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Campaign Notebook

Setting a new high, nearly 526,000 cast their ballots in N.H. primary

Michael Bloomberg is viewed as a potential candidate. Michael Bloomberg is viewed as a potential candidate.
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January 10, 2008

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire voters, pumped up and excited to make history, turned out in record numbers to cast ballots in Tuesday's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

With all 301 of New Hampshire's voting precincts reporting, unofficial tallies by The Associated Press found that 525,870 ballots were cast Tuesday, surpassing elections officials' predictions of 500,000 and breaking the previous record of 396,385 set in 2000.

Preliminary numbers show 63 percent of registered voters participated in the primary. Elections officials expected as many as 50,000 new same-day voter registrations, but official numbers were not available yesterday.

"Turnout was not only high but astronomical," said Dean Lacy, a government professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover.

Voters accustomed to face-to-face wooing by presidential hopefuls were treated to vigorous campaigns and wide-open races for both parties' nominations. Voters faced historic choices not only in the issues before them - the Iraq war, changing US foreign policy, universal health coverage, and climate change - but also in the array of candidates before them.

"You've got these kind of historical candidates, the first woman candidate, the first black candidate, that have a serious chance of being a nominee for president. That certainly raises the interest factor and the excitement factor among the Democrats," said Michael Dimock, associate director of the Pew Research Center.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Poll says 34% in NYC would back Bloomberg

NEW YORK - Fifty-two percent of New York City voters say Mayor Michael Bloomberg would make a good president but only 34 percent would vote for him, a poll released yesterday said.

By several measures, the Quinnipiac University poll showed less than majority support for a Bloomberg presidential campaign by voters who twice sent him to City Hall and still give him a 73 percent approval rating.

Just 16 percent would like to see Bloomberg run for the White House, the poll said.

Political analysts see the billionaire mayor as a potential independent candidate for president who could self-finance his campaign, although Bloomberg has repeatedly said he is not a candidate.

Bloomberg was a Democrat for years, became a Republican to run for mayor in 2001, and in June dropped his ties with any party, fueling ideas he was considering a presidential run as an independent.

REUTERS

Obama book sales boom; Clinton seeing uptick

NEW YORK - Demand is high for the books of presidential contender Barack Obama.

The Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc., has ordered an additional 50,000 copies of the Illinois senator's million-selling book, "The Audacity of Hope," and an additional 10,000 of his million-selling memoir, "Dreams From My Father."

Both have been selling strongly in the past few weeks as campaigning intensified, with "The Audacity of Hope" in the top 20 on Amazon.com as of yesterday morning and "Dreams From My Father" in the top 60. Obama was narrowly defeated in Tuesday's New Hampshire Democratic primary by Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

Clinton, a former first lady, has also written a million-selling memoir, "Living History," for which sales have increased recently, although at a slower pace than for Obama's books.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of industry sales, "Living History" averaged about 1,000 sales a week in December and early January, compared with more than 7,000 a week for "The Audacity of Hope" and more than 2,000 for "Dreams From My Father."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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