January 8th, 2008
11:33 PM ET
6 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. eOpinion

    I was very hopeful after Iowa that true change is coming. No more candidates supported predominantly by corporate supporters & by others who have enough money to influence politicians. I see where this is going and I don't like it. I also had hope that DEMOCRATS could finally pick a candidate that could finally win.

    I'm now worried that Democrats will continue their trend in nominating candidates who can't win. Republicans have only one hope in winning this election, despite all their faults and all the damage they're doing and will continue to do. They want her to win so they can win. They are experts at making an opposition candidate so distasteful to large segments of the population compared to a poor GOP alternative. Hillary would be so easy.


    Please, anyone (DEM) but her.

    January 9, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Willy

    Wonder if the Clinton clan ushered in the Daily vote manfacturing machine from Chicago for this paper win?

    January 9, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. pat milligan

    We already know that our polititions know how to spend money at an alarming rate so how about if we try something new and Elect the Candidate that spends the least amount of money on thier campaign.
    Should we Elect anyone that is already in any political office when we consider the fact that we are already into the second fiscal quarter of 08 and we dont yet have a budget passed

    January 9, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. tim s

    This shows that women are not very sharp. They fell for the fake "tears" in the diner. It was all scripted. The reporters out numbered suppoters by 5 to 1. Did you see what she wore last night during the speech? She has not only changed her "voice" but her clothes as well to appeal to the not so sharp females. I have never seen Hillary wear anything that femanine.

    I voted for Clinton both times. I will not vote for Hillary. She lost me when she moved to NY for one reason only, to get the vacated Senate seat. Her only ambition is to seek the next highest position. This time it happens to be the Presidency. It's a good thing there is no worldwide position because she would run for that next.

    And what's this thing about 35 years of experience? Does she include those six years on the board of Wal-mart in her fight for the un-insured and the poor? Is she counting the years when Bill was the president as her own experience? My wife has been a lawyer for twenty years. Can I please handle your divorce? Come on now, my wife has been doing it for some time now, I am qualified.

    Bush 4 years, Clinton 8 years, Bush 8 years, Clinton ? years... This is not a Democracy but a Dynasty. This is no different than Bhutto leaving her 19 year old son the throne of Pakistan in her will.

    January 9, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Women for Obama not Clinton

    I am so tired of Mrs. Clinton....Am I the only one? Please Take us to the promise land Obama!

    January 9, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Thompson

    Lets see how far her "own voice" of tears will carry her. Statisticshave shown that the women age 40 and above gave her a boost. This was only decided after the coffee shop incident. Also, based on statisticsHC won the vote for "experience" and BO won the vote for "change". That don't add up... You can't have "experience" and the people not trust you to make "change". So, clearly the "emotional moment" pushed her to victory. I think HC is a great person, but not good for the presidency. I want real change...

    January 9, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. tmsea2001

    Still from Central African, I have come to mean that American people are ready for a Black President in the White House. So the big question is: Is Obama the President Americans are ready for? Is he profiled like well-known black celebrities: Colling Powel, Condy, etc? Is he that man? Obama is without a shadow of the doubt a very talented orator. Will this talent last long as the battle goes? I am afraid that, at any moment during the ongoing selecting process, one will question the real experience of Obama in the White House. As a 46 years old candidate, many are making comparison with JFK or 1992-Bill Clinton. But at 1992, Bill was already a 14-year experienced Arkansas Governor. Some one will point out the lack of experience of 2000-Bush Junior. The fact is that many American knew very well that the son would rely on the father’s team. And now, it’s true to all American that Hilary will rely on Bill’s team. What about Obama? Who is the team he will rely on? Trusting a good orator sometimes looks like receiving gospel from the church. People at time will wake up questioning Obama on his really managing skill. Will four year experience as Senator convince enough? I doubt but Wait and see.

    January 9, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Manuel

    Americans need to read between the lines, being "inspirational" and saying that you can "make change" is not enough to get this country in the direction it needs to go. Look at our trillion dollar deficit, look at our education, the economy, gas prices, etc...this is a huge challenge! Obama can't do it nor can Edwards!

    OBAMA and EDWARDS are not the right candidates, look at their records. This country cannot afford to provide on the job training to Obama or Edwards.

    EXPERIENCE plays a role in making change. The American people were fooled once by the present administration, let's not be fooled again. Americans need to know that Hillary Clinton is the only one, besides Richardson, that can bring "CHANGE" and turn this country around and give it back to the American people.

    Let's face it Hillary has exactly what this country needs (experience and backbone)to get in there (white house) on day one and begin to bring change. Thank you.

    January 9, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Chris, Middletown, CT

    With the Clinton victory in NH...comes the new title for January 8th....is now officially "Dolt Day" in NH – the day for all ostriches to stick their heads in the sand and vote for a polar candidate who subscribes to the "position du jour" – what is she today...the strong candidate who will bravely lead the country...or someone who will weep when she is asked about a haircut?? will today be the day she supports licensing illegal aliens in an effort to have them purchase auto insurance....or will it be the day that this was a bad idea....the great thing is....no matter where you stand....Hillary stood there too at one point in her campaign

    Baffling group....dolt is the operative word

    January 9, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. Bob, Seattle

    One overlooked key to her victory was her strength and deportment in handling Bill O'Reilly and one of her campain stops the day before the primary. Dems hate O'Reilly and this contributed to a surprising result.

    January 9, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Manuel

    Yes! the people in New Hempshire have the right idea and have an understanding of why Hillary Clinton will win the Presidential Nomination! Thank you New Hempshire for giving the People of this Nation something to think about. We should not allow words such as "inspiration" divert us from the real issues of this country! Thank you.

    January 9, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Heidi

    You should be ashamed to call yourselves reporters. The real story of these past few weeks is the arcanity of the Iowa caucus. It is laughable that John King would declare Hillary finished if she lost in NH. Shape up your so-called polling systems , minimize your extremely biased pundits (e.g.,Bill Bennet) and report the news. If I wanted you to predict the future president I would ask my local astrologer.

    "When I visited Iowa in early December and did some phone calling and canvassing, within two days it was obvious to me that our campaign had a big challenge. A very large number of Hillary’s supporters were telling me that they supported Hillary and would vote for her in November, but they were not going to go to the caucuses. Old people, people who work night shift or 2 jobs, working moms, single moms all have a really hard time going to the caucus. These are our supporters. I was alarmed and talked with campaign staff and indeed the campaign knew in October that this was a huge obstacle for us. This is why I spent most of the month of December in Iowa and asked others to do the same. I felt that it was critical to pull out all the stops. The last two weeks my hope was that we could finish second. We tried very hard to convince our supporters to go to the caucus. About 70% of our supporters had never been to a caucus before. We told them that if 1/3 of Hillary’s supporters did not go to the caucus she would not do well in Iowa. We trained them on the caucus. We organized rides and buddies for them. They got this message multiple ways throughout the month. There was not a single supporter that was overlooked. We had a huge contingent on the ground working on this and support from unions and EMILY’s List. We got 70,000 people there when normally about 150K total participate. But it was not enough.

    I was very surprised as I travelled around the state that I did not encounter any groundswell for Obama. For this reason I thought that Obama would come in third. Edwards was strong and I thought he would likely win. In the week prior to the caucus, many undecideds I spoke with broke for Hillary and Edwards. I did not find many breaking for Obama. I was in Creston, Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Iowa City, Dubuque, Fort Madison, and Mason City. I got the same story from every field organizer. They felt good. They felt our support was solid. They did not see movement toward Obama but there was movement towards Edwards and he was our competition. These field organizers were not in touch with one another so the fact that each told me this independently was significant. I was really surprised that Obama was so confident the two days before the caucus. There were many undecideds still. It was not at all clear what the outcome was going to be. I found it very disturbing that he was so confident.

    The caucus itself was shockingly unorganized. The email below from a friend of mine says it all. In Iowa you can simply show up and vote. No one even checks your i.d. I was at a middle school in which about 7 precincts met. There was mass confusion – many people had no idea what ward or precinct they were in. There were no computer facilities to check – I happened to have a rough map I let people look at. I’m sure many were in the wrong rooms. In the precinct where I was no one was at the door to the caucus room making sure that people registered. People could just walk in. At the registration table there were 2 people checking in 122 participants. Many participants were brand new and clearly not known to their neighbors. There were people in the room who were not residents and it was the honor system whether they voted or not. The person who was chair and ran the meeting was inexperienced and he did not have control of the crowd. The rules were not followed. When an experienced person tried to have the rules followed, people got very confrontational with him. So it was a mess. In the precinct I attended Hillary won, Obama was second and Edwards was third."

    January 9, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Manuel

    America, think about this, when you need a job done, realistically, do you really consider a person's character or do you consider the ability and experience of that individual? In the condition that this country is in does it really matter whether a person has "feel good words" or do we want someone that will not hesitate to roll up their sleeves and get the job done? Hillary is the one! She speaks from the heart, it's her passion to bring this country back to the people, freedom, liberty and justice for all!

    HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT! She can get the job done!

    January 9, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  14. Women for Obama not Clinton

    Victory? It was by a hair she took the lead last night. VICTORY WAS IOWA!
    Obama you have my vote and I am going to St. Peters College in Jersey City to hear you....I don't care that I have to take 3 busses to hear you talk!

    January 9, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Women for Obama not Clinton

    Jersey City
    St. Peter's College
    2:30 PM
    If you want real change come!
    OBAMA 2008

    January 9, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. hawkeye

    Just goes to show that Iowa has a better Education system, because last night's outcome was just plain ignorant.

    January 9, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Sue,NH

    well they all lie its POLITICS!!! Pick the least of the liars. New Hampshire was wise to pick Hillary!!

    January 9, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. Magnus Animus

    I am hard pressed to believe that voters can be swayed by a candidate "tearing-up" in public, but I think the act itself combined with the overwhelming media attention it garnered certainly helped. But that's not the point of my comments.

    If anyone actually believes that HILLARY CLINTON can win in a general election, then I will submit that they are out of touch with America. She is not a candidate of change. We will go right back to the 90's if she's elected. Remember that? Congress and the President at each other's throats, special investigations, continuing resolutions, impeachment hearings, and scandal after scandal. Sounds a lot like things these days, now that I think of it.

    The name Clinton invokes as much visceral, partisan venom as does the name Bush. I hope America doesn't fall for the teary-eyed, chameleon that is Hillary Clinton and the smug, arrogant, self-serving, "liberal elites" that comprise the Clinton political machine.

    January 9, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. frances

    What is she wearing?

    January 9, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  20. j.perez

    I watched the election results all night until finally the call came that Hillary had won the primary in N.H. I was elated because prior to the election I was fuming with all the rhetoric from the so called political pundits. I am so glad that their stats were blown out of the water. My family felt they were lying from the very beginning to help the Obama campaign. Voters like me will not be swayed because of your political opinions. I firmly believe that Hillary is the best person to become the next president of the USA. The media has tried everything to promote negativity towards Hillary Clinton and in the process painting a picture of Obama as the candidate of the people. There has been so much hatred spread by the media against the Clinton's it is disgusting. I remember how good we had it under the administration of President Bill Clinton, many Americans became millionaires and our budget was in the black, we had the best of times. He did a hell of a job with the economy, but now under Bush we have the worst economy in lthe history of the USA. For the very first time in my lifetime I have watched our dollar's value go down, this is of grave concern to me. Barack Obama is a JR.SENATOR who has not paid his dues yet and needs to gain more experience. Hillary's experience is unquestionable and she is talking about the real issues that are affecting us the middle class of America, economy, health issues, the war, making our American dollar strong once again. l can't wait until I am able to go out and cast my vote for our next president of the USA -HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON. We love the Clinton's!

    January 9, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Julian

    As some previous posters have commented, but sadly CNN has completely missed – popular votes are meaningless. (Remember that guy Al Gore?) NH was tie, 9 to 9. With a headline like "Clinton Claims Victory In New Hampshire Democratic Primary", it is a wonder these Clintons are singing the blues about unfair treatment from the media. There IS no victory here, but the press has GIVEN them one! Clinton might have surpassed her own expectations, but she will never win the hearts and minds of enough voters to win the general election. As it stands today, this country will not elect an establishment candidate.

    January 9, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Yram36

    Have we all forgoten what it cost women of this country to be taken serious? or what about having to right to vote? Now we have the opportunity to have a real and strong voice to lead our country, Hillary has had my vote even before she announced that she was going to be on the race. Go Hillary!

    January 9, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  23. Reality Check

    I think the math wizards in here need to go back and take a refresher course. We have had 4 years of daddy bush, 8 years of Slick Wille and 8 years of Dubya. 4 + 8 + 8 = 20. I've seen 26 years, 28 years and 32 years ( if Hillary wins). Remember that we are talking about increments of 4 years people. The numbers have to be divisable by 4. Now 26 is not divisable by four, but 28 is and that is only if Hillary wins two terms. It is certainly not 32 years. It's 20 years of Bush/Clintons and 24 or 28 if she wins. Duh. Is it any wonder why we can never agree when even the math is butchered?

    And let's get another thing straight. I don't care who they are, Democrat or Republican, The country is not going to change. You will still have the Washington political machine in power and it is not geared toward change, as the Democrats and Republican hopefuls have tried to convince you they will do. Anyone niave enought to believe the polotics in this country can change is dreaming. Healthcare is not going to change, immigration is not going to change and the only thing that 'may' change about in Iraq is the rate of our pullout because of a party change.

    January 9, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Gene

    I think Democrats have to ask the following question of themselves: do we want to nominate someone whose tagline is "I have been *fighting* with Republicans for 16 years". This is the only experience the Clinton camp is making a case for. This experience is not a recipe for any kind of change, but a recipe for four counter-productive years of division which will leave this country worse off then before. I hope that we as Americans, both Democrat and Republican, can come to our senses and elect a leader that is not out to settle a score.

    January 9, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Darrell

    Cry, then

    Trick or Treat

    N.H. Women Tricked

    Hillary got the Treat

    I did not see hillary sniffle during the many Clinton W.H. Scandle

    Ha Ha New Hampshire - You may have gaurenteed a republican victory. His politics (Divider) unlike husband. Obama and her husband connect with all people. The Dem for will be split with this type of Trickery on her own Dem.

    Dems are Falling for anything

    January 9, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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