295 Days To The Election: A Look At The Race For 2008

By The Associated Press

IN THE HEADLINES ... Republicans focusing on South Carolina as next stand, Democrats on Nevada ... Romney's Michigan GOP presidential win helped by party, Bush loyalists.

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Attention shifts to SC, Nevada

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Savoring a much-needed win in his native Michigan, Mitt Romney promised Wednesday to give John McCain a run for his money in the next contest for the Republican presidential nomination, a four-man, anything-goes scramble in South Carolina.

Mike Huckabee and McCain now are under increased pressure to show results in the South's first primary Saturday, as is Fred Thompson, making what could be his last stand in South Carolina.

"I'm not making predictions about what's going to happen in every other state, but I'm feeling pretty darn good at this point," Romney said Wednesday. Of South Carolina poll-leader McCain, Romney said: "We'll give him a run for his money."

The Michigan primary "gave me the kind of boost I needed," said Romney, a former Massachusetts governor. Anything short of victory would have left his campaign on the ropes, after his losses to Huckabee in Iowa and McCain in New Hampshire.

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Romney wins loyal GOP voters in Michigan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mitt Romney owes the Michigan triumph that revived his presidential bid to his ability to win groups his rivals wanted and to find happy, loyal Republicans. John McCain's defeat may be due to supporters who seemed to evaporate since his last time on the state's ballot.

Romney, who grew up in Michigan and whose father was a popular governor, got a big boost from the four in 10 who said his background in the state helped decide their vote, according to an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks. Fifty-eight percent voted for Romney, overcoming the big lead McCain had with those who said Romney's state ties didn't matter much.

The former Massachusetts governor's victory also came from a far broader coalition, including many voters who national polls say can be hard to find these days. He dominated the six in 10 Republican primary voters who support the war in Iraq, the 53 percent who are happy with President Bush administration overall and the one-third who said positive things about the economy.

The economy, leading many national polls as the top issue on people's minds, was also the main concern of Michigan voters. Those most worried about the economy turned heavily to Romney, giving him 42 percent of their support, compared with 29 percent for McCain.

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THE DEMOCRATS

The top Democratic candidates - Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards - campaign in Nevada. Obama heads later in the day to an economic roundtable in Van Nuys, Calif.

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THE REPUBLICANS

Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, John McCain and Fred Thompson campaign in South Carolina. Rudy Giuliani campaigns in Florida.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"No one has settled in on anyone. Everyone gets to be hero of the day." - former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson on CNN

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STAT OF THE DAY:
On terrorism, 29 percent of those polled trust Republicans more, compared with 22 percent who prefer Democrats, according to an AP-Yahoo News survey conducted last month.

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Compiled by Ann Sanner

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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