The real estate moguls success in New Hampshire happened despite a comparatively weak campaign organization and a penchant for controversy
Donald Trump, once an object of mock and scorn by many in the political establishment, has won the New Hampshire Republican primary.
According to projections from the Associated Press, this is the first electoral victory for the real estate mogul in a 2016 election campaign he has in so far dominated.
Trump devoted an unusually emotional speech to supporters in a hotel ballroom next to a Best Western hotel by the Manchester airport, starting by thanking his deceased mothers as well as his siblings.
He also took a moment to mention Bernie Sanders, the winner of the Democratic primary. Congratulations to Bernie, he told. We have to congratulate him, we may not like it. He wants to give away our country, folks. Were not going to let it happen.
Trump then touched on familiar topics from his stump speech, including bugbears Mexico and China, concluding by promising attendees that once he is elected we are going to start winning again. We are going to win so much, you are going to be so happy, we are to be able to make America so great again, maybe greater than before.
With two exceptions, every Republican nominee in the past 50 years has won the Granite State first-in-the-nation primary.
Trumps campaign, fueled by a blend of insurgent populism and unprecedented media attention, has turned every rule of politics on its head. Trumps success in New Hampshire happened despite comparatively weak campaign organization in the country and a penchant for controversial remarks that would have sunk the campaigns of almost any other candidate.
Trump are continuously courted dispute throughout his presidential bid. Among other incendiary statements, he has said that John McCain, a decorated Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, was not a hero, be interpreted to mean that Fox News host Megyn Kellys tough questioning during a debate was because she was menstruating and, most recently, called Ted Cruz a pussy at a rally in Manchester on Monday, the night is only after the primary.
Yet none of the disputes have affected Trumps standing with his base of disaffected blue-collar white voters, who remain drawn to his guaranteed to Make America Great Again. Many of Trumps topics were familiar to a New Hampshire primary electorate that strongly supported Pat Buchanan in 1992 and 1996; but Trump added an aura of celebrity and describe in many who were entirely new to the political process.
One typical Trump voter, Paul Porier from Manchester, told the Guardian on Monday night that he had never voted before in their own lives. The middle aged veteran, wearing a hat emblazoned with the name of the ship he had served on in the navy, told simply and insistently: Im voting for Donald Trump because hes going to make America great again.
Porier, an independent, said the end of Americas greatness coincided with Barack Obama taking office and that once we get rid of Obama, things are going to change. He was finally voting because while suppose all legislators are in it for the money, Trump wasnt. He doesnt need the money told Poirier.
Stephen Stepanek, a Republican country representative, who boasted of being the first elected official in the country to endorse Donald Trump, said he felt vindicated.
The loyal Trump supporter, who was of the view that he never doubted Trumps campaign after his second-place finish in Iowa, told: This will be our Republican nominee who will ultimately be the president of the United States he is going to make America great again.
He was planning on traveling to South Carolina eventually to campaign for Trump but was enjoying the result on Tuesday night. Ive been through the highs, Ive been through the lows and this is the best high right now, he said.
What remained less clear as the polls closed was how the pile-up of nominees vying to finish in the top tier behind Trump would perform.
Early exit numbers showed a tight race between Ohio governor John Kasich, Texas senator Ted Cruz, Florida senator Marco Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
But with more than 80% of precincts reporting in the states Republican primary, Kasich – who as a relative moderate is in some ways Trumps opposite – was proclaimed second by the Associated Press with 16.2% to Trumps 34.5%.
Maybe – just maybe – we are turning the page on a dark part of American politics, because tonight the light overcame the darkness, Kasich told advocates in Concord.
The fight over third place was too close to call as the evening wore on, but Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor whose last act ahead of the primary was to savage Rubio on the debate stage, seemed all but certain to suspend his campaign in the coming days.
A stronger-than-expected demonstrating for Kasich and Bush was crucial for a pair of candidates whose campaigns had failed to take off in earnest. Both governors dedicated a disproportionate sum of period and resources in New Hampshire, seeking to claim the so-called establishment mantle as party moderates.
But the question looming over them now is whether they have the infrastructure to remain competitive in a drawn-out primary season. Kasich is largely viewed as lacking the organization to compete in the pending southern nations where his brand is far less palatable to Republican primary voters.
A positive outcome will be a far greater vindication for Bush, whose campaign was proclaimed dead in the water amid a series of stumbles last fall. The son and brother of US presidents still faces an uphill climbing, but third place might give him the necessary validation in the eyes of donors to continue with his beleaguered campaign.
The pundits had it all figured out, last Monday night, when the Iowa caucuses were complete, Bush told a meet of supporters in Manchester. They said that the race was now a three-person race between two freshman senators and a reality Tv star. And, while the reality Tv star is still doing well, it looks like you everyone has reset the race, and for that I am really grateful.
He added: This campaign is not dead. Were going to South Carolina.
Bush holds a formidable ground game in both South Carolina and Nevada and will be joined there this week by brother George W Bush. The former president remains vastly popular in the country, even if once thought to be a liability for his younger brothers campaign.
The night seems to have been tougher for Rubio, who arrived in the country last week riding high on the momentum he gained from a strong third-place showing in the Iowa caucuses. The first-term senator appeared to be on the cusp of persuading both donors and party elites to coalesce behind his candidacy, but was left reeling from an underwhelming debate performance on Saturday that played immediately into his contenders assaults that Rubio is too scripted.
Additional reporting by Paul Owen in Manchester and Matt Sullivan in Concord
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