Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders rode anti-establishment anger to victories in New Hampshire
John Kasich finished second after pouring time and resources here, but faces a tough road ahead
Hillary Clinton struggled with women and young people, losing each group to Sanders
The anti-establishment revolution the polls promised for months happened in New Hampshire Tuesday night when Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won the first-in-the-nation primaries.
John Kasich needed a big night – and got it with a second-place finish. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio rode into the Granite State with a chance to clear out the establishment lane and instead found himself trying to squeak by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush.
New Hampshire primary: Trump, Sanders win
Here are the takeaways from the New Hampshire primaries:
Donald Trump is for real
So he missed a rally because he’d gotten snowed into his Manhattan home. So he complained he might miss the Super Bowl because he’d had to drive so far to get to a town hall. So he didn’t have the staff on the ground to compete with other Republicans.
Trump isn’t playing by anyone’s rules, and it didn’t hurt him here.
After a close second-place finish in Iowa and a big win in New Hampshire, and with a clear lead in the national polls, it’s hard to argue that Donald Trump isn’t the Republican presidential front-runner.
He could stay that way for a while, too: The muddle behind him – particularly with Rubio’s establishment support collapsing after a weak debate performance – means those who don’t support him will still be split among several options.
In one respect, the hard part of the campaign is nearly over for Trump. Iowa and New Hampshire voters are used to the sort of retail politicking that requires dozens of town hall events and multiple in-person meetings.
On Super Tuesday, though, Trump’s ability to draw in the masses from miles away – and his command of national media attention – will prove much tougher to match for opponents who were willing to put in the first two states’ requisite shoe-leather work.
Bernie Sanders is going national
This can’t be dismissed as a one-off win by a politician from a neighboring state. In less than a year, Sanders has turned a hopeless quest into a serious threat to Clinton’s ability to win the Democratic nomination – and has already stopped a coronation.
Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish candidate to win a primary. Does he care?
The Vermont senator’s credibility with the party’s progressive base (“we don’t need no super PAC,” his supporters chanted Tuesday night) and his huge edge among young voters mean that while Clinton might have structural advantages as the race moves forward, Sanders isn’t going away soon.
His campaign is set to hit the television airwaves in four states – Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Oklahoma – that vote in March.
“Listen, people need to start to understand something: We are a better campaign. We are a better-organized campaign. We have more people on the ground,” Sanders senior strategist Tad Devine told CNN at the campaign’s victory party.
Sanders used his victory speech to celebrate grass-roots campaign and host a “national” fundraiser, once again using his platform to call for small-dollar donations and rail against corporate and mega-donor money.
The Vermont senator weathered a series of attacks from Clinton and establishment Democrats who say he can’t win in November and is making promises to voters he can’t keep. And he said he anticipates more attacks.
“They have thrown everything at me except the kitchen sink,” he said, “and I have a feeling that kitchen sink is coming at me pretty soon as well.”
Clinton has work to do
Hillary Clinton lost women. She was crushed among men. And with young voters, she was absolutely demolished.
Worse yet: Her campaign – and her surrogates – have managed to alienate many of the Sanders supporters who previously had nothing against Clinton by casting Sanders as living in a fantasy-land and his female supporters as being traitors to their gender.
Clinton pressed the message that she’s the Democrat best able to address specific problems in her concession speech Tuesday night.
“People have every right to be angry, but they’re also hungry – they’re hungry for solutions. What are we going to do?” she said.
But the hang-wringing had already started amid reports in Politico and elsewhere that Clinton is eyeing a staff shakeup and a more forward-looking message.
Jim Demers, Barack Obama’s 2008 co-chair and an early 2016 Clinton supporter, says message disci