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Inside Politics

Democratic battle moves to New Hampshire

Kerry targets Bush after Iowa win; Gephardt drops out of race

John Kerry embraces his wife, Teresa, as they meet with supporters Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire.
John Kerry embraces his wife, Teresa, as they meet with supporters Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Invigorated by a come-from-behind win in the Iowa caucuses, U.S. Sen. John Kerry moved on early Tuesday to New Hampshire, where he took aim at President Bush.

The Massachusetts Democrat told Granite State voters they now have the opportunity "to give America back its future and its soul."

After leaving Iowa at 4:20 a.m. ET, Kerry, his wife, Teresa, and daughter Vanessa greeted a large crowd of supporters in New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary election is but a week away.

Kerry slammed the president for "this so-called recovery as defined by George Bush," "for making a mockery of the words 'leave no child behind' " and for "the most arrogant, inept, reckless and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our nation."

On Monday night, Kerry -- his campaign all but written off two months ago -- came away with a clear-cut win in the Iowa caucuses, positioning himself for a New Hampshire showdown with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and retired Gen. Wesley Clark. (Issues Iowa caucus-goers said counted to them, Analysts examine Iowa fallout)

Standing on a stage in Des Moines before cheering supporters, Kerry christened himself "comeback Kerry," echoing the "comeback kid" line that former President Clinton used to great effect in the 1992 primary season. (Full story)

Iowa Democrats upended the race for their party's presidential nomination by giving Kerry a strong victory and dealing a fatal blow to Rep. Dick Gephardt's run for the White House. (Surprising results for many, Audio Slide Show: Candidates react)

In an announcement Tuesday in St. Louis, Missouri, Gephardt told supporters that he was bowing out of the presidential race. (Gephardt drops out of race)

Dean, whose steadfast opposition to the war in Iraq has propelled him to the top of national polls, fell to third in Iowa, behind Kerry and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. (Edwards says he's thrilled by second-place finish)

With 98 percent of the nearly 2,000 precincts reporting, Kerry had won 38 percent of the state convention delegates, with 32 percent for Edwards, 18 percent for Dean and 11 percent for Gephardt, according to figures reported by the Iowa Democratic Party.

Dean says he's undaunted

In a fiery speech to his supporters in Des Moines, Dean vowed to fight on. (Dean rallies supporters after third-place finish)

"We will not give up. We will not give up in New Hampshire," he said, raising his voice to a raspy shout. "We will not quit now or ever. We want our country back for ordinary Americans."

Edwards, whose campaign was mired in single digits and given up for dead just weeks ago, told his cheering supporters that they had begun "a movement to change this country that will sweep across America."

"I came here a year ago with a belief that we could change this country, with the belief that the politics of what was possible, the politics of hope, could overcome the politics of cynicism," Edwards said. "The people of Iowa tonight confirmed that they believe in a positive, uplifting vision to change America."

It was the first major contest of the 2004 Democratic nominating season, setting the tone for the New Hampshire primary and seven contests February 3. (CNN.com's interactive Election Calendar Audio Slide Show: Iowa's big day, Interactive explainer: How the Iowa caucuses work)

Surveys of voters entering the caucuses showed that 75 percent were opposed to the Iraq war -- but Kerry beat Dean by 10 percentage points among war opponents. Fourteen percent of caucus-goers polled said the war was the most important issue, tied with education and behind health care and the economy.

Clark, who polls second to Dean nationally and in New Hampshire, said that he was not surprised by Monday's results. The general chose not to participate in the Iowa contest.

Another Democrat who skipped Iowa was Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who said voters in New Hampshire have told him they have grown uneasy about many of Dean's comments. Lieberman has been sharply critical of Dean in debates throughout the primary season

Two other candidates, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, competed in Iowa but received negligible support.


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