Trump and Sanders sail past opponents in New Hampshire

image1By Lauren Holt 2/9/16
New Hampshire voters sent a clear signal to establishment candidates Tuesday night by voting overwhelmingly in favor of Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump. The democratic-socialist Senator from Vermont and the billionaire-businessman with no political experience swept up victories after both coming in second at the Iowa caucuses.

On each side of the race, Sanders and Trump have carved out spaces for themselves as the non-traditional candidate, and their promises to shake up Washington resonated with New Hampshire voters. The Associated Press called the vote in favor of Sanders and Trump shortly after the polls closed because of their decisive leads.

Trump celebrated his comeback win with a packed room of supporters in Manchester. “Oh wow, wow, wow,” he told the crowd. “We are going to make America great again!”

Dominating his opponents with 35 percent of the vote, Trump’s victory speech included his usual talking points on building a wall, repealing Obamacare, and defeating ISIS. Trump ended his speech with where he plans to take his campaign next.

“We are going now to South Carolina. We’re going to win in South Carolina,” he said. “I love you all. Thank you very much.”

Trump’s wide lead over his opponents didn’t stop certain candidates from celebrating. Governor of Ohio John Kasich, who has spent more time in Ohio than any other candidate came in second with 15 percent of the vote. In an energized speech to supporters, Kasich vowed: “to reshine America, to restore the spirit of America and to leave no one behind.”

Senator Ted Cruz came in behind Kasich with 11.7 percent of the vote, just beating out former governor Jeb Bush. Senator Marco Rubio, who had a surprising finish in Iowa, trailed behind in fifth place and showed obvious disappointment while addressing supporters. Rubio blamed his poor performance on Saturday night’s debate, during which he took heat from Trump and Cruz.

On the Democrat side, Bernie Sanders won with 60 percent of the vote. He commanded the stage during his victory rally at Concord High School, surrounded by a raucous and largely young crowd.

“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,” said Sanders.

Sanders’ win over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was based off of his favorability in the state before the primary, but it was still a blow to Clinton who won the state in 2008. Clinton addressed a crowd at Southern New Hampshire University in the same gym she celebrated at in 2008.

“Now we take this campaign to the entire country, and we’re going to fight for every vote in every state,” Clinton said. “Here’s what I promise, I will work harder than anyone actually to make the changes that make your lives better.”

While South Carolina is the next state to hold a Republican primary on Feb. 20, Nevada will be holding their Democratic caucuses on the same day.