Cierra Johnson | Staff Writer
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders swept victories in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. The two candidates both validated their status as significant players in their respective primaries.
With more than 80 percent of precinct reporting, Trump received 35 percent of GOP votes while Sanders received 60 percent of Democratic votes.
The primary drew a huge turnout across the state. Trump, whose blunt language that has electrified many Republicans benefited from the large field of candidates. According to the exit polling data, he ran the strongest among voters who are worried about illegal immigrants, incipient economic turmoil and the threat of terrorist attacks on the United States.
Ohio governor John Kasich came in a triumphant second place to Trump. Emotions ran high in the Kasich camp as the results rolled in. The candidate huddled with his wife and advisers to watch the returns, telling NBC News that he always felt he would finish second but that is still feels good.
The win of Sanders amounted to a powerful victory and an upset for Hillary Clinton. Sanders defeated his rival Clinton by an eye-opening 21 percent, the largest margin of victory in a contested Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Political analysts expected Sanders to win Tuesday, as he lead opinion polls. New Hampshire borders his home state of Vermont. New Hampshire was the second race after Ted Cruz and Clinton won the Iowa caucuses.
Both Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton pulled out close wins in Iowa. Due to a very close tie between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, CNN did not confirm Hillary Clinton’s win until around 1pm on Tuesday. “The results tonight are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history,” Iowa party chairman Andy McGuire said.
Clinton and Sanders held rallies in New Hampshire last Tuesday, January 2. Clinton told supporters, “I am so thrilled to be coming to New Hampshire after winning Iowa! I have won and I have lost there, it is a lot better to win.”
Although Donald Trump was very confident that he would win Iowa, he came in second to Ted Cruz with Marco Rubio coming close behind in third. With about 99 percent of the GOP vote in, Cruz was ahead of Trump 28 perent to 24 percent. Rubio finished with 23 percent of the vote.
After winning Iowa, Cruz immediate began firing shots at Trump and other party elites, stating “Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment.”
Hours after unsuccessfully predicting a “tremendous” victory in Iowa, Trump delivered a speech to his supporters. Trump stated, “We will go on to get the Republican nomination and we will go on to easily beat Hillary or Bernie,” “We finished second, and I have to say I am just honored.”
Ted Cruz has even been accused by Trump for sealing Iowa Caucus, in a tweet that Trump put out on Wednesday he stated, “Based on the fraud committed by Senator Ted Cruz during the Iowa Caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz results nullified.”
Although Sanders lost to Clinton in Iowa, his win in New Hampshire was a victory over Clinton. Sanders believes his campaign has made tremendous progress from when he first started campaigning in June 2015.
In a speech with hundreds of supporters gathered, Sanders shared a heartfelt message stating, “Nine months ago, we came to this beautiful state, we had no political organization, we had no money, we had no name recognition and we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America.”
The Iowa caucus resulted in two casualties from both sides. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, both dropped their candidacies after faring poorly. These next few months will be imperative as candidates push forward.