Who won the 2016 New Hampshire primary? While the results are still being tabulated, the early exit polling is looking good for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.
[Update: News outlets have projected that both Bernie Sanders and Trump will go on to win the New Hampshire primaries for their parties.]
With the first polls closing in New Hampshire closing at 7 p.m. ET and continuing on until all voting is done at 8 p.m., it could be several hours before the final results are known. But early signs are already good for the two men who faltered in Iowa.
Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump went into last week’s Iowa caucus hoping for wins, and with the most recent polling suggesting they would. But both ended up losing, and now they turn to New Hampshire for a chance at redemption.
Early exit polls from New Hampshire might be good for Sanders and Trump. CNN reported that nearly half of GOP voters and one-quarter of Democrats made up their mind in recent days — the same time period that both Sanders and Trump were climbing in the polls.
As the CNN reported noted, Democratic voters aligned well with Sanders’ strong points.
“Though Democrats voting on Tuesday were less apt to say they felt betrayed by their party or to express anger with the federal government, about three-quarters said they were worried about the economy. About 4-in-10 said they thought life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than life today, and 9-in-10 said they thought the nation’s economy favored the wealthy.”
— CBS News Politics (@CBSPolitics) February 10, 2016
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 10, 2016
Other signs favor Trump, including a large number of Republicans who agree with his call to ban all non-U.S. Muslims from entering the country.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) February 10, 2016
As Fox News pointed out, the question of who won the New Hampshire Republican primary isn’t as important as who finishes in the No. 2 spot. With Donald Trump leading all polls and expected to an easy win, many were looking at which candidate can finish top behind Trump and set themselves up for what could be a one-on-one battle down the stretch.
“All eyes are on second place,” Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp told Fox News.
After the Iowa caucus, it appeared as if Marco Rubio could be positioned to line up behind Trump. Though Texas Senator Ted Cruz actually finished second, Cruz was expected to do well in Iowa, which has a favorable demographic for him. Rubio’s close third place finish was much more unexpected, and many believed a strong performance in New Hampshire could solidify party support around him.
But Rubio turned in a shaky performance in Saturday’s debate, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie attacking him for relying on small set of oft-repeated talking points.
Rubio said he’s still looking at the long term, and not relying too heavily on the 2016 New Hampshire Primary results.
“Obviously, we want to do well here in New Hampshire and get as many delegates as we can. The same is true in South Carolina and in Nevada,” he said. “I feel very confident that as we move forward in this process, that’s what we’re going to wind up at.”
The earliest results from voting showed Bernie Sanders out to a big lead over Hillary Clinton, with more than 60 percent of the votes. But the answer of who won the GOP New Hampshire primary could take much longer, as Trump is locked in a tight contest with Cruz and Ohio Governor Dennis Kasich.
[Picture by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]