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New Hampshire's humbling lessons

Candidates as well as media must learn that voters often have different ideas on what they expect.

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The candidate of "experience," Hillary Clinton, found the campaign experience had more to teach her. The candidate of "change," Barack Obama, felt a gust of change as runner-up. They now head to new contests, made wiser by voters who defied Iowa's results and the polls.

On the GOP side, too, New Hampshire's campaign and results seemed to humble the leading candidates, leaving the remaining primaries refreshingly still up for grabs in both parties.

Mitt Romney, once the Republican frontrunner in the Granite State, found that money can't buy votes and that appearing to pander by shifting positions can only lose them – a lesson he has hopefully absorbed after his second-place finishes in Iowa and now New Hampshire.

John McCain, although the winner in this latest contest, admitted he had to relearn how to revive people's trust in his "truth telling," one voter at a time, from the depths of a fumbled campaign just months ago.

Mike Huckabee, who won a distant third place, hopefully learned he can't rely mainly on one Christian group, as he did for his victory in Iowa.

The media, too, discovered once again not to trust opinion pollsters, who admitted that, in forecasting an Obama victory, they missed Mrs. Clinton's late surge and the power of her organization.


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