Scale of defeat for Clinton will raise questions about her appeal among younger voters and women, especially after closer-than-expected Iowa result last week
Bernie Sanders swept to a decisive victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Tuesday in a stunning win over Hillary Clinton that they are able to send shockwaves through her campaign and give the Vermont senator much needed momentum as he heads for tougher states further south.
Voters hungry for what Sanders calls political revolution turned out in large numbers to vote for the Democratic socialist. With more than 80% of precincts reporting in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders lead with 59.9% to Clintons 38.5%, according to the Associated Press.
Sanders took to the stage at his victory party and wasted no time running straight to the theme that appears to have dominated the election here: campaign finance.
Together we have sent a message that they are able to resonate from Wall Street to Washington … that government belongs to all of the person or persons, he said to huge applause and foot-stomping from a fired up audience of mixed ages.
But he warned of the brickbats ahead as the campaign now prepares to move to the national stage. They are hurling everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have the feeling that it is coming soon, he said.
One the biggest cheers of the night came when he started a sentence: When we make it to the White House …, but the crowd turned and shook their fists at the press riser when Sanders talked of sending a message to the media establishment.
Foreign policy also made a return to his stump speech, after a period of relative absence during campaigning here that had attracted growing criticism. As president I will defend this nation, but I will do it responsibly, he said. We cannot and should not be the policeman of the world
Thank you, New Hampshire, he concluded. Now its on to Nevada, South Carolina and beyond.
Clinton called Sanders about 8.15 pm local time to congratulate him.
I know I have some work to do, Clinton said in her concession speech, delivered from the auditorium at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, simply a few miles outside of Manchester. Former president Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea Clinton, stand by her side.
Clinton congratulated Sanders, and said to his supporters: Even if they are not supporting me now, I support them.
The theme of the night at Clintons New Hampshire primary party was best summed up by the Taylor Swift song that plays on loop-the-loop at every event: shake it off. The mood was neither somber or defeatist. Instead the crowd was raucous and spirited. Clinton delivered her yelling over loud bursts of applause and chanting.
With an eye on the upcoming primaries in South Carolina and Nevada, Clinton emphasized objective bigotry and discrimination. Her campaign announced she will be joined on the road by African American parents who have lost children to gun violence.
Several voters said they expected the result and were not astonished to assure Sanders win here in New Hampshire, his neighboring state.
Its a marathon not a sprint and I believe shes going to deliver in the end, I actually do, said Dawn Harkness of New London, Connecticut.
The former secretary of state campaign director, Robby Mook, said the campaigns were dividing the first two competitions after her exceedingly narrow victory in Iowa, calling Sanders victory in New Hampshire any results weve long anticipated.
The nomination will very likely be won in March , not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong potentially insurmountable delegate lead next month, he wrote in a memoranda to reporters, which focused in large part on Clintons strength among African American and Hispanic voters. They know her, trust her and are aroused about her candidacy.
He added: Senator Sanders has unarguably tapped into real impressions of fury and annoyance among voters. But what Hillary gets and what shes been fighting for her whole life is the need to break down all the barriers that hold Americans back from living up to their own God-given potential, including systemic racism and discrimination.
Though his win had been expected for several weeks, the scale of the defeat for Clinton will raise questions about her appeal among younger voters and women, especially after the amazingly competitive Iowa caucuses saw her winning that state last week by less than 0.3 percentage points.
Clintons communications director Jennifer Palmieri, said the candidate was in good spirit despite the loss.
She doesnt like to lose, but she expected it, Palmieri told reporters on Tuesday night before Clinton spoke.
On Monday, campaign chairman John Podesta was forced to deny reports that Clinton was scheming a shake-up of senior staff to try to refine her message to voters as the primary campaign swings to South Carolina and Nevada.
But while Clinton is likely to view the loss as a temporary setback, Sanders is hoping it can give him momentum to overcome doubts among many Democrats about his long-term viability both as the partys nominee and as a presidential candidate with enough support to take on a Republican challenger in Novembers general election.
Amid widespread concern about the influence of big donors over the political process, the Vermont senators decision to target Clintons donations from Wall Street appear to have been particularly effective in New Hampshire.
As in Iowa, his calls for free tuition at public colleges and universities also resonated well among students, while Clintons criticism that a similar bold plan for universal health insurance is unrealistic do not appear to have dissuaded voters passionate about the broad objective of reducing inequality.
Immediately before the election, Sanders was a clear frontrunner among pundits with an average lead in recent polls of 13 percentage points. His chances of success were put at greater than 99% by forecasting website FiveThirtyEight and he had been up to 26 points ahead in one poll released on Monday.
But Sanders the first Jewish American to win a presidential primary in US history started the race more than 40 points behind his better known challenger and briefly lost the polling lead again in November after her strong performance before a congressional inquiry into the Benghazi terror attack.
Clinton had also sought to manage expectations by briefly leaving the state to campaign before their own nationals stage in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday. On the day of the primary, her squad sent an email to advocates beginning whatever happens tonight
The first state to hold primary elections, New Hampshire is rarely a perfect predictor of eventual success. In 1992 Bill Clinton was beaten in the state by Paul Tsongas, who was obscure even then.
Though sometimes displaying libertarian leanings in general elections, New Hampshires Democratic voters are notably whiter and more liberal than the national coalition that propelled Barack Obama to victory.
Nevertheless, Sanders appears to have won substantial backing from New Hampshires independent voters, who are allowed to had participated in either partys primaries, according to state rules.
Senior Sanders staff see this decisive win in New Hampshire as their ticket to the genuine national campaign momentum that has so far proved difficult to achieve.
A major television advertising blitz is planned from Wednesday in a number of marketplaces where they have yet to compete and they believe they can now outspend the opponent with the help of soaring individual donations.
Chief adviser Tad Devine also told the the Guardian he is increasingly confident of securing union support to help the campaign in Nevada, scene of their next and perhaps most important showdown with Clinton yet.
People need to understand something, said a passionate Devine. We are a better campaign. We are a better resourced campaign. We have more people on the ground. We are demonstrating that resource superiority by going on television all across this country. We are redeploying hundreds of people who worked on this campaign[ in New Hampshire ]. We are happy to compete with them in the air and on ground anywhere in this country.
The day started well for Sanders when he won by four referendums to zero in the tiny New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville, which famously begins the primary season by voting and proclaiming outcomes immediately after midnight on Monday.
By Tuesday evening the latter are turning people away from the Bernie Sanders outcomes party before polling had even closed, much to the annoyance of supporters flocking to the high school venue without tickets.
On Tuesday Clinton made a last minute push to win voters at polling stations around New Hampshire. Joined by her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, she stopped by three polling stations in Manchester, Nashua and Derry to shake hands with voters and thank her volunteers.
Greeted by chants of Madam President, at a secondary school in Nashua, Clinton posed for a photo with a woman who said it was on her pail listing to shake the hand of the president.
At a stop in Derry, Clinton ran into the husband of another candidate hoping to be the first female president: Carly Fiorina.
Between dueling campaign signs, Frank Fiorina and Clinton briefly exchanged pleasantries. Clinton remarked that the primary was an amazing, wonderful part of our democracy and Fiorina agreed.
Give my best to Carly, Clinton said, as her squad escorted her back to the car.
But in the end, it wasnt a good night for either of the candidates.
Early exit poll showed that 40% of Democrats preferred successful candidates who was more liberal than Barack Obama.
Read more: www.theguardian.com