Election 2008

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  After South Carolina: Can Obama Capture A Wider Swath Of Voters?January 27, 2008 07:04 With his victory in the South Carolina primary Saturday, Sen. Barack Obama offered convincing proof of his ability to appeal to black voters. But to stay on course for the Democratic nomination when 22 states vote on Feb. 5, analysts say, Senator Obama will need to reach farther and wider.

African-Americans are a big part of the Democratic vote in Georgia, Alabama, and a few other Super Tuesday states. But experts say Obama's fortunes on Feb. 5 will hinge on the groups of voters responsible for his only other win, in Iowa: independents, college students, and well-educated and affluent whites.

Also critical, experts say, will be inland states like Kansas, Colorado, and Minnesota, where many voters are wary of candidates, like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who are seen as too partisan. Obama has already picked up a string of heartland endorsements, including those of Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

Senator Clinton, Obama's chief rival, has built her Super Tuesday strategy around four states that account for 44 percent of the delegates up for grabs that day: New York, which she represents in the Senate; New Jersey, next door; Arkansas, where she was first lady; and California, where the largest cache of delegates are in play and where polls show her with a strong lead.
  Clinton Defeats Obama In Primary; Mccain Takes Republican ContestJanuary 08, 2008 22:49 After a fierce battle for the first-in-the-nation primary, New Hampshire voters chose Washington stalwarts Sen. John McCain and Sen. Hillary Clinton and their message that only decades of experience can bring about change -- the buzzword of this year's presidential race.

The big battle here played out in the contest for the Democratic nomination between Mrs. Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, who had soared on the momentum of his decisive win in the Iowa caucuses last week. Earlier today polls showed Mrs. Clinton trailing Mr. Obama by as many as 13 percentage points.

McCain supporters react to election results at the campaign's headquarters in Nashua, N.H.
But tonight, Mrs. Clinton was handed a surprise victory with 39% of the vote compared with 36% for Mr. Obama and 17% for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
  Huckabee, Obama Projected Winners In Iowa CaucusesJanuary 03, 2008 20:13 Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama won upset victories in Iowa's Republican and Democratic caucuses on Thursday night, U.S. television networks projected, sealing important wins in the first bout in the 2008 presidential election.
Huckabee was leading his chief rival, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, while Obama was ahead of Sen. Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.
Thursday's party caucuses marked the first big test of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign and come just five days before the next: Jan. 8's New Hampshire primary.
Going into Iowa, polls showed a virtual three-way tie among Democrats Clinton, Edwards and Obama, while Huckabee and Romney vied for the lead on the Republican side.
Candidates turned up the heat on each other with renewed vigor in the final days before the caucuses.
Huckabee hammered home his brand of economic populism and contrasted himself with Romney, the son of a corporate CEO and governor. See related story
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani bypassed Iowa to concentrate on other states and still enjoys a lead over other Republican contenders nationally.
Clinton is leading other Democrats in nationwide polls by a wide margin.
In her last televised advertisement before Thursday's caucuses, Clinton stressed her experience as first lady and described the U.S. economy as "faltering." She said the country is facing an energy crisis is home to 47 million people without health care.
  Truth Gets Rubbery On The Us Presidential Trail: Fact-CheckersJanuary 03, 2008 10:41 With scam statistics, baseless criticisms, misquotes, and cockeyed memories, the truth gets a battering on the campaign trail in the hands of candidates for the White House.

But imprecision is a venerable US political tradition, according to FactCheck.org, an independent watchdog which aims to "hold politicians accountable" for what they say.

"Presidential candidates kept us busy" over the past year, said Brooks Jackson, director of FactCheck, an arm of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

The campaign trail produced "a bumper-crop of falsehoods and distortions," which the organization has threshed through for its new list of prize-winning whoppers.

Topping the list with not one but five bogus claims was former New York mayor and Republican contender Rudy Giuliani.

FactCheck demolishes each of them, especially Giuliani's assertion that New York City was suffering "record crime" until he became mayor.

"In fact," says FactCheck's sober analysis, "the city recorded its highest rates of both violent crime and property crime years before he took office. The downward trend was well established before he was sworn in" as mayor, in 1994.

Giuliani's Republican rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, maybe topped the field for hyperbole, when he told voters in a television advertisement: "In the next 10 years, we'll see more progress, more change than the world has seen in the last 10 centuries."
  Gop Base Scatters To Rival CampsJanuary 02, 2008 15:39 The long-standing coalition of social, economic and national security conservatives that elevated the Republican Party to political dominance has become so splintered by the presidential primary campaign that some party leaders fear a protracted nomination fight that could hobble the eventual nominee.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney aspires to build a conservative coalition in the mold of Ronald Reagan, but his past support of abortion rights gives many social conservatives pause. Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister, is a purist on social issues but has angered economic conservatives because he raised taxes while he was governor of Arkansas.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona have tough-guy images and hawkish records, but many Republicans are wary of them because of their immigration and other policies.

The breach within the party was evident here Tuesday, two days before Iowa holds the first nominating contests of the presidential race, as Huckabee and Romney each sought to show he could reach across the conservative spectrum and unite Republicans, as did Reagan and George W. Bush in prior elections.

Huckabee, responding to attacks on his credentials as a fiscal conservative, unveiled a new television ad saying that as Arkansas governor he had signed the state's first broad-based tax cut in 160 years.

Romney, who has tried to persuade voters that his business background makes him best suited to handle the economy, sought to shore up his image among social conservatives by talking about his support of family values. Campaigning with the youngest of his five grown sons, Craig, Romney visited homes in several communities and told the invited guests that Americans were patriotic, God-fearing people who wanted "leaders who will tell us the truth."