FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT; (1) Breaking the Mould: Barack Obama with Daughter Natasha after His Decisive Victory in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. the Vote Is the First Test of Public Opinion in the US Election (2) Surprise: Mike Huckabee, Who Captured the Republican Vote, with His Wife Janet (3) Low Point: Hillary Clinton after Her Defeat in the Iowa Caucuses

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 4, 2008 | Go to article overview

FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT; (1) Breaking the Mould: Barack Obama with Daughter Natasha after His Decisive Victory in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. the Vote Is the First Test of Public Opinion in the US Election (2) Surprise: Mike Huckabee, Who Captured the Republican Vote, with His Wife Janet (3) Low Point: Hillary Clinton after Her Defeat in the Iowa Caucuses


Byline: DAVID COHEN

BARACK OBAMA stormed to a sensational victory in the first poll in therun-up to the US presidential election.

He opened the way for a black man to enter the White House by taking 38 percent of the vote in the Iowa Democratic caucuses.

The partys former frontrunner Hillary Clinton was left badly wounded, trailingin third place behind John Edwards.

The scale of todays victoryin the first test of public opinion before Novembers full electionmakes Mr Obama favourite for the Democrat nomination. The Republican race waswon by outsider Mike Huckabee, a guitar-playing Baptist minister, who leftMormon millionaire Mitt Romney in second place. But it was Mr Obamas win, by amargin even his supporters had dared not hope for, that spread shockwaves.

In a rousing victory speech, flanked by wife Michelle and daughters Malia,eight, Surprise: Mike Huckabee, who captured the Republican vote, with his wifeJanet and Natasha, six, the 46-year-old said: We are one people. And our timefor change has come. They said this day would never come. They said thiscountrywastoodividedtoevercome together, but at this defining moment in history, you have done what thecynics said we couldnt do.

This was the moment when we tore down barriers that have divided us for toolong, when wefinallygave Americans who have never participated in politics a reason to do so.

The Illinois senatorson of a black father from Kenya and white mother from Kansaslooks set to be favourite for the Democrat primary election in New Hampshirenext week.

Democrats turned out in unprecedented numbers in Iowa220,000 compared to 120,000 in 2004 after an electrifying campaign.

The results showed a clash of generations, with voters under 30 supporting MrObama over 60-year-old Mrs Clinton by five to one, and voters over 65 backingClinton two to one. He also won over more women than Mrs Clinton and moreindependents, showing he is best equipped to expand the party base.

With 29.5 per cent of the vote, Mrs Clinton was just beaten by former senatorMr Edwards,whowon29.7percent.The lawyersleft-wingcampaignresonated with working-class Democrats worried about job prospects.

A dejected Mrs Clinton appeared alongside husband Bill to rally supporters,saying:I am so ready for the rest of this campaign and I am so ready to lead.

ShehadneverexpectedtolosetoMr Obama,havingspentmillionsonTV advertsandweekscampaigninginthe state with her familyparticularly Mr Clinton, who is said to be her key strategist.

With a few votes left to be counted in the Republicancontest,MrHuckabeetook 34. …

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FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT; (1) Breaking the Mould: Barack Obama with Daughter Natasha after His Decisive Victory in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses. the Vote Is the First Test of Public Opinion in the US Election (2) Surprise: Mike Huckabee, Who Captured the Republican Vote, with His Wife Janet (3) Low Point: Hillary Clinton after Her Defeat in the Iowa Caucuses
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