The state of New Hampshire hosted the first primary election of the 2016 presidential election, one week after the caucus in Iowa. The questions then are, who won? Who lost? And what do these results mean?
The Winners: Among the Democrats, only two candidates remain after O’Malley dropped out of the race, following the caucus in Iowa. Yet, this time the race was not as close as in Iowa, it was quite the contrary. Bernie Sanders lived up to his promising poll numbers and pummeled the Democratic Party establishment’s favorite Hillary Clinton with more than 20 percentage point (You can see the full list of results and numbers at the end of this article.)
In the Republican race, Donald Trump got his victory this time, as the poll numbers has predicted, after his surprise loss in Iowa to Ted Cruz. The anti-establishment candidate won the race with over twice as many votes as the runner-up, John Kasich. After a promising third place in Iowa followed by a bad debate performance, Marco Rubio fell into fifth place closely trailing Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz but 4-5 points after Kasich.
The Losers: With only one candidate to choose from, the loser of the Democratic primary in New Hampshire is not hard to pick. Hillary Clinton suffered a major loss and is the clear loser in New Hampshire. It could be argued that if she had only lost by a small margin, it would almost be considered a win due to Sanders’ favorable polls. However, the polls were correct this time and Clinton lost with a large margin.
In the other race, among the GOP candidates, there were more than one loser. After his impressive result in Iowa, Rubio is probably disappointed with his night in New Hampshire where both Bush and Kasich gained more votes. Chris Christie attacked Rubio hard during the debate just prior to the New Hampshire primary and although it seemed it hurt Rubio, it did not help Christie much, who might end up suspending his campaign before the South Carolina and Nevada primaries in late February. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson are two other candidates who did poorly, with just 4% and 2% respectively.
What do these results mean? The results cemented the fact that Bernie Sanders is not to be underestimated by the Clinton campaign. The almost tie in Iowa and the decisive victory in New Hampshire provides the Sanders campaign with some crucial momentum, before going in to primaries in states where Clinton according to polls is the favorite. Due to her strong support from the Democratic establishment and among the African American communities, Clinton is still the clear overall favorite to win the Democratic nomination. However, with the recent results, Bernie Sanders has shown that it is not going to be as easy as the Clinton campaign might have anticipated at first.
In the Republican camp, Donald Trump showed that he can convert good poll numbers into votes. In other words, the people who “threaten” to vote for him as an anti-establishment protest vote, when the pollster call, actually also vote for him when they are in the voting booth. Thus, Trump demonstrated to the Republican establishment that he is a serious candidate, not only in the media and in the polls, but also in reality. John Kasich also entered the race for real with an impressive result, while Jeb Bush is still in the race with an acceptable performance. Rubio did worse than expected and Cruz a bit better, but both are still in the front of the race. At the other end of the table, Christie, Carson and Fiorina are the favorites to drop out, but they might see if they can get some positive results in South Carolina and Nevada, so they can stay in the race until Super Tuesday in the beginning of March. Overall, the result opened the GOP race up even further, with five candidates currently having a realistic chance at the nomination.
The Democratic race:
- Bernie Sanders 60%
- Hillary Clinton 38%
The Republican race:
- Donald Trump 35%
- John Kasich 16%
- Ted Cruz 12%
- Jeb Bush 11%
- Marco Rubio 11%
- Chris Christie 7%
- Carly Fiorina 4%
- Ben Carson 2%
- Jim Gilmore 0%
*Numbers taken from CNN’s estimates.
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