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Obama, Huckabee Win Iowa Caucuses

Posted January. 05, 2008 07:23,   


Democratic Illinois senator Barack Obama and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, have been declared the winners of their presidential caucuses in Iowa on Jan. 3, the first major test in the race for the White House.

Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, made a surprisingly strong victory winning 37.6 percent of the votes and beating Democratic rival Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (29.5 percent) and former senator John Edwards (29.7 percent). Obama is vying to become the first black president in the United States.

For Clinton, who maintained a lead in the various local and national public opinion polls, ended up a close third after Edwards. Analysts say that the loss in Iowa undermines her front-runner status and changes the dynamics of the Democratic race.

Meanwhile in the Republican caucus, with 96 percent of the ballots in, Huckabee, claimed victory with 34 percent of the votes in a tight race with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney who received 25 percent. Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor once considered a national front-runner, has seen his support slip. He trailed sixth among the seven Republican candidates.

Experts say that the close caucus vote produced surprising results, due in part to many young voters who are looking for change.

This desire for change can be seen the number of voters in the caucus. An estimated 239,000 Democrats voted, a record turnout that was 100,000 more than the Republicans.

The next primary in New Hampshire will be held in five days and is likely to provide a better indicator of which direction the November 2008 presidential election is headed.

spear@donga.com sechepa@donga.com