300 Days to Election '08: Race Rundown

Hillary Clinton, John McCain win New Hampshire primaries
January 8, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton powered to victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday night in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for the White House. Sen. John McCain defeated his Republican rivals to move back into contention for the GOP nomination. IN THE HEADLINES

McCain stumps in Michigan; Clinton reviews political roadmap after surprise win ... Obama wins endorsement of SEIU Nevada ... McCain says he's proved he can get the support of Republicans to win an election ... Romney predicts Michigan win as he works to soothe financial backers ... Thompson draws 'line in sand' in South Carolina

GOP, Democratic races wide open WASHINGTON (AP) - Fresh from New Hampshire victories, John McCain rallied Wednesday for a Michigan showdown in the most confounding Republican presidential contest in half a century, while Hillary Rodham Clinton, buoyant once more, took time to "get grounded" for the grueling races ahead.

Back home in Chappaqua, N.Y., after a win that surprised her own campaign and shocked nearly everyone else, Clinton considered questions about how to make her next big stand and whether her organization needed changes. She was able to seek those answers in the first blush of success, instead of the failure that had been anticipated, in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

Being home, she said Wednesday, "gives me a chance to kind of get grounded and take a deep breath before I go out for the next couple of weeks leading up to the February 5th grand finale of all those states." She was referring to Super Tuesday, when more than 20 states vote.

Before then, rival Barack Obama will be bidding for resurgence in South Carolina and Nevada.

McCain scheduled events in Michigan, a state he won in 2000. The Arizona senator staggered Mitt Romney in New Hampshire on Tuesday to vault back to the top ranks of the Republican field. "Nothing quite as invigorating as a win," he said Wednesday.

SEIU Nevada endorses Obama

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has won an endorsement from the Nevada chapter of the Service Employees International Union, boosting his prospects against rival Hillary Rodham Clinton in Nevada's upcoming Democratic caucuses.

The influential union represents 17,500 health care and county workers in Nevada. Its executive board approved the decision in a conference call late Tuesday night, shortly after the Illinois senator finished a close second behind Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.

The announcement came as Obama was expecting to get another boost from labor in Nevada. The 60,000 member Culinary Workers Union, Local 226 was scheduled to announce its endorsement Wednesday.

SEIU President Vicky Hedderman said she believes Obama is a candidate "who could take the campaign all the way through November."

Nevada's Jan. 19 caucus is the next major Democratic nomination contest.

McCain heads to Mich. with confidence

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - John McCain said Wednesday he will continue to argue that he's the Republican most capable of reforming government and protecting the country - the identical pitch that won him New Hampshire.

After about four hours of sleep, the Arizona Republican headed to Michigan for a pair of airport rallies confident and energized.

"The Republican establishment has never embraced me in my entire life. But I think we just proved that we can get the support of enough Republicans to win an election," McCain told reporters on his plane en route to Grand Rapids, Mich.

Even though rival Mitt Romney edged him among conservatives in New Hampshire, McCain said he was heartened by the turnout among the right-flank and said he would continue to expand that base "by showing them that I could do the best for this country."

Speaking later, he said: "I'm always an underdog. I always want to be called an underdog. I think clearly we have our work cut out for us, but we also have a base here as well."

Romney promises Michigan win

BOSTON (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney assured his top financial backers Wednesday that he will win the upcoming Michigan primary, as he and his staff worked to soothe supporters unsettled by his second-place finishes in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

"It's just getting started," the presidential contender told hundreds of supporters gathered at a convention center for a follow-up to the "National Call Day" that raised an unprecedented $6.5 million a year ago

"In the just getting started stage, we've gotten more votes and more delegates than anybody else. We're not pulling back here; we're going full-steam ahead."

He promised to carry on to Michigan, which votes Jan. 15, as well as GOP contests in Nevada and South Carolina on Jan. 19.

The public spectacle, a rarity for the normally tightly controlled Romney political operation, included appeals for calm from a top financial backer, eBay CEO Meg Whitman, and a top political supporter, former Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri.

Thompson draws 'line in sand' in SC

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Wednesday he is drawing a "line in the sand" in South Carolina, hoping that familiar Southern territory can revive a campaign left sputtering following his last-place finish in New Hampshire the night before.

The former Tennessee senator and actor arrived in this early primary state the day before New Hampshire voters went to the polls, and has steadily ratcheted up the importance South Carolina will play in the future of his White House bid. The Republican primary here is Jan. 19.

"I'm proud to say I am drawing a line in the sand in South Carolina," Thompson said Wednesday morning in Sumter, home to an Air Force base, on the second full day of his 11-day swing through the state

A day earlier, Thompson joked with a couple of hundred people at a barbecue restaurant that they should watch his "Law & Order" reruns because he can use the residual checks. But he also held out hope that his focus here could mirror results in Iowa, where he tied for third.

THE DEMOCRATS

Barack Obama holds a rally in New Jersey while John Edwards attends a rally in South Carolina.

THE REPUBLICANS

John McCain talks to voters in Michigan before holding rallies in South Carolina. Mitt Romney stops at a fundraiser in Boston before meeting with voters in Michigan.

Mike Huckabee has several events in South Carolina and appears on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report."

Rudy Giuliani speaks to voters in Florida. Fred Thompson campaigns in South Carolina.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Anyone who thinks they know how voters are going to respond at this point are probably misleading themselves." - Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

STAT OF THE DAY:

On health care, 41 percent of those polled in an AP-Yahoo News survey last month trust Democrats more, compared with 17 percent who prefer Republicans.


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