Sanders, Trump decisively win New Hampshire primary

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks to constituents at Gov. Greg Abbott’s election results party in 2014. Cruz won the Iowa caucus on the Republican side, but placed third in the New Hampshire primary held Tuesday.
Photo Credit: Amy Zhang | Daily Texan Staff

Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) placed first in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, winning the highest number of delegates and re-establishing the two as fierce competitors for their respective parties’ nomination.

New Hampshire voters gave Trump 34 percent and Sanders 60 percent of the vote, earning them nine and 13 delegates towards the nominations, respectively.

On Feb. 1, both Trump and Sanders placed second in the Iowa caucuses, despite having consistent leads in polling throughout the weeks leading up to the race. 

“It wasn’t as exciting as Iowa was because polls were so off,” College Republicans president Madison Yendell said. “It is such a different state in terms of the GOP, so I wasn’t really surprised to see that [Trump] won.”

In the latest CNN poll of the race for the Republican nomination, Trump led the pack of nine candidates with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in second place at 15 percent and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) placing third at 11 percent.

Kasich, one of the more moderate Republican candidates, earned the second-place finish in New Hampshire with 16 percent, to the surprise of many political analysts and Republicans due to his performance in polls leading up to the race.

“It was kind of Kasich’s last hope,” Yandell said. “For some of them … it wasn’t necessarily the nail in their campaign, but it was not a good sign to not do so well.”

On the Democratic side, Sanders had consistently led New Hampshire polls for most of the primary campaign since at least December. In the latest CNN poll, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton trailed Sanders, with Sanders having 54 to Clinton’s 42 percent, in a stark contrast to the razor-thin margin in Iowa that came down to less than one percent.

The CNN poll closely matched final results in New Hampshire, with Clinton falling behind Sanders at 39 percent, earning her seven delegates.

“It’s not surprising that he won, but I think the margin by which he won is pretty stunning,” said Maliha Mazhar, University Democrats communications director. “I think that it will be a really exciting primary season.”

Leading up to when polls closed, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said officials were expecting record-breaking turnout from every county, with some polling locations closing later than expected because of the heavy flow of voters.

“The one good thing about having an excited electorate is that people actually turn out to vote,” Mazhar said. “That’s the good thing about having a close primary.”

Despite the high turnout in the early states and the student enthusiasm towards some of the candidates in both parties, Jason Duong, biomedical engineering junior, said he is tuned out of the election because he believes the entire nomination process is a “show.”

“Every candidate is just playing the game by the rules,” Duong said. “They say whatever people want to hear…and get ahead of everyone else, that’s it.”

While the next state to vote is South Carolina in late February, Texas voters will have their opportunity to vote for the candidates of their choosing on March 1 in the Super Tuesday primary.