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Bernie Sanders defeats Hillary Clinton; Trump wins in New Hampshire

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Manchester, New Hampshire: In what was termed as a commanding victory, Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, while Donald Trump also scored a big win in a triumph of two candidates who have seized on Americans’ anger at the Washington political establishment.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, beat a former secretary of state and first lady once seen as the all-but-certain Democratic nominee. While Clinton remains the favorite in the national race for the Democratic nomination, the win by the Vermont senator could be a springboard into a competitive, drawn-out primary campaign.

Trump has led national polls for months and the New Hampshire victory reinforces his position as front-runner, proving he can win votes, and giving credibility to his upstart populist candidacy.

For some Republican leaders, back-to-back victories by Trump and Cruz, an uncompromising conservative, add urgency to the need to coalesce around a more mainstream candidate to challenge them through the primaries. However, Tuesday’s vote did little to clarify who that candidate might be.

At stake Tuesday were less than 1 per cent of the delegates who, at party national conventions in July, will choose nominees to succeed President Barack Obama.

In a sign of Trump’s impact on the race, two-thirds of Republican voters said they support a ban on Muslims entering the U.S., a position the billionaire outlined last year amid rising fears of terrorism emanating from the Middle East.

Early exit polls showed Trump drew support from voters looking for an outsider and from those who made up their minds a while ago.

Among Democrats, Sanders, who narrowly lost in Iowa, had maintained a sizeable advantage over Clinton in New Hampshire for weeks. He has appealed to liberal Democrats who believe Obama hasn’t done enough to address the nation’s disparity in wealth.

Sanders said at a raucous victory party that his win would send a message across the nation “that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors” and their political committees.

Clinton echoed Sanders’ calls for taking on Wall Street banks and tackling income inequality, but cast herself as more prepared to make good on her policy pledges.
“People have every right to be angry. But they’re also hungry, they’re hungry for solutions,” she said after congratulating Sanders on his win.

But Clinton has been on the defensive, about her ties to Wall Street – including hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from financial firms – and her use of a personal email account for official business while secretary of state, which has raised questions about whether she mishandled government secrets and about her overall trustworthiness.

Clinton’s campaign argues she will perform better as the race heads to more racially diverse states, including Nevada and South Carolina. Both New Hampshire and Iowa are overwhelmingly white states that are far less diverse than the nation – and particularly the Democratic electorate – as a whole.

“A Democrat who is unable to inspire strong levels of support in minority communities will have no credible path to winning the presidency in the general election,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a memo released as the polls closed.

While Sanders’ victory means he’s assured of a majority of the state’s pledged delegates, Clinton remains ahead in the overall delegate count due to support from superdelegates – the party officials who can support the candidate of their choice at the convention. Overall, Clinton has amassed at least 392 delegates and Sanders at least 42; the magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,382.

By winning New Hampshire, Trump will take the lead in the race for delegates for the Republican National Convention. But it won’t be much of a lead.
There are only 23 delegates at stake in New Hampshire’s Republican primary, and they are awarded proportionally, based on the statewide vote. Trump will win at least nine. A candidate needs 1,237 delegates to win the nomination.

 

 

 

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