McCain declared winner in South Carolina

AP Photo/Charles DharapakRepublican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., addresses workers during a visit to Force Protection, Inc., which produces armored vehicles, in Charleston, S.C., today. Force Protection produces Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

AP Photo/Charles DharapakRepublican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., addresses workers during a visit to Force Protection, Inc., which produces armored vehicles, in Charleston, S.C., today. Force Protection produces Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles for use in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sen. John McCain won a hard-fought South Carolina primary tonight, avenging a bitter personal defeat in a bastion of conservatism and gaining ground in an unpredictable race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama split the spoils in Nevada caucuses marred by late charges of dirty politics.

"We've got a long way to go," McCain told The Associated Press in an interview. He quickly predicted that his victory in the first southern primary would help him next week when Florida votes, and again on Feb. 5 when more than two dozen states hold primaries and caucuses.

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