There is no doubting the race for the White House is firmly back on track for John McCain. His New Hampshire primary victory breathes life into the Republican senator’s campaign and puts him in the midst of a scramble that has produced no clear favourite so far.
After ignoring the Iowa caucuses last week, his supporters say this win is just the beginning. “Great, great. He is right on. He is the next president,” said one fan. Another added: “We are all very happy. Michigan must now do the same thing.”
Hillary Clinton’s surprising victory in the state blew away the storm clouds hanging over her campaign. The New York senator and former first lady defied the polls to narrowly upset Barack Obama – a result which sets up a tough Democratic nominating battle that now heads to Nevada and South Carolina.
It is thought female voters made the crucial difference in New Hampshire for Obama. He had gone into the vote with leads of up to 13 points in opinion polls following his impressive win in Thursday’s Iowa caucuses, having trailed Clinton for much of the campaign.
But Obama’s grandmother is confident he can bounce back to become the first African-American US president. Speaking in Obama’s ancestral village of Kogelo in western Kenya, Sara Hussein said: “He is full of surprises and very bright.”
The state-by-state race now goes national before the February 5 Super Tuesday showdown, when 22 states hold contests.