As the last of the votes roll in, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton have been predicted as the winners in the New Hampshire primary results.

Clinton prevailed over Iowa caucus winner Barack Obama by a small margin, while McCain is the projected winner with a significant lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

With 96 percent of precincts reporting in, Clinton currently leads Obama 39 percent to 37 percent with Clinton projected as the overall winner.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards trails in third at 17 percent.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson places fourth with just 5 percent of the vote so far.

Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich follows in fifth with 2 percent, while Deleware Senator Joe Biden, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd all currently hold less than 1 percent of the vote.

In a proud victory speech proceeded by a kiss from husband, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary told her roaring supporters:

“I come tonight with a very, very full heart and I want especially to thank New Hampshire.

“Over the week I listened to you and in the process, I found my own voice. I felt like we all spoke from our hearts and I am so gratified that you responded.

“Now together, let’s give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me.”

As media outlets began predicting Clinton as the definite winner in the primary, Barack Obama took to the stage before his supporters to deliver a concession speech. “I want to congratulate Senator Clinton on a hard fought victory here in New Hampshire. She did an outstanding job.”

Looking forward to the next set of primaries, Obama said, “I am still fired up and ready to go… We know the battle ahead will be long.

“But always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

In a statement aired on CNN this evening, John Edwards declared his intention to continue the fight for the presidential nomination, saying: “Tonight, I congratulate Senator Clinton and Senator Obama; two races down, 48 states left to go.”

Among Republicans, Arizona Senator John McCain is leading former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 37 percent to 32 percent of the vote with 96 percent of precincts reporting in.

Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee follows in third at 11 percent.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani holds in fourth at 9 percent, trailed closely by Texas congressman Ron Paul at 8 percent.

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson is running in sixth at 1 percent and Califoria Representative Duncan Hunter lanquishes in the last spot.

Speaking about his New Hampshire victory, McCain told his supporters:

“However this campaign turns out, and I am confident tonight it will turn out much better than once expected. I am grateful beyond expression for the prospect that I might serve [America] a little longer.”

Voters turned out in record numbers for today’s primary, lending the contest even more weight going forward into Super Tuesday.

Some polling stations were forced to request more Democratic ballots from election officials due to the high turnout, according to CNN.com.

Exit polls shows Clinton took the lead among women in the New Hampshire primary, with 47 percent of female votes casting their ballot for Clinton in comparison to 42 percent for Obama.

Among men, Obama took 42 percent of the vote over 30 percent for Clinton.

Women make up a total of 57 percent of the voters who showed up at the polls for the New Hampshire primary.

Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire viewed Senator Barack Obama has having more of a chance of beating a Republican nominee in November for the Presidential win.

Among Republicans, nearly half of voters stated their primary concerns were the Iraq war and terrorism, according to the New York Times.

In the Republican race, McCain led 36 percent to 31 percent among men and 38 percent to 30 percent among women.

Male voters in the Republican primary dominated, with 56 percent of voters being men.

In the youngest bracket of voters, 18-24, it was Obama who came out on top with 60 percent of the age group casting their ballot for the Illinois Senator.

Clinton pulled only 22 percent among the 18-24 group but led most strongly in the 65 or over age group, taking 48 percent of those votes in comparison to 33 percent for Obama.

Among Republicans, McCain won among every age group except 65 and over, which went to Romney.

Ann Turner © 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved