MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders powered to victory in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, avenging their Iowa losses to keep the mad scramble of the 2016 presidential campaign alive with dozens of contests to come.
A knot of Republicans fought it out for second, an important perch as the campaign goes national and Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich compete with Iowa winner Ted Cruz to become the leading alternative to the New York billionaire atop the polls.
Sanders, the independent socialist senator challenging Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and Trump, the political neophyte and provocateur of the Republican race, tapped New Hampshire’s occasional indulgence in political insurgencies to prevail in the nation’s second election for the nomination.
Together they are would-be slayers of the political establishment, and a loss for either one would have been potentially devastating to their hopes.
As it is, Sanders, from Vermont, moves on to tougher territory in South Carolina, where Clinton has been favored and where a racially diverse population serves up an electorate that looks more like America than rural, small-town and mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire.
Trump, too, will be tested on whether he can run a truly national campaign, despite preference polls that find him on top, and whether he can unleash the organizational skills needed to slog toward the nomination state by state.
A look at the New Hampshire primary:
Rubio, Kasich, Bush and Chris Christie struggled over who could consolidate the support of moderate or establishment-minded Republicans. Among them, Christie, the New Jersey governor, was having the roughest night.
Until his famously flustered debate performance — at Christie’s hands — Rubio was seen as the man on the move, probably not able to defeat Trump in New Hampshire but with a strong chance to outdistance other rivals and perhaps drive some from the race. That appeared unlikely Tuesday night.
NO COMEBACK KID
Among Democrats, Clinton’s 2008 win in New Hampshire set her back on course after a dispiriting third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, won by Barack Obama on his way to the presidency. New Hampshire also revived husband Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign when he finished a strong second in the primary and called himself the Comeback Kid.
But Hillary Clinton fell short in New Hampshire after an unsatisfying hair’s-breadth win in Iowa.
HOW SANDERS WON
Sanders attracted a broad coalition of New Hampshire voters, gathering a majority of votes from men, independents and voters under 45, as well as a slim majority of women, according to early exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks
The polls found that Clinton won the majority of those over 65 and those with incomes over $200,000 a year. The age gap first seen in Iowa, where younger voters backed Sanders and older ones, Clinton, appeared to be replicated to some extent in New Hampshire.
The exit polls also suggested Clinton has a struggle being trusted and relating to average people.
Nearly half who voted in the Democratic primary said that between Sanders and Clinton, they thought only Sanders is honest and trustworthy. And just over 10 percent said that between the two, only Clinton shares their values.
HOW TRUMP WON
Trump capitalized on disaffection and outright anger with Washington, which was more pronounced in the Republican race, the exit polls found. He drew both from conservative and moderate Republicans.
His hardline positions on immigration and national security appeared to help him as well.
Although nearly 6 in 10 Republicans said they supported giving immigrants in the U.S. illegally the opportunity to apply for legal status, a large minority didn’t — and two-thirds of Republican voters backed Trump’s contentious position that non-citizen Muslims should be temporarily barred from entering the country.
The surveys at voting places also suggested that nearly half of Republican voters made up their minds in the past week.
Among them, John Starer, 72, of Bedford, a Republican who owns a company that makes glue sticks, ruled out Rubio as too inexperienced — “maybe next time” — and decided five minutes before voting that he would go with Cruz over Trump. “I’d like to think Trump had a chance,” he said, meaning a chance to beat the Democratic nominee in the general election, “but no.”
Nicole Reitano, a 24-year-old embroiderer from Nashua, briefly considered Clinton before voting for Sanders. “I felt like he was the most honest,” Reitano said. “He’s had the same views forever, and he’s never budged. That makes me feel confident in him.”
CAMPAIGN IN TRANSITION
The close-up campaigning in coffee shops and gyms in far-flung snowy expanses shifts now to bigger states, where those who come out of New Hampshire intact will need the advertising muscle and organizational strength to score big, fast and increasingly at a national level.
Woodward reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Alex Sanz, Holly Ramer and Philip Marcelo in New Hampshire contributed to this report.
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