Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Great Bay Community College on Feb. 4, 2016 in Portsmouth, N.H.
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty

Trump, Sanders sweep to victory in New Hampshire primaries


Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders will win the New Hampshire primaries, NBC News projects, outcomes that are certain to send further shockwaves through the anxious political establishments of both parties.

Since he began to dominate the race after his entry last summer, Trump has bewildered party regulars with his bombastic style and his appeal to GOP voters disaffected with more traditional candidates. His win Tuesday, following a second-place finish in Iowa last week, seals Trump’s position as a legitimate candidate for the Republican nomination and all but ensures a more prolonged primary fight as the GOP candidates turn their attention to the South Carolina primary in less than two weeks.

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Establishment-minded Republicans had hoped that the state’s notoriously choosy voters would coalesce around one of their preferred candidates rather than affirming Trump, but no single challenger has emerged at the head of the pack. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush were in a fight for second place as the votes continue to come in Tuesday.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who hails from neighboring Vermont, had battled fiercely with consensus front-runner Hillary Clinton this week since losing by a razor-thin margin in last week’s Iowa contest. Clinton cast Sanders as an unrealistic zealot for progressive purity without adequate experience to govern a divided country, and former President Bill Clinton suggested that some of Sanders’ supporters used sexist language in opposing his wife’s presidential bid.

For his part, Sanders hammered Clinton for her ties to Wall Street and big business, portraying her as beholden to callous and corrupt corporate interests who disdain the middle class. A contentious head-to-head debate last week on MSNBC in New Hampshire only fueled the race further.

Clinton’s defeat in the state, while widely expected, comes with a personal pang for a candidate whose presidential ambitions were revived in New Hampshire in 2008. That year, Clinton’s surprise victory over then-Sen. Barack Obama earned her the label of “comeback kid” — the same moniker used for her husband after his come-from-behind performance here in 1992. 

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