January 8th, 2008
11:33 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton claims victory in New Hampshire Democratic primary

Big support from women helped fuel the Clinton win.

Big support from women helped fuel the Clinton win.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed a come-from-behind victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary late Tuesday, edging out her Senate colleague, Barack Obama, after placing third in the Iowa caucuses.

Flanked by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea, the New York senator told supporters she "found her own voice" in the five days since Iowa, and promised them "we are in it for the long run."

"I felt like we all spoke from our hearts, and I'm so gratified that you responded," she said. "Now let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."

Obama, the first-term Illinois senator, had beaten her in Iowa and saw his lead grow to near-double digits in polls taken just before the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary. But with 81 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Clinton led the Democratic field with 39 percent of the vote.

Obama had 37 percent and conceded defeat shortly before Clinton spoke. Former Sen. John Edwards, who placed second in Iowa, had 17 percent, while New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich trailed in single digits.

Clinton had worked to blunt Obama's message of change by pointing to her own record as an advocate for children and health-care reform, which she called "the work of my life."

"For all the ups and downs of this campaign, you helped remind everyone that politics isn't a game," she said. "This campaign is about people, about making a difference in your lives, about making sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Jennifer

    Go Hillary!

    I'm really happy for this surprise victory, though I must say I'm a Hillary supporter who likes Obama as well (I would love them on the same ticket, in either order). She campaigned a little harder in NH and it's nice to see that hard work pay off. If she needed notes, it could be because she was so exhausted! I've seen her speak in person more than once and she didn't need them then.

    I've gotten tired of all the nit-picky, misleading coverage of her lately on this website. Your headlines to attract readers frequently take comments out of context. That's irresponsible journalism! And it's time to focus a little more attention on Obama's history. I know a lot about Hillary, not so much about Obama, other than what his campaign wants us to know. If he passes such scrutiny, so much the better.

    Also: Does an appreciation of one candidate require a total disdain for the others? I suppose those most likely to take the time to comment would be the most passionate supporters, but still.

    January 9, 2008 04:16 am at 4:16 am |
  2. Nan

    A Clinton has once again duped the citizens of New Hampshire, this time with a feigned show of emotion before a group of women voters. Keep in mind that Senator Clinton and her husband were intensively trained in technology designed specifically to permit its users to manipulate people through tailored communication styles by the pioneer of that technology (called PCM), Dr. Taibi Kahler. See http://www.taibikahlerassociates.com/endorsements.phtml. The timing and setting of Hillary's "tears" were far too politically expedient to be genuine. Let our country not be suckered into another scandalous Clinton presidency!

    January 9, 2008 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  3. bebeto

    Obamarism is the in-thing.Unstopable even if he does not end there-the next round will definitely be his.
    Have not heard himdirectly criticising Clinton as she and her husband do-they have no other things to tell the American people.

    Hillary is not intelligent-her speaches are written for her-apparently, it looks like more whites are for Obama than blacks for Clinton.

    Besides, aggregate-wise, Hillary is trailing (despite all the media coverage at Obama's expense) and the loss of one battle is not the end of the war.

    January 9, 2008 05:15 am at 5:15 am |
  4. brandy

    What strikes me odd is that people actually believe that Obama can walk into Washington and just change everything. It's a fantasy people! We should all know better that the government isn't actually set up so that one person can control the decisions or just make all these changes that Obama seems to preach are so logically easy.

    Rather pick someone who knows how to play the game properly and make the change: gradual, stable, realistic. This person is Hilary.

    January 9, 2008 05:26 am at 5:26 am |


    January 9, 2008 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  6. J Mac

    The press and pollsters missed this so badly that they're doing contortions trying to put a positive spin on Hillary in NH. Put it in perspective for a moment. Hillary was supposed to be the clear front runner for the Democrats all along and by a wide margin. She loses in Iowa and then only beats Obama by 2% in NH, equally splitting the available delegates. The press, in their embarassment of making the wrong call, labels this a 'huge win.' Hardly. They need to get back to reporting a neutral election (well, as neutral as they can be...) and not over react to their own poor predictions.

    January 9, 2008 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  7. Joyce Allen

    Yeah Hillary morphed pretty well; from a stone into a weeping unstable mess. What a phony. Next time Hillary cries NH, give her a tissue, not an election.

    January 9, 2008 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  8. Anonymous

    It's a pity supposedly suprior nations like america can still be influenced by fake tears from a crying old woman. Next time she cries give her a beating in elections. We want change world over and time for two families exchanging the white house is over. Let's move forward. Obama is the man!

    January 9, 2008 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  9. Judy

    Clinton's victory was a result of women standing up and saying to CNN and the other media outlets, "Stop it!" How many times did CNN play her teary moment? Since when did CNN join forces with YouTube? I think voters, women in particular, were fed up of having a smart, educated women portrayed as some weak, damsel in distress who can't handle playing with the big boys.

    Interestingly, CNN also had on these psychologists yesterday saying why women, especially younger women, don't support Clinton. So much for the experts.

    January 9, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  10. sarpomaa

    what a dramatic turn of events.he does not critise any of his rivals in his speeches and he speaks from his heart and the words are form his mind without loooking on any paperbut for hillary,she says things that has been typed for her.america shouldwatch it for another scandalous clinton's presidency

    January 9, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  11. John Thomas

    Joyce, what a sore loser you are. It's people like you that think Hillary is incapable of any emotion at all. But look in the mirror...you won't like what you see. Hillary is on the way to the nomination and will be our next president.

    January 9, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  12. Gracey Knowle, Dallas

    When I was a kid, my mama used to scold me saying "you behave or Hillary Clinton will come and get you" An advocate for children? I think not!

    January 9, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. Willy

    If Senator Clinton becomes the party nominee it will be easy for the republicans to debate her on her zero accomplishment record she has in the Senate and for the state of New York. No riding Bubba’s coat tails don’t make her qualified. If the American people actually took time to fully read the Constitution of the United States, something all democrats in Congress fear, We’d see a huge shift of people not supporting the nanny state the democrats want to put us in plus them driving business out of the USA by taxing us to death. After all I have never got a pay check from a poor person.

    January 9, 2008 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  14. peter

    Brandy spoke with wisdom

    All the people clamoring for changes have a naive and immature view of real life facts. The presidency is indeed the highest job in the country, but it doesn't mean dictatorship, or supremacy. You have to deal with hundreds of entrenched powerful people, senators/congressmen/women, not counting the inertia of the gorvernment apparatus. Hoping for the kind of over-night change is just children fantasy from simple minds that do not know better.

    Even the best person, with the best intention of change, will get absorbed, modified once he/she get into the job, and will have to slow down, adapt to the system to make it work.

    For the people who think Hillary tears were fake, remember that a lot of critics thought it could actually backfire and reflect on chareacter weakness not worthy of the toughest job in the country. So it was just too big a risk to actually fake it. Claiming it fake just reveals your bitterness after her win in NH. If she lost, it would be equally easy for you to flipflop, and claim that here tears were real, and she deserves the loss because of characer weakness. Ahh, the tongue with its flexibility is a wonderful human instrument, isn't it ?

    January 9, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  15. Grasp of the Obvious

    Wake up, Wolf!

    Did you notice that all Dems combined got 55% of the total NH vote? Translate this to the general election, when is the last time the Democrats carried this very Republican / Indpendent state? This is the real story.

    Less obvious: I initially thought that Hillary's tears would cost her. (Mike Murphy chez Russert, Sunday: "Ed Muskie in a pant-suit."–How did he know that she would weep?) What was the effect of the Independents' choice of ballots? Did they sour on all the Democratic candidates as "soft" and herd into the McCain camp? If so, Obama would have been the victim. Doesn't follow though from the overall huge majority for the combined vote for Democratic candidates.

    January 9, 2008 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  16. Tommy, Orlando, FL

    Once again, this PROVES that the media cannot simply SHOVE Obama down our throats..... We the VOTERS have the FINAL SAY...... GO CLINTON ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    January 9, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  17. SAL

    Hillary will be an excellent president. She is experienced, wise and truly cares about all of the American people. No one has exhibited more grace in the face of unfair personal mean-spirited attacks, pundit pettiness and the hypocrisy of others who claim to be on a high road, but sink to the gutter whenever they think they may pick up a vote. Hillary Clinton lives on the high road. This woman is an example to all of us, men and women alike, of the strength, civility and compassion that made this country great and that we have missed so much in the last eight years.

    There was a commentator on CNN this morning who was truly a breath of fresh air. He stated that the pundits continually underestimate the intelligence of voters, that they need to stop acting like they know what will happen and to start reporting what is happening. I could not see his name because of the writing across the screen. I believe he may have been from a New Hampshire newspaper. If anyone else saw this, can you please identify this person? Any network that would hire him would see their rating rise!

    January 9, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  18. brandie


    you can't even spell Hillary...

    The geniuses that America is producing...will it ever end. Spawn of Bush.

    January 9, 2008 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  19. Pat Hopkins

    To Bebeto you think Obama writes is own speeches WRONG. He might deliver them better than most, but he does not write them. Theodore Soresen an old JFK speechwriter works for Obama. Make sure you know what you are talking about before you say it.

    January 9, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  20. Susan

    Hillary only won by the skin of her teeth....just wait until she hits the other states...The Obama wave has only just begun....Hillary will be toast....I agree with the post above give her a tissue next time...but VOTE FOR OBAMA....

    January 9, 2008 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  21. Nice, Houston, Texas

    I concur, watch her steal the "can do" line





    January 9, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. Stephen

    I am disheartened at the close loss of Barak Obama to Hillary Clinton. I believe that the following factors influenced the election:

    1) The weather. A large number of senior citizens voted and exit polls showed that they came out for Clinton.

    2) The youth. Pundits said that the young people in NH came out in normative numbers, not above average. This hurt Obama.

    3) Independents. I think that there was such a strong indication going into the primary election day that Obama was going to win, possibly with double-digit numbers, that Southern NH independent voters, went to the GOP primary to keep Mitt Romney from getting the GOP nomination and voted for McCain. McCain's voters hurt Obama at the last minute.

    I do take heart that any of the Democratic candidates would be better than any of the GOP in leading the country.

    January 9, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  23. christopher

    Has anyone noticed that she is now running as "Clinton" and not anymore as "Hillary," as if we're re-electing her huband. Anything she might have done that qualifies her as the "most experienced" candidate is being hidden from the public. I like to think that Senator Clinton has more experience than Obama or Edwards, but there's no public record of decisions, policy development or meetings with key leaders that would indicate that she's the most experienced. I'd just like to know what 35 years of experience really means.

    January 9, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  24. Diane Schwartz, Edgewater, MD

    Thank you New Hampshire for coming to your senses!!

    January 9, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  25. Nice, Houston, Texas

    "Phonies FADE FAST," HILLARY

    Her fake tears won her NH, but she will not be President because of it. She has become even more divisive with these disingenuous fabrications, aaccrued more bagage. Soon than later she'll tear up again.

    January 9, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
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