Sanders' victory comes on the heels of a virtual tie he pulled off in the Iowa Caucus last week, which many observers believe he actually won but for all of the party chicanery that took place in individual precinct caucus votes by party leaders who backed Clinton to prevent an outright victory for Sanders. Sanders' challenge becomes greater in future primary contests where there are more minority voters. Conventional wisdom says Hillary does better among those voters, but Sanders could prove the pundits wrong as he's already done.
Trump's win in the Republican primary in a crowded GOP field with a number of heavy weights was impressive by any measure. His 34% share of the vote easily outdistanced his nearest opponent and is similar to the victory margins enjoyed by Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008, both of whom went on to win their party nominations. Gov. John Kasich, who pulled a surprising 16% of the vote ahead of others expected to outperform him. Sen. Ted Cruz, the winner in Iowa, is beating former Gov. Jeb Bush by the narrowest of margins for third place. Cruz is capturing about 12% of the vote compared to Bush's 11%. Sen. Marco Rubio, who finished third in Iowa is close on Bush's heels in fifth place with 10% of the vote with just a few hundred votes separating him and Bush. Chris Christie is in sixth place with just 8% of the vote, below the 10% threshold required to win any delegates. He's expected to drop out of the race after tonight's poor showing. Only Cruz is positioned currently among the leading candidates to seriously contest Trump in the next primary election on tap in South Carolina.
The delegate count is the only vote that counts for each party's nomination. Sanders is capturing 13 delegates in New Hampshire compared to 12 delegates for Clinton, a minuscule difference given Sanders' large double-digit win. Eight of the state's 32 delegates are super delegates claimed by party leaders, who overwhelmingly back Clinton's candidacy. Trump has won at least 8 of the 23 delegates to be awarded tonight on the Republican side. Kasich has claimed two votes so far in the counting. It appears Cruz, Bush and Rubio will all achieve the 10% delegate threshold required to claim at least one delegate each tonight.
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