Iowans pick Huckabee and Obama, endorsing change
Caucus results shake up the race for the White House in both parties.
DES MOINES, IOWA
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Amid record turnout, both men won over significant portions of Iowa caucusgoers by preaching change and presenting charismatic personas that struck voters as authentic. Mr. Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, made up for a lack of money and a small organization with the fervor of his supporters, many of them evangelical Christians like him. Mr. Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, also enjoyed the most spirited support in his party, drawing massive crowds at rallies and reaching out successfully to young people, independents, and even some Republicans.
"Tonight we proved that American politics still is in the hands of ordinary folks like you," Huckabee said, reflecting the populist bent of his campaign.
Obama's victory speech highlighted his goal of ending divisiveness: "We are one nation," he said. "We are one people and our time for change has come."
The two victors won handily: Huckabee took 34 percent of the Republican vote, versus 25 percent for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and 13 percent each for former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee and Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a favorite among libertarian-leaning Republicans and a fundraising phenom in the fourth quarter of 2007, came in with 10 percent.
Obama won 38 percent of the Democratic delegates at stake, against 30 percent for former Sen. John Edwards and 29 percent for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson came in a distant fourth, with 2 percent. Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Christopher Dodd barely registered any delegates in a Democratic caucus system that requires candidates to meet a 15 percent threshold of initial support to even qualify for delegates. Both senators dropped out of the race late Thursday night, fulfilling Iowa's usual role of winnowing the field.