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CNN.com readers analyze New Hampshire

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(CNN) -- From Hillary Clinton's near tears to John McCain's appeal to independents to Barack Obama's "message of change," CNN.com readers weighed in on the results of the New Hampshire primary.

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Ex-Sen. John Edwards addresses a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire, in a photo from Igor Tavuzhnyanskiy.

Clashing about whether "Hillary finally gets it," or "Clinton won simply because the majority of the independent vote went to McCain," readers responded to CNN.com's request for analysis, offering nearly as many viewpoints as there are issues at stake in the 2008 campaign.

Below are a collection of CNN.com readers' reactions to Tuesday's vote, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:

K. Keane of Burke, Virginia
Clinton won on turnout and her get-out-the-vote effort. This is the first time the "experience" factor between Clinton and Obama really came into play. I don't think it was about issues or weeping or not weeping. It came down to getting people to the polls.

Obama clearly had the energy and the crowds and the media with him. But he's never had to master the art of translating that energy and those crowds into votes at the polls. Yard signs and posters don't vote. And that's what caught him here.

The Clintons, on the other hand, are masters ... and clearly did an outstanding job of getting their people to the polls. That was the difference and that's how they beat Obama. It wasn't the issues, it wasn't the personalities -- it was the raw nuts-and-bolts campaign tactic of getting more of your people to the polls than the other guy. Photo See I-Report photos as voters go to the polls »

Experience -- it's not just on policy and leadership matters where it counts. It's on the blocking and tackling of political campaigns -- the behind-the-scenes operations that get those ballots punched for your person. The Clintons showed they have the edge on Obama on this important front.

Dan Jaworski of Carrollton, Texas
John McCain won for a couple of key reasons; first, he is a New Hampshire favorite. His win in 2000 was something for him to build on so he had a natural base of support. Second, it's clear by looking at the numbers that the independent vote went to McCain rather than Obama. Those independents have always liked McCain so it makes sense that they would have stayed with him.

Clinton won simply because the majority of the independent vote went to John McCain rather than Obama. He needed those votes to counter the women's vote, and it didn't come through for him.

Alan LeMaster of Gakona, Arkansas

In my view, Clinton won because of three factors:
1. Two candidates (Obama and [John] Edwards) split the anti-Clinton vote.
2. Too many people just assumed that Obama would win because of all the hype from the TV and radio pundits.
3. Obama relies too heavily on the young people actually getting out to vote. They show up for the parties but are absent when it comes time to work (vote).

Harvey Harvala of Esko, Minnesota
McCain won because he is trustworthy, loyal and demonstrates conviction that most politicians do not understand.

Clinton won because she is now beginning to understand and represent more of the independents.

Sheila MacArthur of Worcester, Massachusetts
Hillary won because she finally gets it. She finally understands what the Obama excitement is about. And since she has all the same ideals and beliefs, she finally began to communicate on the "Obama Supporter Wavelength." Obama is very primal. He reaches into our heart and gut. He tells us that, yes, we can take responsibility for ourselves, and for our neighbors in whom we have a stake, and yes we can have sustained civic engagement, sending people to political office who will be more our partners than simply our representatives. And then as empowered citizens, yes we can put down our cynicism about government and the nation, and embrace hope. Hope that yes we can make things better for everyone. It is in our hands to take back our government and our nation.

Hillary finally heard us, and she was delighted to tell us that she not only believes in this hope, but she can list her track record in citizen empowerment, both as a senator and when the Clintons were in the White House. I know because I asked her about this in Nashua [New Hampshire] on Sunday. She knocked my socks off. I can have the politics of hope and all of her experience in one candidate.

Brian Dougher of Vashon, Washington
Just the fact that McCain's willing to break from his own party is universally appealing to independents and moderates.

Michael Stevko of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
People and pundits alike have been making predictions as to who will win what and why. No one is speaking to the historical and regular "course correction" American politics takes. We had eight years of Reagan and four years of the elder Bush. We moved on to eight years under [Bill] Clinton, and now eight years under G.W. George W. Bush has given America the religious right, and now the country is moving toward the center. Defense is still an issue for most Americans, but so is moderation.

I can say without hesitation that John McCain will win the nomination and the presidency. His rock-solid service, his stubbornness to do what is right no matter what, and experience both at home and abroad make him ideal for this adjustment. America is going from the right to the center. It also makes him a hard target to hit for Democrats.

Mary McKelvie of Vancouver, British Columbia
Hillary won because she showed us she is more than just a tough politician, she has a soft side. Like all of us, she is a multifaceted human being, and because she can be tender doesn't mean she can't take on tough issues. Also, Obama and Edwards ganged upon her at the debate, and she handled it well.

I liked what she said in the debate about being the first woman president and think she should talk about that more often. Play up the fact that we have had men running things for a long time; it's time for a woman.

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Grey Fox of Baltimore, Maryland
In a season of political surprises, was it really a surprise that Hillary Clinton walked away with a win in New Hampshire? Or is the real surprise for Hillary in just how close she came to losing? While the Republicans are in a fight that could be anyone's game, the Democrats have only a few true contenders for the nomination. Clinton, Obama and Edwards are vying for their party's support, each with their own message and own set of supporters. If the recent results are to indicate anything, it's that the real battle in the Democratic Party is between Hillary and Obama.

Hillary drew far more Democratic supporters in New Hampshire than Iowa, but Obama walked away with almost every independent it seems. With Obama's message of change and Clinton's politics as usual aura, many older voters gravitated to Hillary and her campaign. Obama signaling the end of baby boomer politics has certainly drawn a younger crowd that typically has not voted in strong numbers. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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