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The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"A new majority"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 20:25 GMT
McCain: Join our crusade

John McCain: Reaching out for Republicans

Senator John McCain has said he is building a "governing coalition" with Democrats and independents following his double victory in the Republican primaries in Arizona and Michigan.

He urged Republican voters to come over to him from Texas Governor George W Bush, who remains the overwhelming choice of the party establishment.

"What I'm proving to them is that I'm forming a governing coalition," he said as he headed to Washington, one of three states holding primaries next week.

bush George W. Bush: Establishment choice
"This is a crusade, get with it and you will enjoy the ride."

Tuesday's upset has ensured that the Arizona senator remains in the contest at least until "Super Tuesday" on 7 March - when California, New York and 10 other states stage what will effectively be a national primary.

Following his victories in Michigan and Arizona, Mr McCain believes momentum is back with him, after the setback of defeat in South Carolina at the weekend.

"In November, I will beat Al Gore like a drum," he told his supporters after Tuesday's results were announced.

'Borrowed vote'

Mr Bush played down his defeat in Michigan, saying he had "won overwhelmingly" among Republican voters.

Mr McCain used Tuesday's victory speech to touch on some traditional Republican issues.

"I love the Republican party. It is my home. I want to rebuild our military, strengthen families, protect the unborn and cut your taxes.

"Use the surplus the right way, fix Medicare, pay down the debt," Mr McCain said.

After the vote, there was much debate over Mr McCain's victory.

Michigan Results
With all the votes counted
John McCain 50%
George W Bush 43%
Alan Keyes 5%
Other 2%
"We've never seen a candidate like John McCain who went out to rent Democrats for a day," Michigan Governor and Bush supporter, John Engler, said.

"John McCain isn't party building, he's party borrowing and there's a big difference," he said.

Mr Bush himself asked Republicans not to allow Democrats to dictate their choice.

But supporters of Mr McCain argue that non-Republican support makes him a stronger candidate against the Democrat nominee in November.

Michigan awards 58 delegates on a proportional basis for the Republican party convention at the end of July. The winner in Arizona receives all of the state's 30 delegates.

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See also:
23 Feb 00 |  Americas
McCain back in the race
23 Feb 00 |  Americas
Analysis: McCain's comeback
23 Feb 00 |  Americas
Voters reject plan for internet curbs
04 Jan 00 |  Profiles
John McCain: Ready-made war hero
04 Jan 00 |  Profiles
George W Bush: Out of his father's shadow
20 Feb 00 |  Americas
Bush wins South Carolina
20 Feb 00 |  Americas
McCain fights on
20 Feb 00 |  Americas
Conservatives reject radical option
07 Jan 00 |  States
07 Jan 00 |  States

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