By Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump beat their polling averages to emerge as the big winners of the February 9 New Hampshire primary.
On the Democratic side, the primary was a 22-point blowout for Sanders that left Clinton operatives openly speculating about a total reshuffling of the campaign.
Trump's victory on the GOP side, coupled with the surprising second-place finish of John Kasich, caused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina to abandon ship and suspend their sinking campaigns.
'Nine months ago, if you told somebody that we would win the New Hampshire primary, they would not have believed you. Not at all,' Sanders wrote in a post-primary email to his supporters.
'Too bold, they would have said. Not enough money to compete against the billionaires. You showed them tonight.'
Not only did Sanders exceed his polling averages, he swept every region of the state and every demographic except for women voters over 65, who went for Clinton.
In fact, Sanders won women voters as a whole by 11 points, 55% to 44%. He won independent voters by nearly 50 points, 72% to 25%. And Sanders won young voters by 67 points, 83% to 16%.
Sanders captures 2008 Clinton voters
Perhaps the most interesting statistic to emerge from New Hampshire shows Sanders capturing almost all the working-class voters that had been strong Clinton backers when she beat Barack Obama in New Hampshire's 2008 primary.
Conversely, the voters that went for Obama now back Clinton, although in smaller numbers and with diminished enthusiasm.
Among voters making less than $50,000 a year, Sanders defeated Clinton by 33 points. In contrast, Clinton won those same voters by 15 points over Obama in 2008. Among voters making more than $50,000, a group Obama won in 2008, Sanders' margin of victory was only 17 points.
Similarly, Sanders won by 36 points among voters without college degrees, while winning college-educated voters by only 13 points. In 2008, it was Clinton who won voters without college degrees by 8 points, with Obama taking college graduates by 5 points.
While he swept almost every city and town in New Hampshire, Sanders didn't fare much better than Obama in many of the state's more upscale liberal areas.
In Hanover, home of Dartmouth College, Sanders ran just 281 votes ahead of Clinton, a margin of 6.5 points. Eight years ago, Obama won that same town by 1,500 votes, or 32 points. In the city of Portsmouth, another liberal enclave, Sanders performed only modestly better than Obama had, winning by 12 points in a city Obama took by 6 points.
On the other hand, in New Hampshire's older post-industrial cities and towns, places that supported Clinton in 2008, Sanders won the day.
In Berlin, a struggling mill city in northern New Hampshire, Clinton was so strong in 2008 that her vote total actually exceeded that of Obama and the third Democrat in the race, John Edwards, combined. But this time, she lost the city by 13 points to Sanders.
Rochester, another blue-collar mill town, was also a Clinton stronghold in 2008, when she beat Obama by a 16-point margin. Sanders won Rochester by 21 points.
To cap the victory, the Sanders campaign announced it had raised $5.2 million in the 24 hours after his primary win, a number that has gone over $7 million as SGN goes to press.
Bye-bye, Chris and Carly
On the Republican side, Donald Trump rebounded after his loss in the Iowa caucuses to take 35% of the vote in New Hampshire, almost 20 points ahead of second-place candidate John Kasich. Iowa winner Ted Cruz came in a distant third, with only 12% of the vote.
Jeb Bush, once thought to be the favorite in the race, barely kept his campaign alive by edging out Marco Rubio for fourth place. Rubio, who had been rising in the polls, plummeted to fifth place after a disastrous debate performance only days before the primary.
Chris Christie, who had 'bet the ranch on New Hampshire,' in the words of a campaign aide, and Carly Fiorina announced they were suspending their campaigns after the election results were announced.
Both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio each suggested that the other should follow suit, as the Republican 'establishment' seems to be running out of time to coalesce around a single candidate who is capable of beating Trump.
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