Mark Curtis On KGO Radio

Mark Curtis On KGO Radio

"Comebacks Rule in New Hampshire" -- Day #7

(Nashua, New Hampshire)

Let this be a lesson, that pollsters don't always get it right!

In a stunning comeback tonight Sen. Hillary Clinton, (D-NY) won the New Hampshire Primary, 39% to 37% over Sen. Barack Obama, (R-IL).

At least two prominent polls had Obama up 14 points, just yesterday. Oops!

"Over the past week I listened to you (New Hampshire voters), and in the procees, I found my own voice," said Clinton at her victory rally Tuesday night in Manchester. She may have been referring, in part, to a widely publicized incident Monday when she choked back tears. Critics saw it as a sign of weakness, while supporters saw her finally showing a human side that many felt she lacked.

She also skipped using the word "change" to describe her campaign, after essentially co-opting the phrase from Obama and former Sen. John Edwards, (D-NC). For Clinton, a long time Washington insider, the idea just didn't ring true. Her husband, the former President, was widely criticized for an attack on the Obama campaign today, calling it a "fairytale."

The next key primaries for Democrats are Nevada on January 19 and South Carolinas on January 26. Clinton said, "We're going to take what we learned in New Hampshire. We are in it for the long haul."

On the Republican side, the comeback was just as dramatic, but not so sudden. A month ago, some polls had McCain down by 20 points. He surged back to the lead, mostly on the populist streak of independence that endeared him to this state, and a GOP primary he won in 2000.

"I am passed the age where I can claim the name kid, but tonight we sure showed them what a comeback is, " McCain said. He beat former Gov. Mitt Romney, (R-MA), 37% to 32%.

The next big test for Republicans is next Tuesday January 15, in Michigan. While McCain won there eight years ago, Romney's father George was a popular three-term Governor there in the 1960's.

"We celebrate one victory tonight and we leave for Michigan tomorrow for another, " said McCain. Romney vowed to fight on. Obama promised the same in his concession speech saying, "We know its a long road ahead."

Next stop for me is the Nevada Primary on January 19th.

I'll be on "Mornings on 2" with Ross McGowan at 7:40 on Wednesday, 'live' from Manchester. Then tune in to Ronn Owens and me at 9:05 am on KGO-Radio-810AM.

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