THE voters of New Hampshire brought some reality back to the US presidential primaries when they gave Hillary Clinton a narrow but convincing victory over Barack Obama in Tuesday's Democratic contest. The opinion polls were hopelessly wrong, as were several UK newspapers which risked predicting an Obama win while the voting booths were still open. In this space on Sunday I warned that Iowa is far from being a typical state on which to make national predictions and that New Hampshire also tends to go its own way. In the event, these two states have performed a national service by keeping two excellent candidates in the running and allowing both to display both their strengths and weaknesses. There now follows almost a month of intensive campaigning with primaries in Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida between 15-29 January and what is known as Super Tuesday on February 5 when voters in California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey will make their decisions. Clinton has proved her fighting qualities and her task now is to show that the experience she has banked in the past decade can be put at the service of that elusive change which is this campaign's political flavour of the month. Barack Obama needs to put substance on his unquestionably attractive dream of a new way of governing a new America. My belief is that Hillary Clinton will prevail.
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