Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders notched decisive wins in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, while many of the so-called establishment candidates like Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie tumbled.
"The political outsiders have taken control of this election," one commentator from Fox News declared
as the votes were totaled.
With both the Republican and Democratic primary battles in full tilt, all 11 candidates are now shaping their campaign strategies for the battles ahead.
Gathered below are 11 game plans, one from each candidate, that are likely to be implemented in the wake of Tuesday's vote.
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1. Donald Trump, back on top
— After his second-place finish in Iowa, the real estate mogul roared back to life on Tuesday, winning more than 35 percent of the vote. His nearest competitor, John Kasich, won less than half of that. The results pushed Trump back into his previous front-runner status, and confirmed that outsider candidates are "seizing on the fury of grass-roots voters to rock the elites who control American politics," CNN reported
. Looking ahead, Trump is poised to remain on top for weeks to come, as he maintains a substantial polling lead in South Carolina and Nevada.
2. Bernie Sanders becomes a real competitor
— The democratic socialist senator from Vermont soared to a blowout victory over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, winning among nearly every demographic group and even managing to edge her out of the women's vote. "The size and scope of his victory should give his campaign hope, but he still has work to do," FiveThirtyEight wrote
Wednesday. "Sanders may not be able to win in the Deep South, where black voters are a majority, but he can be competitive if he can win moderate whites in southern states." With some national polls showing Sanders and Clinton in a dead heat, things look promising for the senator.
3. John Kasich is a surprise star
— "A triumphant second-place finish makes the Ohio governor the breakout star of the night," declared Real Clear Politics
. "Where it takes him beyond that is anyone’s guess. He has little or no campaign structure outside of New Hampshire, and hardly any money, so will he be able to parlay his finish into enough momentum to get him through to Ohio, which doesn’t vote until March 15?" In terms of total delegate count, Kasich trails Trump, Cruz, and Rubio, and he continues to poll in the low single digits in South Carolina.
4. Hillary Clinton is the night's biggest loser
— President Barack Obama's former secretary of state expected a loss in Sen. Bernie Sanders' neighboring state, but many are saying that "a loss this decisive raises questions" about Clinton's long-term viability. Clinton lost by more than 20 percentage points in a state she had won in 2008. While her campaign has continually argued that she'll soon win in states with more minority voters, The New York Times reported
that "Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among nearly every demographic group" and many national polls show the contenders neck-and-neck.
5. Ted Cruz remains strong
— The senator from Texas won third place in New Hampshire, garnering roughly 12 percent of the vote. As The Nation reported
, "New Hampshire was the least important state for Cruz, given his win in Iowa and his solid polling in South Carolina and the Southern primary states that follow." Considering that Cruz is polling at a consistent second in South Carolina, it seems he can shift most, if not all, of his attention to pulling Trump from the throne.
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6. Marco Rubio takes a tumble
— "Instead of enjoying his status as a rising star consolidating the establishment vote, Rubio heads to South Carolina a wounded candidate, desperate for a win," Real Clear Politics reported Tuesday night. Rubio remains third in terms of total delegate count, however he'll need to do better than that in the coming weeks to win the Republican nomination. Now that Bush beat him in New Hampshire, Rubio also has more credible competitors than ever.
7. Jeb Bush keeps hope alive
— The former Florida governor placed fourth on Tuesday, picking up his first delegates of the season, and keeping his campaign viable heading into South Carolina and Nevada. While Tuesday's results spelled the likely demise of Chris Christie, Bush still has a very long way to go to outgun his remaining competitors: Kasich, Rubio, Cruz, and Trump.
8. Chris Christie is likely out of the race
— "Despite his enormous talent and unrelenting effort, Gov. Chris Christie was mortally wounded last night by losing decisively in the state where he pinned all his hopes," wrote a columnist at NJ.com
. "Christie's campaign treasury is mostly empty, and he won't qualify for the next debate. The defeat was decisive." Christie reportedly returned to New Jersey on Wednesday morning after not winning even a single delegate in New Hampshire, and many pundits expect him to suspend his campaign soon.
9. Carly Fiorina sees chances fade
— While the former Hewlett-Packard CEO edged out Ben Carson in Tuesday's race, she did not garner enough of the vote to win a single delegate. As The Hill reported
, "Fiorina said she will 'keep going' despite her poor showing in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night," but no obvious path to the nomination remains. Fiorina was left out of the last Republican debate, and is likely to be left out of the upcoming one. The most Fiorina can hope for now is a nomination for vice president or a place in the cabinet of the eventual nominee.
10. Ben Carson left in a lurch
— The retired neurosurgeon finished eighth on Tuesday, a dismal finish considering he placed fourth in Iowa. Politico reported
that Carson vowed to "move on to South Carolina, Nevada, and the Super Tuesday states" after the New Hampshire vote, but his odds of placing higher than fourth in those states remain very low. Notably, Carson said that he would be open to a vice presidential nomination before Tuesday's vote, Mediaite reported
11. Jim Gilmore should drop out
— According to the New York Daily News
, Vermin Supreme, "a perennial joke candidate who wears a boot on his head," tallied more votes in the New Hampshire primary than former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. With 89 percent of voting precincts reporting on Wednesday morning, Supreme had more than 240 votes to Gilmore's 125. It seems unlikely that Gilmore will be able to fundraise with such lackluster numbers, and doesn't seem to have any momentum among voters. That said, whether Gilmore suspends his campaign in the coming weeks or months, it won't likely make a difference to the 2016 election.
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