Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., addresses supporters on election night in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday. McCain won the New Hampshire Republican primary, completing a remarkable comeback and climbing back into contention for the presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
By DAVID ESPO
The Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Arizona Sen. John McCain won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, completing a remarkable comeback and climbing back into contention for the Republican presidential nomination.
“We showed the people of this country what a real comeback looks like,” McCain told The Associated Press in an interview as he savored his triumph. “We're going to move on to Michigan and South Carolina and win the nomination.”
The Arizona senator rode a wave of support from independent voters to defeat former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a showing that reprised his victory in the traditional first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.
It was a bitter blow for Romney, who spent millions of dollars of his own money in hopes of winning the kickoff Iowa caucuses and the first primary — and finished second in both. Even so, aides said he would push on to Michigan and battle McCain there in next week's primary.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the leadoff Iowa GOP caucuses last week, was running third in New Hampshire.
With votes counted from 26 percent of the state's precincts, McCain was winning 37 percent of the vote, Romney had 28 and Huckabee 12. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had 9 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul 8.