In his victory speech, Trump thanked his family early and often. “We have to start with Melania. What she puts up with,” said Trump of his wife. “She said right from the beginning, ‘You know if you run, you know you’re going to win.’ ”
Referring to Tuesday night’s Democratic winner, Bernie Sanders, Trump said, “I heard the end of Bernie’s speech. First of all, congratulations to Bernie, in all fairness. He wants to give away our country, folks. We’re not gonna let it happen.”
The Associated Press announced a victory for Trump before all votes had been counted. With 63 percent of the state’s precincts reporting, Trump held 34.4 percent of the vote, while John Kasich took second with 16.2 percent. Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio continued to duke it out for third place. Also still in the running were Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.
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In his concession speech, Ohio Gov. Kasich thanked his supporters for being his “insurance policy.”
“There’s magic in the air with this campaign, because we don’t see it as just a campaign [but] as an opportunity to change the country,” Kasich said, adding that “it doesn’t take the government – it takes our hearts to change America.”
The neck-and-neck race for second place was a crucial one. According to NJ.com, no candidate has ever won the presidency without coming in first or second place in the New Hampshire primary. (Per primarynewhampsire.com, only one candidate has won the nomination without placing first or second in New Hampshire. Bottom line: This is an important primary in predicting the eventual president.)
Trump was heavily favored to win in New Hampshire. According to RealClearPolitics, statewide polls leading up to Tuesday evening’s first primary of the year showed Trump with a double-digit lead over all of his competitors.
Early Tuesday morning, Kasich won the Republican vote in the tiny New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville Notch, which traditionally hosts the first vote of the election season’s first primary. Of the nine total votes cast at midnight on Tuesday, Kasich scored a 3-2 win over Trump, while Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 4-0.