Trump, Sanders Win NH, Political Race Heats Up

The 100th installment of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary kept the TV networks busy and reaffirmed the exhilarating tone pervasive in the 2016 race.

Throughout the state, polling centers were overwhelmed by the number of voters. At some, the definition of “being in line” extended over a mile down the road from polling locations, due to traffic jams trapping hopeful voters.

Despite only 23 delegates up for grabs on the GOP side and 32 for the Democrats, the results will surely shake up the race, particularly in the case of the GOP.

Donald Trump had a large win last night with 35.2% of the vote, but the real battle was for second place. Govs. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich, alongside Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, were all gunning for a strong second place showing.



Ohio Gov. John Kasich came out on top with 15.8%. Slow and steady “won” the second place title in the Granite State. Kasich held over 100 town halls, and his team of volunteers arrived from 27 unique states to campaign for the Governor in New Hampshire.

The others vying for second had fair results, Cruz picked up 11.7%, Bush 11.1% and Rubio came in at 10.5%. Gov. Chris Christie, who may have trouble breathing life into his campaign, had a poor showing with 7.5%.

In the Democratic race, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders pulled off a stronger success than pollsters expected and has captured the momentum his campaign requires to move to South Carolina and Nevada, with a shot at digging into Clinton’s poll leads. The vote split 60%-38.4% in Sanders’ favor.

Both Democratic candidates had lively audiences when they spoke to their supporters following the announcement of the initial results. They both spoke of one another with respect and deference -- Bernie even making a call for unity in the party, regardless of who the eventual nominee is.

With over $10 million spent by the Sanders campaign building a presence online -- more than any other candidate of either party to this point -- his success could expedite a shift to more balanced ad budgets.

RocketFuel’s national politics and advocacy director JC Medici notes: “Sanders’ New Hampshire win is an early indication that the traditional presidential campaign model of ‘TV first’ may not be the path to victory in 2016.”

As MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said last night, the overwhelming Trump and Sanders wins show that we are witnessing an “electorate in revolt.”

This election has stirred additional voters from an apolitical slumber, a process that began back in the 2000s and campaigns now have the tools to harness them, going beyond traditional political advertising techniques.

There is still a long road ahead. The result on the Democratic side will ensure the race goes on for at least a few more months -- Sanders’ online fundraising is shifting into high gear.

As for the GOP, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina’s poor showings could precipitate their exits from the race.

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