COLUMBIA, S.C. -- John McCain is celebrating a hard-fought victory in South Carolina's Republican primary.
McCain defeated Mike Huckabee by just a few percentage points. Fred Thompson, who had been counting on a strong showing, is in a struggle for third place with Mitt Romney.
The Arizona senator tells The Associated Press that his campaign still has a long way to go, but McCain said he expects this win to give him a boost in Florida. After suffering a defeat in 2000 for the GOP nomination, McCain said it's nice to give a lot of his "old friends" something to be happy about.
Runner-up Mike Huckabee is pledging to continue on, saying the path to the White House has not ended in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani said he is waiting for his rivals in Florida. The former New York mayor has yet to win a nominating contest and is pinning his nomination hopes on the Sunshine state.