New Hampshire Primary: Trump And Sanders Win, AP Projects

  • New Hampshire Primary: Trump And Sanders Win, AP Projects

    Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the big winners tonight, according to the Associated Press. The AP called the New Hampshire primary for both men just moments after the polls closed at 8 p.m.

    @NPRElections reports here:

    Updated 8:45 p.m. ET: When Hillary Clinton began her presidential campaign last year, no one would have anticipated she’d be forced to spin a New Hampshire primary loss to Bernie Sanders.

    But that’s exactly what Clinton’s campaign is doing on a night where the Associated Press projected a Sanders win just seconds after the polls closed. The Sanders New Hampshire win, said campaign manager Robby Mook in a memo, was “an outcome we’ve long anticipated.”

    Mook used the memo to make the case that March, not February, is what really matters when it comes to the Democratic nominating process. “While important,” he writes, “the first four states represent just 4% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination.”

    With about 20 percent of New Hampshire precincts reporting, Sanders has an 18-point lead over Clinton. Clinton, by contrast, topped Sanders by just 0.3 percent in Iowa.

    “Whereas the electorates in Iowa and New Hampshire are largely rural/suburban and predominantly white, the March states better reflect the true diversity of the Democratic Party and the nation,” Mook writes. “Hispanics and African Americans play a critical role in who we are as a party and who we are as a nation.” Both demographics will be much-better represented in the next two states where Sanders and Clinton will compete: South Carolina and Nevada.

    While Sanders has far outpaced Clinton among younger voters – more than 80 percent of New Hampshire voters under 30 voted Sanders, according to exit polls – Clinton has maintained a steady firewall of support among black and Latino voters.

    But while Clinton has demographics on her side, Sanders has online enthusiasm. The Sanders campaign is looking forward to March, as well, and has already sent out its first post-New Hampshire fundraising email. “There are 14 primaries and caucuses over the next three weeks,” it says, “and you can be certain that our victory tonight will prompt a desperate response from the nation’s financial elite and the political establishment…Who knows what they’re going to throw at us next. All I know is we must be ready to respond, organize, and win.”

    The Sanders campaign previously told NPR that it could raise between $30 $40 million in the days following a New Hampshire win.

    It’s clear that after splitting the first two states, both states are now ready for an extended primary fight.

    Updated 8 p.m. ET: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have both won convincing victories in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, according to projections by The Associated Press.

    The early, definitive wins by Sanders and Trump are a departure from last week’s Iowa caucuses, which were decided on the Democratic side by the smallest of margins and late into the night.

    Trump has dominated the Republican race for months, but time after time politicians and political observers have questioned whether the New York billionaire could translate his populist appeal into electoral success.

    Trump has tapped into Republicans’ anger with Washington, D.C., and according to exit polls, he was on to something: An overwhelming 9 of 10 GOP voters say they’re either dissatisfied or angry. According to those exit polls, Republicans said the economy, government and terrorism were their top issues of concern.

    Democrats, on the other hand, said income inequality was their main worry, followed closely by the economy and health care. Terrorism was at the bottom of the list. Sanders has made income inequality the organizing theme of his presidential effort, frequently calling for a “political revolution” that, among other things, would include a single-payer health care system.

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign had been setting low expectations in New Hampshire for weeks, noting Sanders’ long career in a neighboring state. But until tonight, the Granite State had been good to the Clinton family. Bill Clinton dubbed himself “The Comeback Kid” after he weathered personal and draft-related scandals to finish second there in 1992, and Hillary Clinton stunned pollsters in 2008 by defeating Barack Obama there after he had won a surprising Iowa victory.

    7 p.m. ET: Polls have begun to close in New Hampshire, where Democrats and Republicans voted today in the nation’s first presidential primary.

    On the Democratic side, the race has been all about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has led by wide margins in New Hampshire polls for months. He’s a known quantity to New Hampshire voters, who often reward candidates from neighboring states with strong primary showings. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has been working hard to set diminished expectations here and is already turning its focus to South Carolina and Nevada.

    The Republican picture is much more muddled. Donald Trump has held wide, double-digit leads in polls for months, but after that, it’s a jumble of candidates vying for second and third place. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio looked to be gaining momentum and was picking up endorsement after endorsement earlier this week. But he stumbled badly in Saturday night’s debate, creating an opening for other so-called establishment lane candidates like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been campaigning all week in New Hampshire, too, but so far hasn’t coalesced the support he rode to a victory in Iowa last week.

    New Hampshire voters have a tradition of deciding late in the primary process. Exit polls conducted by media organizations Tuesday indicate that trend is alive and well, at least on the Republican side. Nearly half of GOP voters said they made their minds up within the past few days.

    Less than a quarter of Democrats told pollsters they made up their mind in recent days, though, which could be good news for Sanders.

    We’ll update this post throughout the night, as we see results come in and hear from candidates.

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