any time you're looking at the map of New Hampshire and analyzing county by county, city-by-city, you know it's going to be a long night. Ralph Reid, political strategist, unexpected, surprise you?

REID: No question, this was a big surprise. Wasn't predicted by any of the late polls. And you know, Anderson, we talk a lot in campaigns about defining moments, you think about Reagan in New Hampshire in 1980, you know, that famous line, I paid for this microphone, Mr. Green. And you think about Clinton, I'm the comeback kid. It looks like that moment -- again, there's no way to know. But it looks like that moment when we saw, you know, Hillary Clinton say this isn't political for me, this is personal. She teared up.

I think if she wins tonight, that's going be viewed as a defining moment?

COOPER: You think that was a significant moment, that that has an impact in how people voted?

REID: I'm not saying that. I'm saying that if she pulls it out tonight, I think a lot of people will look back at that, where she wasn't choreographed, where she spoke from her heart, and it will be the kind of moment that Reagan had in 1980. The other thing that occurs to me -- again, we'll see what happens coming out tonight.

COOPER: I should point out, we're also already hearing reports from people at Hillary Clinton headquarters that the crowd there is chanting comeback kid already.

REID: The thing about Obama is that it looked to me like when the polls indicated that he would win by nine, ten, maybe as much as 13 points, it looked like he went into four corners, almost protecting the lead, staying away from the media, not answering as many questions, staying away from voters, less interaction with voters. When you've got a lead like he had, you have to keep the pedal to the metal. You can't go into four corners and wait for the clock to run out. I think in hindsight that was clearly a mistake, no matter what happens tonight.

COOPER: Barack Obama the last couple of days has said a lot at his rallies, there's something happening out there. There's something in the wind. What is in the wind tonight from your perspective?

BENNETT: I don't know, but I think if Obama still wins, it's a huge story that he's won both Iowa and New Hampshire. We then begin to think about match ups. And, again, the moment for the Republicans tonight is John McCain's moment. And John McCain matches up very well.

Remember, John McCain is 71 years old. He's got broken bones. He can't comb his hair. And he said he would out-campaign everybody in New Hampshire and he did. So let's give him that moment. It's extraordinary.

COOPER: And an amazing night watching him speak. You know, not the best speaker out there. He doesn't like teleprompters, he reads from paper. It's written on a page. He stumbles from time to time. But he is real. That really comes across.

BENNETT: That's the thing. It 's the real deal. And that's what people vote for. They know his story. And the guy who was not just left for dead politically, this guy was literally left for dead. I interviewed him, his captors in north Vietnam thought he was dead. His colleagues thought he was dead. So this guy just keeps coming back.

It's a great -- a great American story, John McCain. And I'm glad that he gave his staff permission to tell that story.

COOPER: As he ended the speech tonight, he said it all begins again tomorrow. It certainly does for him.

BENNETT: The energy in a 71-year-old. There's hope for all of us.

COOPER: Donna Brazil, your take right now on what's happening between Barack Obama and Senator Clinton?

BRAZILE: I think New Hampshire is poised to bail out another Clinton. This state has an affinity for women leaders. As you know, the former governor is a female. Many legislators are female. I think she'll be the comeback gal. The defining moment is not yesterday when she showed that moment of humanity, but perhaps on Saturday at the debate, when she said look, I don't know why I'm not likable. That hurts my feeling. This is a state that's prime to elect a Clinton.

COOPER: Jack Cafferty, do you think we're going to be seeing more of personal politics, of people revealing themselves as this campaign continues?

CAFFERTY: I absolutely agree that that moment yesterday in the diner is very, very significant. The first time I met her was in 1992, the first time her husband was running for president. I was covering the New Hampshire primary, and I met Hillary Clinton. All of the public appearances I've seen of her over all those 15, 16 years, I never saw Hillary Clinton like I saw her for that brief minute in that diner, vulnerable, sympathetic, real.

Everybody says that's what Barack Obama has been riding to huge victories in the Iowa caucuses. I think that little glimpse behind the Hillary curtain will do wonders for her image to voters.

COOPER: It is certainly one of the two major stories we're following tonight. Certainly on the Democratic side, it is the story we're following tonight. When we come back, Abbie Tatton is going to have some of the iReports that we've been getting. We've been getting a ton of iReports from people all over the state of New Hampshire. We'll have that when we return.


COOPER: Welcome back to CNN Election Headquarters. We're watching an extraordinary battle play out between Senator Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Large amounts of turnout on the Democratic side, some 500,000 people vote in the state of New Hampshire, 280,000 of them were Democrats. That is a record in that state; 220,000 of them were Republican, certainly, a very high turnout on the Republican side, but not a record there.

Let's go to the big board. Let's show the breakdown of votes right now; Senator Clinton 57,458, Barack Obama 53,935, very close race, 56 percent of precincts reporting at this point. Obviously Edwards has already been projected the third place finisher with 24,500 at this point. A nail biter of a race no matter whether you are a supporter of Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. Certainly, surprising to anyone who has been following news coverage, who has been following the polls, who has been talking to the candidates and listening to the people in all the campaigns.

A remarkable evening that may go very late. We're following it every step of the way tonight. Abbie Tatton, Internet reporter, is watching and getting a lot of iReports from viewers around the state of New Hampshire. Let's go to her and see the view from some of our iReporters. Abbie?

ABBIE TATTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we've been asking for these from New Hampshire voters all day. What we've been hearing -- We're looking at the Democrats here. From the Democrats who voted today who were at these polling stations, the word we keep hearing is turnout. From small areas, large areas, seeing lines. This is what we're seeing. This is from Donna Rhodes here, who is in Lanconia, in New Hampshire. She said, in that place, it was all about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

We move here, we're going to Alexandria. This is a polling station where even though it was a small rural area, they had 20 people lining up there at the beginning of the day. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the results are trickling in right now. This picture here is for tomorrow, who says that her son's school was closed today because the turnout was so high, they had to close it down.

All of these sent in to CNN's iReport at Anderson?

COOPER: Some of the views from around the state. A remarkable night, Gloria Borger, as we watch, what are you looking for, as these numbers come in? Again, 57 percent of the precincts reporting, Senator Clinton's 39 percent to Barack Obama's 37 percent.

BORGER: One of the most interesting stories of the evening, Anderson, might be the women's vote.