Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Lieberman (search) said Wednesday that a strong finish next week in Oklahoma and six other states with nominating contests will show his candidacy has strong national support.

Although he finished fifth in Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, Lieberman said he was encouraged by the performance. He had skipped the Iowa caucuses a week earlier so he could focus on the Granite State.

"It is with that momentum that we go forward," Lieberman said before a health policy speech at a forum sponsored by the National Health Policy Council (search) at the University of Central Oklahoma.

"We're not going to retool. We're just going to intensify the effort."

The Connecticut senator said he believes mainstream Oklahoma voters will also be more receptive to his bid for the White House.

"I'm optimistic about how I'm going to do," Lieberman said. "My kind of moderate Democrat is the kind that has a chance to win in Oklahoma."

Oklahoma is one of seven states holding primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, and the state is one of Lieberman's targets. The other states are Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Carolina.

"I take Oklahoma seriously. Oklahoma is one of our top priority states." said Lieberman, who is also concentrating on South Carolina, Delaware and Arizona. "I will be competitive in all of them."

On Thursday, The Arizona Republic announced that it was endorsing Lieberman.

The newspaper said the Connecticut senator "is a straight shooter who knows his own mind" and "embraces the economic and social ideas and ideals that are central to the Democratic Party's middle-class base."