Image: John McCain
Sean Masterson  /  EPA
The United States senator from Arizona and Republican presidential candidate John McCain addresses the media in San Diego, California.
msnbc.com news services
updated 2/5/2008 9:53:41 PM ET 2008-02-06T02:53:41

Hillary Rodham Clinton edged past Barack Obama to win the New Jersey Democratic primary Tuesday, fending off a tough challenge from the Illinois senator that intensified in the final days of the campaign.

With 40 percent of the vote tallied, Clinton topped Obama by 13 percent, 55 percent to 42 percent.

In the Republican contest, Arizona Sen. John McCain won an easy victory in the state by grabbing support from party moderates and seizing on his support from the one-time favorite, New Yorker Rudy Giuliani.

"Tonight the Republican voters of New Jersey have said John McCain is the best candidate to win in November and best able to be a great president on day one," said state Sen. Bill Baroni, McCain's New Jersey campaign chairman.

McCain picks up all 52 of the state's Republican delegates. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's second-place finish gave him no delegates.

Moderate Republicans strongly favored McCain in New Jersey, as did GOP voters worried about the economy, according to early results of an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks.

However, McCain faced opposition from conservatives and those unhappy about his position on illegal immigration.

Giuliani, popular in the state from his days as mayor of nearby New York City, threw his support to McCain after dropping out of the Republican race.

New Jerseyans who voted Tuesday had their first shot in decades to influence their party's nomination for president because the state moved its primary from June to February.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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