Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders claimed early victories in the New Hampshire primary, the first state primary in the 2016 presidential election.
Supporters of republican Donald Trump waved signs and cheered, “You’re hired!” as the billionaire reality TV star made his way to the podium after a victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night. The win in New Hampshire came only eight days after a loss to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucus.
After calling Cruz a cheater and pulling what the Internet deemed a “Trumpertantrum,” the win for Trump tightened the race for Republican nomination even more.
“Wow, wow, wow,” Trump said to the crowd. “We are going to make America great again.”
According to CNN, Trump and Sanders were seen as long-shot outsiders when they launched their campaigns. Trump has never held elected office and was not even a registered Republican this time four years ago, according to the New York Times
The exit polling data said that Trump ran strongest among voters who were worried about illegal immigrants, incipient economic turmoil and the threat of a terrorist attack in the United States.
A majority of Republican voters would feel confident if Trump received the parties’ nomination, and dissatisfied with Senator Marco Rubio or Cruz as the nominee, according to exit polls.
THE RACE FOR SECOND
Ohio Governor John Kasich, after finishing in eighth place in Iowa, snatched a second place finish in New Hampshire, though still over 15 percent behind Trump.
In an election that has seen an abundance of direct attacks, Kasich said he has attempted to steer clear of the tactic. His campaign has relied heavily on town hall-style events, where he has discussed health and fiscal policy and urged voters to keep him in the race.
“We never went negative because we have more good to sell than to spend out time being critical of someone else,” Kasich told supporters Tuesday night. “Maybe, just maybe, we are turning the page on a dark part of American politics because tonight the light overcame the darkness of American campaigning.”
SAME CANDIDATE, DIFFERENT OUTCOME
Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, in the same gymnasium where she celebrated a New Hampshire primary victory in 2008, delivered a concession speech on Tuesday.
Clinton used her speech to congratulate Sanders on his win and to reinforce the idea that she is the candidate who can best enact change.
“I want to say I still love New Hampshire, and I always will,” Clinton said to her supporters Tuesday night. “What is the best way to change people’s lives so we can all grow together? Who is the best change-maker?”
“You are!” Clinton supporters in the audience shouted.
Clinton edged out a close victory in Iowa, claiming only 49.9 percent of the vote which surpassed Sanders’ 49.6 percent. New Hampshire voters, however, were not as split in their decision as Sanders took close to two-thirds of the vote.
Sanders – a self-declared democrat socialist – has led New Hampshire polls for the last month, and his win on Tuesday came from a significant support of voters who felt betrayed by their parties and were dissatisfied or angry with the federal government, according to the New York Times.
“Together we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,” Sanders said in his victory speech. “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.”
RUBIO’S LOSS IS TRUMP’S GAIN
Days following the Iowa caucus, a poll from Public Policy Polling showed Rubio pulling to within four percent of Trump nationally.
A stumble at the debate in New Hampshire, however, caused the Florida senator to fall to a fifth-place finish in Tuesday night’s primary.
“I know many people are disappointed, I’m disappointed in tonight,” Rubio said to his supporters. “But I want you to understand something – our disappointement tonight is not on you, it’s on me. I did not do well on Saturday night, so listen to this – that will never happen again.”
FOCUS SHIFTS TO SOUTH CAROLINA
After his performance in New Hampshire, Trump enters as the frontrunner – with a 36 percent polling average – for the South Carolina primary, set for February 20, with Cruz trailing behind at 19.7 percent.