It’s official: GOP front-runner Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders are the winners of the first primary of the 2016 election season in New Hampshire Tuesday.
Reacting to news of Trump’s win, Fox News analyst Howard Kurtz declared: “A clear plurality of New Hampshire voters have just given the middle finger to the GOP establishment.”
Kurtz added, “He was more astute in channeling the public anger and frustration than the media and establishment.”
It’s especially a big night tonight in the Republican race for the nomination, as several GOP candidates had been competing for the coveted second spot behind Trump, who led in New Hampshire polls by double-digit margins for months.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich claimed the GOP’s second spot Tuesday.
Kurtz predicted that Kasich’s second-place win means he will “emerge as media darling du jour for clawing his way back.”
Meanwhile, just as results were posted, the Huffington Post ran with the headline, “A racist, sexist demagogue just won the New Hampshire primary.”
The National Review’s Jim Geraghty fired off with the headline, “Trump, Sanders, and Kasich do well. Thanks a lot, New Hampshire.”
But CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said the victory represents a “major, major win for Donald Trump.”
And CNN’s Jack Tapper said Trump’s win is a “remarkable thing to behold.”
After thanking the people of New Hampshire, Trump declared: “We are going now to South Carolina. We’re gonna win in South Carolina. I love you very much.”
Trump also acknowledged the victory of Bernie Sanders on the Democrat side, but warned, “He wants to give our country away, folks.”
He promised to “make great trade deals,” rebuild the U.S. military, take care of American veterans, build a wall on the southern border, repeal Obamacare, eliminate Common Core, preserve the Second Amendment and create jobs.
“We are going to make this country so strong,” Trump said. “We are going to start winning again. We are going to make America great again – maybe even better than before.”
Political analyst Gloria Borger said, “He blew everybody away on everything. … Give him his due. He won across the board of all ages. He won all incomes, he won women, he won independent voters.”
The New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner predicted 550,000 ballots would be cast, a turnout of about six in 10 registered voters.
A CNN exit poll Tuesday found about 75 percent of GOP voters said they were very worried about the U.S. economy, 60 percent said they were very worried about terrorism, and 90 percent said they were dissatisfied with the federal government.
And an ABC News exit poll found two-thirds of Republican voters said they favor a temporary ban on U.S. entry for Muslims who are not U.S. citizens, an idea that originated with Trump in December. Also, nearly half of GOP voters said they want a candidate from “outside the political establishment.”
Fox News asked New Hampshire Democrats which candidate is more honest and trustworthy. A full 93 percent of Democrats chose Sanders, while only 5 percent said Clinton.
Republicans: Trump and Kasich
With 100 percent reporting, GOP results Tuesday showed the following:
Trump: 35.3 percent
Kasich: 15.8 percent
Cruz: 11.7 percent
Bush: 11 percent
Rubio: 10.6 percent
Christie: 7.4 percent
Fiorina: 4.1 percent
Carson: 2.3 percent
On Tuesday evening, Rubio blamed his poor performance at the Feb. 6 GOP debate for his struggles in New Hampshire: “A lot of people are disappointed. I’m disappointed. But I want to tell you that disappointment is on me, not you. I didn’t do well on Saturday night. So listen to this, that will never happen again!”
Democrats: Bernie crushes Hillary
In the Democratic Party primary, Sanders had the home-field advantage since he hails from neighboring Vermont. RealClearPolitics’ New Hampshire polls had him ahead of Hillary Clinton, 54.5 percent to 41.2 percent Tuesday evening.
With 100 percent reporting, Democratic Party primary results Tuesday showed the following:
Sanders: 60.4 percent
Clinton: 38 percent
Clinton had hoped to hold Sanders’ margin of victory below 10 percent, so she could claim some success in his neighborhood. But those hopes faded quickly as Sanders celebrated a decisive win Tuesday.
In his victory speech Tuesday, Sanders declared, “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 the people and not just wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs. Because of a huge voter turnout, and I say ‘yuuge,’ we won. The right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency. The last time Republicans occupied the White House, their trickle-down economic policies drove us into the worst economic downturn since the Depression of the 1930s. The people want real change.”
In remarks made after her loss, Clinton said: “I don’t know what we would have done tonight if we’d actually won. This is still an exciting event. I still love New Hampshire. We’re going to fight for every vote in every state.”
She said people are hungry for solutions to their problems.
“Here’s what I promise: I will work harder than anyone to actually make the changes that make your lives better,” she said. “Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions, was actually a case about a right-wing attack on me and my campaign. A right-wing organization took aim at me and ended up damaging our entire democracy. So yes, you’re not going to find anyone more committed to campaign finance reform than me.”
Clinton also promised to rein in Wall Street and protect illegal immigrants who “lie awake at night listening for the knock at the door.” She called for “human rights across the board for every single American.”
She acknowledged, “I have some work to do, particularly with young people. Even if they are not supporting me now, I am supporting them. I have had a blessed life, but I know what it’s like to stumble and fall.”
Clinton asked Americans to join her in “building the progress we’ve made under President Obama.”
Clinton immediately conceded the primary after several news outlets called the race for Sanders. The campaign released the following memo:
“After splitting the first two contests, an outcome we’ve long anticipated, attention will inevitably focus on the next two of the ‘early four states,'” wrote Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. “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.”
The South Carolina primary – scheduled for Feb. 20 – is the next Republican primary.
The New York Times reported that Sanders plans to have breakfast Wednesday morning with Al Sharpton in New York. Sanders is hoping to boost his support among black voters, especially in Nevada and South Carolina, demographically diverse states that hold February nominating contests. The two plan to eat at Sylvia’s, a Harlem restaurant where Sharpton met then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008. Clinton is currently leading among black voters in national polls.
Rumors about a Clinton campaign implosion were flying Tuesday, along with news that she is considering a post-New Hampshire staff shake-up.
“The Clintons are not happy and have been letting all of us know that,” a Democratic official who speaks regularly to the Clintons told Politico. “The idea is that we need a more forward-looking message, for the primary – but also for the general election, too. … There’s no sense of panic, but there is an urgency to fix these problems right now.”
In an interview with MSNBC, Clinton denied that she planned to fire anyone. She dismissed the Politico report as “gossip.”
But she added: “We’re going to take stock but it’s going to be the campaign that I’ve got. I’m very confident in the people that I have. I’m very committed to them; they’re committed to doing the best we can. We’re going to take stock, what works, what doesn’t work. We’re moving into a different phase of the campaign. We’re moving into a more diverse electorate. We’re moving into different geographic areas. So, of course it would be malpractice not to say, ‘OK, what worked? What can we do better? What do we have to do new and different that we have to pull out?'”
The Clinton camp has hired a new director of black media ahead of the South Carolina primary, according to the Hill. Denise Horn, who worked on Obama’s 2012 campaign, will join the Clinton team Monday.
GOP candidate Ben Carson didn’t even wait for the New Hampshire results before he moved on to South Carolina, a move strategists say show he’s planning to stay in the race regardless of the Tuesday results.