Trump Roars; Sanders Soars; Kasich Surprises; Clinton Clobbered as New Hampshire Speaks

Donald-Trump.jpgNew York real estate billionaire Donald J. Trump Tuesday night roared back from a second-place finish in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses vote to score a stunning 35.1 percent victory in the Republican Party's New Hampshire primary.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, with a 5 percent poll rating only four months ago, was the surprise winner of the night, placing second with a 15.9 percent return.

With 88 percent, or 264 of the 300 precincts still reporting at 1:02 a.m. Wednesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz held a razor-edge third-place standing with 11.6 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jed Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were estimated to be tied for fourth place with 11 percent.

The final Cruz, Bush and Rubio standings could change slightly when all 300 precincts have finally clocked in with their results Wednesday morning.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could manage only 8 percent of the vote. Speculation is that he will drop out, even before the next GOP debate Feb. l3 in Greenville, SC.

Although they both say they will be competing in the next GOP primary Feb. 20 in South Carolina, business executive Carla Fiorina and retired Baltimore neurologist Ben Carson are also expected to call it quits shortly. They each garnered about 4 percent of the vote.

On the Democratic side, 74-year-old Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders smothered former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with a 60 percent to 38.4 percent victory.

Sanders also made history, becoming the first Jewish candidate to win a Presidential primary election. He has been a Vermont senator for 26 years, calls himself an Independent and has never been a member of the Democratic Party.

If he is going to repeat his victory in the Feb. 20 Nevada Democratic caucus, he will have to wave his magic wand over a strong Hispanic and African American voter bloc in that part of the South.  Clinton will be competing for the same voters.

She will also try to woo back young male and female voters who are currently backing
Sanders. This is the voting group Clinton once boasted would lead her to the White House.  She still may make it, but it's going to be a long, hard and expensive road.

On the Republican avenue, Trump may have to overcome considerable indecision by numerous Carolina voters, even though he is the front-runner with 35 percent poll ratings. But he is confident he will sweep that state as he did in New Hampshire.

In his victory speech, with chants of "USA! USA! USA!" filling the room, Trump, 69, shouted he would "make America great again" by cutting "great trade deals," rebuilding the military and securing the borders.

"We're going to beat all of these countries that are taking so much from us," he said, singling out China, Japan and Mexico. "The world is going to respect us again...Believe me."

Throughout his campaign, Sanders has pitched free college education, single-payer universal health insurance and increased Social Security benefits.  "It's too late for the same old establishment economics," he told his supporters. "People want real change."

He shouted, "From Wall Street to Washington...from Maine to California...the people have spoken."

Clinton, 69, was equally confident she would beat Sanders in Nevada.

"I know I have some work to do, particularly with young people," she told her supporters. "And I will do it."

"I still love New Hampshire and I always will," she said. "Now we take this campaign to the entire country."

Almost as big a story as Trump's victory was Rubio's estimated fourth-place finish Tuesday night.  Since his widely panned performance in the Feb. 6 debate, he had planned to lock up establishment support and force rivals out of the race. Rubio took the blame Tuesday, telling supporters, "I did not do well on Saturday night ... That will never happen again."

Bush's campaign hinged on a strong showing in New Hampshire, and he tried to offer reassurance tonight that he's still in the fight. "This campaign is not dead," he told supporters. "We're going on to South Carolina."

What do I think of the whole situation?  It's Trump and Sanders all the way, at least until Super Tuesday, March 1. That's when 15 states across the country hold their primaries and caucuses.

Bring your calculators. That could be a long night.

And that's the way it is at this moment.


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