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Trump, Sanders Win NH Primary, Kasich Comes in Second

Image: Trump, Sanders Win NH Primary, Kasich Comes in Second

Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 11:37 PM

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, while real-estate mogul Donald Trump prevailed over a crowded Republican field with Ohio Governor John Kasich finishing second. 

With Tuesday’s results, voters in both parties sent a rebuke to establishment presidential candidates by embracing Trump and Sanders -- a billionaire and a Democratic socialist -- who both spoke to voter anger and anxiety about rising income inequality and a gridlocked Washington.

“Together we have sent the message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California, and that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super-PACs,” Sanders said in his victory speech in Concord on Tuesday night.

The biggest loser of the night was Clinton, the Democratic front-runner who won the state in 2008 only to suffer an embarrassing loss in a race that was called almost as soon as the polls closed at 8 p.m. Eastern. Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, issued a memo designed to tamp down any panic among supporters by asserting that she is still the favorite for the nomination.

Every State

Clinton congratulated Sanders on his victory in her concession speech in Hooksett and vowed to battle on, saying she knows how to get results that voters are demanding.

“Now we take this campaign to the entire country, and we’re going to fight for every vote in every state,’’ Clinton said. “We’re going to fight for real solutions and make a difference in people’s lives.”

Trump re-assumed his front-runner status in the Republican nominating contest after finishing second in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, despite leading state and national polls for months.

“We learned a lot about ground games in one week, let me tell you that,” Trump said as he addressed a victory rally, a reference to criticism he lacked the sufficient organization to prevail in Iowa.

Kasich Rises

Kasich emerged as the runner-up to Trump on Tuesday in a fight among Republicans trying to establish themselves as the alternative to the billionaire and Cruz. The Texas senator, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio were close in the race for third.

The Ohio governor had bet his campaign on a strong finish in New Hampshire and had said he would be done if he got “smoked.” Kasich was able to connect with voters despite an anti-establishment mood in the U.S. by touting his experience as a two-term governor and 18-year member of Congress, a record of sound fiscal management in Washington and Ohio, and a willingness to help the less fortunate.

“There’s magic in the air with this campaign,” Kasich said in Concord, adding that it’s an opportunity to change America and “leave no one behind.”

Sanders’s victory in the first-in-the-nation primary, after his razor-thin loss to Clinton in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, means the party could be headed for a long and competitive nominating fight.

Next Contests

In a statement released right as polls closed, Mook said splitting the first two contests was “an outcome we’ve long anticipated.” The campaign is focusing now on contests in Nevada and South Carolina and states that better reflect the diversity of the party, “and we feel very good about our prospects for success,” Mook said.

“The nomination will very likely be won in March, not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong –- potentially insurmountable –- delegate lead next month,” he said.

While her campaign tried to dismiss Sanders’s pre-vote lead in New Hampshire as the “home-field advantage” of a New England candidate, polling showed that Clinton had lost support since 2008 among women -- especially young women -- as well as blue- collar workers and those earning less than $50,000 a year. It showed why Sanders’s message of a rigged economy benefiting the wealthy is resonating.

With more than half of precincts reporting, Sanders was holding onto 59 percent of the vote with Clinton carrying 39 percent. Trump was capturing 34 percent of the Republican primary vote. Kasich had 16 percent to seize second place ahead of a tightly bunched group made up of Cruz with 12 percent, Bush and Rubio, each with 11 percent. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who staked his fortunes on New Hampshire, trailed with 8 percent.

Rubio said in Manchester that he was disappointed with the outcome and blamed his performance in Saturday night’s Republican debate, where he was pummeled by questions from Christie. “I did not do well on Saturday night, so listen to this: That will never happen again,” Rubio said.

Christie said during his primary night event in Nashua that he will go home to New Jersey to watch the final results and make a decision about his campaign.

Following his loss in Iowa, Trump’s campaign faced criticism that he didn’t have a competitive political operation to compete with other campaigns. Some also questioned whether his preference for large scale, stadium-sized rallies was personal enough in early-contest states, where voters place premiums on retail politics.

Vulgar Term

In the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary, Trump got local. Besides large scale rallies, he campaigned in diners and police stations.

Still, Trump didn’t shift his tone. On the eve of the primary, Trump repeated a vulgar term about Cruz that was first uttered by someone in the crowd. His remark was widely circulated on social media and grabbed cable news headlines.

New Hampshire historically serves to narrow crowded presidential fields, like this year’s Republican contest, but the volatile nature of the race could take the nominating fight in both parties well into the spring. In fact, many of the Republicans who competed in New Hampshire seem sure to go on to the next contest in South Carolina on Feb. 20.

The New Hampshire secretary of state had predicted a record turnout, thought to favor Sanders and Trump in attracting first- time voters who back them. The Republican race was marked by about half of voters who said they were undecided before balloting began, as well as the uncertainty of having 44 percent of registered voters who were officially undeclared and able to vote in either party’s primary.

 

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Billionaire businessman Donald Trump won New Hampshire's Republican presidential nominating contest on Tuesday, solidifying his front-runner status in the race to be the party's White House nominee in 2016, while U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont won the Democratic...
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Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 11:37 PM
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