WTF Happened in the New Hampshire Primary, Explained
Riding an anti-establishment wave — the magnitude of which would put the NorCal surf contest Mavericks to shame — Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump scored their first victories of the 2016 presidential campaign in New Hampshire Tuesday night.
The wins may have been expected, based on recent polling. But take a step back, and these results are astonishing: A year ago, victories by the bumptious Trump and the socialist Sanders over the respective heirs of the Bush and Clinton dynasties were, frankly, unimaginable.
If Trump charged to victory with the advantage of a private jet and endless free press, Sanders built his win on pocket-change contributions — and despite a near blackout by the national media. As former Mitt Romney adviser Stuart Stevens tweeted with admiration Tuesday night: “I’m not a @BernieSanders guy, but to go from obscure socialist [senator] of tiny state to this is one hell of a thing. All credit due to him & his team.”
Sanders and Trump may come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but both candidates spoke to the same voter discontent in their victory speeches on Tuesday night.
For his part, Sanders put the “political establishment,” the “economic establishment” and “oh yeah, the media establishment” on notice, declaring his victory would “echo from Wall Street to Washington, Maine to California” — and prove that the political system belongs to ordinary people, not to “campaign contributors and their Super PACs.”
“Do we love our country!?” Trump posed to a raucous crowd. Echoing Sanders’ anger at the system, Trump took aim at “political hacks” and the campaign-funding “special interests — lobbyist” who “don’t love our country.” Playing up his business acumen, Trump promised, instead, “We’re going to make deals for the American people, again.”
With blowout victories in both party primaries, the horserace drama Tuesday centered around the Republican also-rans: Ohio Gov. John Kasich secured distant second place — besting a sad-sack trio of Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and the night’s biggest loser, Marco Rubio.
What really went down in New Hampshire on election night?
Here’s what you need to know:
New Hampshire was feeling the Bern?
That’s putting it mildly. The Granite State was on fire for Sanders, who won with nearly 60 percent of the Democratic vote, finishing more than 20 points ahead of Clinton.
For Sanders, the linchpin was youth support — he carried voters under 30 by a margin of 83-16. But, improving on his results from Iowa, Sanders also won among every demographic in the exit polls, except for voters over 65 and those with incomes over $200,000.
Despite the Clinton campaign’s explicit appeals to women voters in the last week — including surrogate Madeleine Albright’s controversial suggestion that women who failed to back Hillary were reserving a for themselves a “special place in hell” — New Hampshire women cast their ballots for Bernie, favoring Sanders 55-44.
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