Former reality TV star Donald J. Trump secured a key victory in the 2016 presidential election on Tuesday, winning the New Hampshire primary ahead of a raft of experienced senators and governors. In a double victory for populism, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the Democratic vote.
Both winners peddle a strong ideological message at odds with the country’s political mainstream. Trump, a 69-year-old business tycoon from New York, has run a campaign fueled on nationalism and fear, promising to build a wall on the southern border and suggesting a ban on all Muslims entering the US.
Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H
Sanders, 74, is an avowed social democrat, promising universal healthcare, free university education and an end the disproportionate political influence of the 1 percent.
Yet it’s the triumph of Trump that will reverberate around the globe, the tycoon enjoying a sweeping victory despite his xenophobia reaching such a level that in January the British parliament debated whether he was fit for entry into the UK.
“We are going to do something so good, and so fast, and so strong," said the tycoon accepting victory. "And the world is going to respect us again. Believe me."
"We’re going to build a wall," he added, repeating a campaign mantra. "It’s going to be built. It’s not even, it’s not even a difficult thing to do.” Trump added that he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
Hillary Clinton reacts at her New Hampshire presidential primary campaign rally on Feb. 9, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H
The early returns showed Ohio Governor John Kasich coming in second for the Republicans, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz, the winner of last week’s Iowa caucuses, placing third. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio vied for fourth.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who spent the past week bullying Marco Rubio over his inability to speak off the cuff, suffered almost no bump for his considerable efforts, languishing in the electoral sediment alongside former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Thank you to the people of New Hampshire, I love you! Now, off to South Carolina.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2016
Sanders' victory was heavily predicted, so much so that the Clinton campaign put out a press release as soon as polls closed congratulating her opponent while downplaying the importance of the New Hampshire vote. “Now we take this campaign to this entire country," said the former first lady in a rousing concession speech flanked by her husband and daughter. "We are going to fight for every vote in every state,” she added.
Bernie Sanders reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H
The Vermont senator, who has built a national mass movement on the back of barnstorming attacks on Wall Street and the political elite, reflected on a campaign that started as a kitsch sideshow and has transformed into what Sanders calls a "political revolution."
“Nine months ago, we began our campaign here in New Hampshire, we had no campaign organisation," he said in victory. "We had no money. And we were taking on the most powerful political organisation in the United States of America. And tonight, with what it appears to be a record-breaking voter turnout, because of a huge voter turnout – and I say YUGE! – we won.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 10, 2016
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) February 10, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.
US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during the primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2016.
With his wife Karen at his side Republican presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich cheers with supporters Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Concord, N.H., at his primary night rally.
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton speaks at her primary night party February 9, 2016 at Southern New Hampshire University in Hooksett, New Hampshire.
A supporter of Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich waits for results during a primary election watch party, February 9, 2016, in Concord, New Hampshire.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks to supporters on primary election night, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Hollis, N.H.
Supporters watch election returns on a big screen as they wait for Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump to speak during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks to the crowd at his primary night rally at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday Feb. 9, 2016.
Tears well up in Mary Pat Christie's eyes as her husband Republican presidential candidate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses supporters during a primary night rally in Nashua, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016.
A supporter holds a sign touting Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump during a primary night rally, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H.