The Trump voter, Clinton fatigue, Sanders stunner: Top talking points after New Hampshire primary

New York: Two of America's whitest states have proved that Trump voters are for real and 'Clinton fatigue' is too as the country’s months-long presidential nominating contest barrels into South Carolina next - where racial undertones are not uncommon. The forensics team of the Clinton campaign is being pounded by these messages: Is there a problem with the message or is it about the messenger? Even if that's sorted out, the questions are damaging enough already.

 The Trump voter, Clinton fatigue, Sanders stunner: Top talking points after New Hampshire primary

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders/ AP

Billionaire businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary by double-digits as his supporters sang praises of Trump’s plan to build a big beautiful wall and seal America’s southern border with Mexico so “rapists” and “drug peddlers” can’t smuggle in.

“Build a wall” they sang loudly as Trump’s nearest competitors split the remaining vote four or five ways.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton was beaten by the oldest candidate in the fray powered by young voters - Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont - a 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist promising a political revolution for the masses.

Sanders, who wants to break up banks, hike taxes on rich people and "make the country's police look like the neighborhoods they serve" won 60 per cent of the vote. His staff claimed this was the biggest-ever victory in a contested Democratic primary -- he hammered Clinton in almost every category of voter.

Even the meme of the night belonged to the eldest - #berniesandwich for the tired and hungry.

This page on The Guardian website allows you to track votes by county.

Iowa and New Hampshire are two of the whitest states in the country.

The next states up have many black and Hispanic Democrats, who have traditionally been pro-Clinton but this is an election that's been all but traditional.

Bloomberg Politics notes how South Carolina, whch has set the bar many times for picking potential winners, often corrects the mistakes from the first two states.

Sanders, in his victory speech on a cold, windswept night, promised that his message “will echo from Wall Street to Washington.”

Exit polls are saying Sanders won over 80 per cent of younger voters. He beat Clinton among other groups too - men and women, graduates and non graduates, those with guns and those without.

Only voters aged 65 and above who earn roughly more than $200,000 annually stayed loyal to Clinton.

Considering that Clinton won the New Hampshire primary in 2008 and had a 40-point lead there when she announced her candidacy last year, this loss, although expected, is a whiplash. When Clinton won New Hampshire in 2008, it was a three-way split and Clinton won 39 per cent - which is more than her second place finish this time behind Sanders.

Clinton put on a brave face, though. "I know what it's like to stumble and fall. All Americans know that. But I will get back up and fight on," she told supporters.

Jim Demers, New Hampshire strategist for Clinton, admits that the Clinton "message needs to be refined". "There's no need to panic", Demers told MSNBC.

Sanders has yet to demonstrate the ability to win over older white voters as well as minorities. Without that ability, he can't win, says The Washington Post.

Two key takeaways from NPR analysis, one from each camp:

One: The famed Clinton appeal among black and Latino voters - which become important now, may not hold true. Clinton fatigue and Clinton limitatons are back.

Two: The ‘I’m with crazy’ Trump voters are real, his path to the Republican nomination looks even clearer after New Hampshire.


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Updated Date: Feb 10, 2016 22:07:14 IST