Giuliani's Departure Shifts N.Y., N.J., Conn. Vote

With former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani out of the race, Republican voters in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut turn to Sen. John McCain.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Now let's take a look at what voters in parts of the country were saying last night. We'll make our way west in moment for some analysis. But starting in the northeast, John McCain benefited mightily from the absence of one candidate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. When he pulled out of the race last week, Giuliani endorsed McCain, and that brought voters to him in droves, from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Nancy Solomon reports.

NANCY SOLOMON: State Senator Bill Baroni, who led the campaign for McCain in New Jersey, relaxed at a victory party last night with his sights now set on the general election. Baroni says McCain was supported by veterans, moderates and independent voters.

State Senator BILL BARONI (Republican, New Jersey): I think John McCain is exactly the kind of Republican that can win in New Jersey, which is someone that reaches out to blue collar Reagan Democratic voters.

SOLOMON: Exit polls found that McCain did well with voters who say security, Iraq and the economy are the issues that matter most to them. Mark Chapin of Millburn says he had planned on voting for Giuliani and switched to McCain.

Mr. MARK CHAPIN: I wanted somebody who was conservative and not religious conservative, small government, open markets and low taxes.

SOLOMON: Among New Jersey Democrats, Hillary Clinton got a boost from white women, like Gina Delletto(ph) of Maplewood.

Ms. GINA DELLETTO: It was very tough, because I also really liked Barack Obama. But I thought that I might actually feel a little guilty if I didn't vote for Hillary.

SOLOMON: Clinton won in New Jersey and New York, but Obama won in Connecticut, beating Clinton in her own back yard.

For NPR News, I'm Nancy Solomon in South Orange, New Jersey.

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