New Hampshire primary: Trump, Sanders win; Kasich takes second
Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders cruised to early victories in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, while Ohio Gov. John Kasich is projected to finish second in the GOP race.
Multiple Republicans, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, are now battling for a third-place finish.
Trump, a brash billionaire reality TV star who has never run for office, and Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist, were seen as long-shot outsiders when they launched their campaigns. Their victories reflect deep bipartisan discontent at professional politicians and suggest that both the Democratic and Republican races will now be long struggles that could stretch well into the spring.
Trump appeared on stage with a beaming smile on his face and gave a thumbs-up to his crowd of supporters.
"Wow, wow, wow," Trump said. "We are going to make America great again."
A hoarse but jubilant Sanders also thanked his supporters with a passionate speech.
"Tonight we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California," he said.
His Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, delivered a concession speech that appeared to be an effort to co-opt Sanders' message about an economy stacked against the middle class while she vowed to fight her rival across the political map.
"Now we take this campaign to the entire country. We are going to fight for every vote in every state," she said, foreshadowing a long fight for the nomination.
"People have every right to be angry. But they are also hungry. They are hungry for solutions," she said, adding that she wanted to rein in Wall Street. "But I know how to do it," Clinton said, implying that Sanders' calls for a revolution were unrealistic.
A source within the Sanders campaign told CNN's Mark Preston that his victory meant that the Vermont senator's operation would transition into a national effort targeting multiple states beyond the next two contests in South Carolina and Nevada. Sanders intends to draw sharp differences with Clinton on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and other trade issues.
Battle for second
Kasich, Rubio and Bush battled for a runner-up finish to assume the leadership of the GOP establishment. Kasich's victory, however, did not appear sufficiently clear-cut to position himself as the sole establishment going into the big races across the South in the coming weeks. He could, however, win delegates in the Midwest if he can stay in the race well into March.
"Something big happened tonight," Kasich said. "There is magic in the air with this campaign."
The continuing crowding of the establishment lane could play into the hands of Trump, the top anti-establishment candidate and Cruz, who proved his social conservative bona fides by winning the Iowa caucuses.
With 55% of the GOP vote counted at about 10:15 p.m. ET, Trump was in the lead at 34% followed by Kasich at 16%. Cruz had 12% while Bush was at 11%, Rubio was at 10% and Chris Christie was at 8%.
On the Democratic side, with 58% of the vote in, Sanders was at 59% to Clinton's 39%.
Rubio, who came under withering attack from Christie during Saturday's presidential debate, said his performance that night stalled the momentum he gained from his stronger-than-expected finish in Iowa.
"I'm disappointed by tonight," Rubio said. "I did not do well on Saturday night and that will never happen again."
Christie, who banked his candidacy on a strong showing in New Hampshire, said he would return to New Jersey on Wednesday to "take a deep breath and see what the final results are tonight."
Early exit polls
Early results of exit polls show that Republicans were concerned or discontented with the federal government and the Republican Party itself.
Nearly half of GOP voters interviewed as they left their polling places Tuesday said they didn't make a final decision about whom to support until the last few days, and about two-thirds said recent debates were important to their choice.
Though Democrats who voted were less likely 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.
The primary is especially important for Trump, who hopes to bolster his narrative that he is one of America's perpetual winners after coming second in Iowa.