Clinton vows to continue U.S. presidential battle

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 7, 2008 9:17am EST

WASHINGTON Jan 7 (Reuters) - Her front-runner status gone, Democrat Hillary Clinton said on Monday she will continue to battle for her party's nomination for the November U.S. presidential election even if she loses the crucial New Hampshire primary.

A Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Monday showed Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, trailing Barack Obama by 10 points in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

Obama, a senator from Illinois bidding to make history as the first black U.S. president, has been capitalizing on his surprise win last week in the Iowa caucuses. Clinton, who for months was the front-runner among Democratic candidates, came in third in the Iowa vote behind Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

"Whatever happens tomorrow, we're going on," Clinton told the CBS "Early Show."

"And we're going to keep going until the end of the process on February 5th. But I've always felt that this is going to be a very tough, hard-fought election, and I'm ready for that."

Some 22 states will hold primaries on Feb. 5, and both Democrats and Republicans could decide their presidential nominees by then.

Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton, is also trying to make history by becoming the first woman U.S. president. (Reporting by Donna Smith, editing by Frances Kerry)

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