NEW YORK - Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, widely believed to be
weighing a bid for the White House, won re-election to a second term in the US
Senate on Tuesday.
Senator Hillary Clinton attends a
sendoff ceremony for the USS Intrepid in New York City November 6, 2006.
CNN and NBC television networks projected the former first lady defeated
Republican challenger John Spencer.
Clinton had been expected to win easily, having outpolled Spencer, the former
mayor of Yonkers, by more than 30 points in a state where registered Democrats
outnumber Republicans by a 5-3 ratio.
Her second Senate term in hand, Clinton now faces widespread speculation that
she will pursue higher political office.
Prior to Election Day, Clinton insisted she was concentrating on her
re-election campaign and had not made a decision on a White House bid.
New York Republicans tried to make an issue of her possible higher political
ambitions but most voters indicated it made no difference in whether they would
re-elect her to the Senate.
Political analysts noted Clinton has tried to broaden support in New York,
where voters tend to have more conservative leanings upstate and outside of New
York City, with moderate positions during her first term.
An anti-war candidate challenged Clinton for the Democratic Senate
nomination, taking issue with her vote in Congress to support the US-led war
in Iraq, but he gained little traction.
Clinton enjoyed fat campaign coffers, having raised $35 million while Spencer
raised less than $4 million.
She also enjoyed celebrity status during the race, particularly when former
President Bill Clinton joined his wife on the campaign trail.