NH Primary Is Over. Now Where Do They Go?

By Jerry Miller | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

Concord, NH (CNSNews.com) - Now that the New Hampshire primary has ended, what's next for the five Republicans and two Democrats seeking the Oval Office.

On the Democratic side, there are no mandatory delegate selection contests in February. The party does have a February 5th non-binding primary vote in Delaware. However, the next big date for Democratic presidential contenders Al Gore and Bill Bradley will be Super Tuesday on March 7th when a number of key states, including New York, will hold primaries.

Republican hopefuls are headed to Delaware for the next event set for February 8th. In 1996, Steve Forbes scored an impressive yet surprising win with 33 percent of the vote.

From Delaware, the GOP contenders head to South Carolina for the February 19th primary contest. In 1996, Bob Dole won with 45 percent of the vote.

According to a recent CNN Poll, Texas Governor George W Bush leads Arizona Senator John McCain by a margin of 52 to 32 percent. Alan Keyes is a distant third at five percent followed by Steve Forbes at three percent and Gary Bauer at one percent.

In the survey, likely GOP voters listed education, moral values, taxes and abortion as the issues most important to them. On the issue of whether the Confederate Flag should be flown from the state capitol, 32 percent said it should stay while a majority, 56 percent, said the flag should be removed.

On February 22nd, the GOP candidates head to Michigan. Dole won that state in '96 with with 51 percent of the vote. In a Detroit News Poll taken in mid-January, Bush led McCain by a margin of 51 to 17 percent. Bush also enjoys the support of Michigan Governor John Engler.

Also on the 22nd, voters in McCain's home state of Arizona go to the polls. While Forbes won there in 1996, he is a distant third this year. According to a poll conducted for KAET-TV, McCain leads Bush by a margin of 37 to 30 percent with Forbes a distant third at six percent. Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer bring up the rear with four and one percent, respectively. The survey found 20 percent of the voters remain undecided.

While Bush is supported by Arizona's governor, the poll also had some findings that should benefit McCain. Asked how the federal budget surplus should be used, 63 percent of those questioned said the money should go toward reducing the national debt while 20 percent called for tax cuts and 12 percent called for doing both.

In New Hampshire, McCain was successful in convincing voters his tax cut plan was better than the Bush alternative since it proposed smaller tax cuts and targeted them to low and moderate income people. McCain also proposed using a sizable portion of the surplus to pay down the national debt and help stabilize Social Security while insisting the Bush alternative did neither.