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Election Connection

February 5, 2008

Clinton wins Massachusetts; Romney takes home state

BOSTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton turned back Barack Obama and his high-profile endorsements to win the presidential primary in Massachusetts, while former Gov. Mitt Romney had little trouble defending his home turf against Republican rival John McCain.

The New York senator relied on rank-and-file lawmakers, who cranked up their get-out-the-vote efforts on Super Tuesday to offset Obama's headline-grabbing endorsements from U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and Gov. Deval Patrick.

"Obama seems like a nice guy, but I'm just worried he doesn't have enough experience to be president," said Bob Poland, 49, a Boston travel agent who also cited Clinton's stance on health care and economic issues.

Romney, criticized for treating Massachusetts as a stepping stone while governor, won his home state by finding favor with voters who support him on immigration and the economy, according to preliminary exit poll results conducted for The Associated Press.

"It's touching to have folks remember us fondly," Romney said after voting Tuesday afternoon in Belmont.

Romney won 51 percent of the vote, compared to 41 percent for McCain and 4 for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 12 percent of the 2,167 precincts reporting.

On the Democratic side, Clinton had 58 percent of the vote to Obama's 39 percent, with 24 percent of precincts reporting.

Kennedy had summoned memories of his brother the slain president when he endorsed Obama a week ago, and Patrick -- who shared Obama's message of hope when he mustered grassroots support for to win the governor's race -- campaigned hard for his fellow Chicagoan.

But Clinton had the network on the ground to get out the votes, with the support of Senate President Therese Murray, who has suggested Clinton lost key endorsements in part because she's a woman, and House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, who is often at odds with Patrick.

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