Wednesday, February 10, 2016 5:33 am
The pollsters were right after all. Billionaire Donald Trump won New Hampshire’s Republican presidential nominating contest on Tuesday and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont stunningly won the Democratic primary, both riding a wave of voter anger at traditional politicians.
According to Reuters, voters in the first two U.S. primary voting races have responded enthusiastically to candidates for the Nov. 8 presidential election they view as outsiders.
The results, though decisive, did little to clear up confusion about who would emerge as the establishment contender to Trump on the Republican side, and the campaign of Sanders’ rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were defensive about her future prospects.
Trump’s win solidifies his front-runner status in the race to be the party’s White House nominee. The former reality television star has been cheered by his supporters for comments that others have derided as politically incorrect.
Trump, 69, has campaigned to deport illegal immigrants and temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Trump was in first place with 34 percent of the vote. Ohio Governor John Kasich, aged 63, who staked the viability of his campaign on the New Hampshire outcome, was in second place with 16 percent, CNN said, based on an estimated 67 percent of returns.
Trump congratulated other candidates in the race but promised to soon return to his pugnacious approach. “Tomorrow: boom, boom,” he said, shadow boxing while his supporters cheered.
In his victory speech, Trump said Sanders “wants to give away our country.” He pledged to have business experts negotiate better trade deals and to “knock the hell out” of Islamic State militants.
Sanders, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, has called for eradicating income inequality, breaking up the big banks and providing free college tuition.
“Together we have sent the message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California, and that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors,” Sanders said in his victory speech.