Sen. John S. McCain scored a landslide double-digit victory over Republican front runner Texas Gov. George W. Bush in yesterday's first-in-the nation New Hampshire primaries, while Vice President Al Gore '69 edged Democratic challenger Bill Bradley in a state where he had been trailing just two weeks ago.
McCain's margin of victory--49 percent of the vote to Bush's 30 percent with 94 percent of the precincts reporting--was far more sweeping than any poll had predicted.
McCain beat Bush in almost every possible demographic--among young voters and old, among black voters and white, males and females and Republicans and independents.
"We sent a powerful message to Washington that change is coming," a charged McCain told supporters in Nashua last night. "This is the beginning of the end to the truth-twisting politics of Bill Clinton and Al Gore," he said.
Bradley conceded defeat to Gore around 9 p.m. With 94 percent of the precincts reporting, Gore had about 52 percent of the vote, and Bradley had 47 percent. Not two weeks ago, Bradley was beating Gore by a comfortable margin.
Gore said his dozens of town meetings in the state had spurred him to victory.
"During the day, some people thought it was going to be like the super bowl--we'd be a yard short. But this Tennessean is in the end zone, and it feels great," Gore said.
Though he had anticipated a bump from his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, publisher Steve Forbes received only 14 percent of the vote to finish third. Alan L. Keyes '72 finished fourth, with 6 percent of the vote. Gary Bauer, the former Reagan policy aide, barely topped one percent to place fifth.
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