Trump, Sanders win N.H. primary
US Senator Bernie Sanders and real estate mogul Donald Trump offered competing visions of America’s future in victory speeches after they won the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries, respectively, Tuesday in New Hampshire.
Sanders, who defeated former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, called for an end to what he called a dishonest campaign finance system and an unfair economy that has left average Americans behind.
“Tonight we serve notice to the political and economic establishment of this country that the American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining America’s democracy, and we will not accept a rigged economy in which ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages, while almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent,” he said.
“The people want real change,” the Vermont senator said.
He said his campaign was about “thinking big, not small” and “having the courage to reject the status quo.”
In an unusual moment for a campaign victory speech, he declared he was having an impromptu fundraiser and asked people present and watching on TV to go to his campaign website to contribute.
He said he would push for single-payer health care, a $15-per-hour minimum wage, easing student debt, and making state colleges tuition-free.
He also said, “We must tell the billionaire class and the 1 percent that they cannot have it all. The wealthiest people and the largest corporations in this country will start paying their fair share of taxes.”
Trump, a billionaire himself, who emerged at the top of a crowded field of GOP candidates, said in his victory speech, “I heard parts of Bernie’s speech. He wants to give away our country, folks. ... We’re not going to let it happen.”
“We’re going to beat all of these countries that are taking so much of our money away from us,” he said, promising to “make great trade deals.”
He said he would rebuild the military and it would be “so big, so strong, so powerful. Nobody’s going to mess with us,” he said.
He promised to repeal Obamacare, build a wall along the southern border, and create jobs, becoming “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
“We are going to start winning again. We don’t win anymore. ... We’re going to win so much. You are going to be so happy,” he said.
The Associated Press and the major TV networks called the races for the two candidates, both of them outsiders, immediately after the state’s final polls closed at 8 p.m.
The victories were the first for both candidates and were expected to give both campaigns a needed boost.
The victory was a vindication for Sanders after he lost the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1 to Clinton by a razor-thin margin. But he is expected to face tough challenges in upcoming primaries in states where polls have shown stronger support for Clinton.
The controversial, media-savvy Trump, whose slogan is “Make America Great Again!,” has never held elected office. He came in second to US Senator Ted Cruz in Iowa.
Clinton, in a concession speech delivered before Sanders’s speech, thanked her supporters. “I still love New Hampshire, and I always will. We’re going to fight for every vote in every state. We’re going to fight for real solutions and make a real difference,” she said.
“I will work harder than anyone to actually make the changes that make your lives better,” she said.
“I’ve had a blessed life,” she said. “But I also know what it’s like to stumble and fall. ... It’s not whether you get knocked down that matters. It’s whether you get back up.”
Exit polls found an electorate that was deeply unhappy with the federal government, with half of Democratic voters saying they were dissatisfied with the way government is working and another 1 in 10 saying they were angry. The numbers were even higher among Republican primary voters, with nearly half saying they were dissatisfied and 4 in 10 that they were angry. Those who said they were angry were particularly likely to vote for Donald Trump.
The races in both primaries had become heated in the final days. The attacks flew particularly thick and fast in the Republican race, where Trump hurled barbs at opponents and they hurled them back at him and each other.
Ohio Governor John Kasich finished second, trailed by Cruz, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, US Senator Marco Rubio, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Republican Party elites are hoping that supporters of Rubio, Bush, Kasich, and Christie can coalesce to challenge the more conservative Trump and Cruz, who they believe could not win the general election.
Kasich, who had kept a more positive tone than others in the race, appeared poised to win the coveted second-place spot. In a jubilant speech, he said, “There’s magic in the air with this campaign.”
“Tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning,” he said.
The candidates had made last-minute pitches to voters at diners and polling sites Tuesday, and thanked volunteers at campaign offices.
As recently as seven months ago, it appeared that the party’s nominees would be Bush, whose brother and father were presidents, and Clinton, whose husband was president. But Trump has seen a meteoric rise in the Republican primary polls, moving to the head of the crowded GOP field.
Clinton still leads in the Democratic primary polls nationally, but she barely slipped by Sanders in Iowa and failed to prevent a big Sanders victory in New Hampshire.
The Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primaries come next, later this month, followed by Super Tuesday on March 1.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report. Mark Arsenault, Eric Moskowitz, and Andrew Ryan of the Globe staff contributed to this report.