Trump, Sanders claim New Hampshire after second-place Iowa finis - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Trump, Sanders claim New Hampshire after second-place Iowa finishes

Donald Trump is the winner in the New Hampshire primary.  (Source: Pool/CNN) Donald Trump is the winner in the New Hampshire primary. (Source: Pool/CNN)
Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton to win the New Hampshire primary.  (Source: CNN) Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton to win the New Hampshire primary. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Maverick billionaire Donald Trump and self-styled democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic primaries respectively on Tuesday night, improving upon their second-place finishes in Iowa and revealing a hunger for political outsiders in at least the Granite State.  

The pre-vote polling told a familiar story. Establishment candidates are fighting for survival against insurgent outsiders, and the Granite State, known for its swing-state status and moderate politics, was billed as the perfect battleground for their last stand. 

This time, however, the outsiders won.

"Tonight we have sent a 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 of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs," Sanders said in his victory speech. "We must tell the billionaire class and the 1 percent: they cannot have it all."

The firebrand democratic socialist used his victory speech as a chance to accuse his Republican rivals of endangering the average American citizen with tax breaks on billionaires and the support of a "corrupt campaign finance" system. 

In her concession speech, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not rely on contrast with her opponents on either side of the political spectrum. Instead, she focused on her ability to make on Sanders' promises better. 

"I know how to rein in Wall Street," she said, doubling down on a popular talking point of her competitor. "A president has to make sure nothing holds you back - not debt, not discrimination, not a deck that's always stacked for those at the top." 

Trump's speech began without his signature bluster. He took time to thank his parents and family for his success in the primary, and then he admitted to learning from his struggles in Iowa.

"We've learned a lot about ground game," he said.

His speech quickly pivoted to his typical appearance on the stump. Trump focused on American deal making and illegal immigration. 

"We're going to make great trade deals," he said amid the chants of "USA". "We're going to rebuild our military. It's going to be so big, so strong, so powerful, nobody is going to mess with us. We're going to have strong, incredible borders and people are going to come into our country, but they're going to come into our country legally. We're going to build the wall."

Interestingly, there were a few similarities with his counterpart victor, Sanders. Trump said he was going to take on special interests and lobbyist by self-funding his campaign and making deals for the American people.

Near the closing of his speech, he returned to a popular refrain from the beginning of his campaign. 

"I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created," he said. 

The GOP's establishment candidates suffered a set back after Trump's victory, but Ohio Gov. John Kasich's valiant second-place finish revived his campaign after a non-existent performance in the Iowa caucus. Kasich spent the majority of his campaign in New Hampshire, participating in more than 100 town halls.

"Maybe we are turning the page on a dark part of American politics because tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning," Kasich said. "The people of New Hampshire have taught me a lesson. From this day forward I am going to go forward slower and to spend my time listening and healing and helping."

Sen. Marco Rubio suffered a disappointing fifth place finish in New Hampshire. After a surprise third-place finish in Iowa, the Rubio campaign was endowed with newfound energy and confidence, but that narrative did not last long. 

Gov. Chris Christie was floundering in the polls before the primary, but that did not stop him from shellacking Rubio during the Republican debate Feb. 6. Instead, it was probably his primary motivation to criticize Rubio for what Christie calls his inexperience and reliance on premade talking points, particularly his refrain the President Barack Obama "knows exactly what he is doing."

“The drive-by shot at the beginning with incorrect and incomplete information and then the memorized 25-second speech that is exactly what his advisers gave him,” Christie said. “See, Marco, the thing is: When you’re president of the United States, when you’re governor of a state, the memorized 30-second speech where you talk about how great America is at the end of it doesn’t solve one problem for one person.”

It's not entirely clear if Christie's assault was responsible for Rubio's poor performance in the early voting in New Hampshire, but, according to CNN's exit polls, GOP voters cited debate performance as an important factor in their decisions. 

"I did not do well on Saturday," Rubio said in a concession speech on Tuesday. "I promise it will not happen again."

Christie also performed poorly, finishing behind Rubio in sixth place. The New Jersey governor decided to forgo traveling to South Carolina after New Hampshire and instead will be returning home to contemplate campaign changes. 

We've decided that we're going to go home to New Jersey tomorrow and we're goint to take a deep breath, see what the final results are tonight because that matters, whether we're fifth or sixth, how all of the final votes will be counted," he said. "Because so many New Hampshire residents came out to vote today, it's going to take a while to count these votes. So we want to see exactly what happens.  So we're going to go home to New Jersey to wait.  By tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, we should know what the vote count is and that's going to allow us to make a decision about how we move from here in this race."

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