Trump And Sanders Win The New Hampshire Primary

The two men, once considered long-shots, are the winners in the season's first vote

(Photo Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ)
Feb 09, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET

It’s a good night to be a self-styled political outsider with a New York accent. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the winners in the New Hampshire primaries that drew a massive turnout Tuesday.

It’s an outcome that would have seemed impossible six months ago. Both Trump and Sanders were long considered fringe candidates with no chance of getting nominated, yet both walk away with decisive victories in the first primary of the 2016 season. Ohio Governor John Kasich took second on the GOP side, while Hillary Clinton waits to see how close she’ll be to Senator Sanders in the final tally.

“This is nothing short of the start of a political revolution,” Sanders said in his acceptance speech. The Vermont senator started with a congratulations to Hillary Clinton, who won the state in 2008. “In the days ahead, I hope we continue to wage a strong issue-oriented campaign,” he said, vowing to keep fighting in the upcoming primary battles.

Trump opened his victory speech with thanks to his family and a dig at the Democratic winner. “He wants to give away our country, folks,” he said of Sanders. “We’re not gonna let it happen.”

The New Hampshire vote was hotly anticipated: Over a million people weighed in on the candidates on Twitter—far more than the number of people who can actually vote in the contests, a Vocativ social media analysis found.

Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, Twitter doesn’t actually get to decide the results: the former secretary of state dominated the Democratic side of the conservation, getting more than 200,000 mentions on Tuesday—perhaps a sign of her ramped-up efforts heading into the vote. Sanders, who spent decades as a public servant in neighboring Vermont, has been considered the favorite since overtaking Clinton in the polls two months ago.

“It doesn’t matter if you get knocked down. What matters is if you get back up,” Clinton said in her speech, shortly after she called Sanders to concede.

Trump dominated the conversation on Twitter on Tuesday—a platform where no other candidate can threaten his superiority. The helmet-haired candidate counted close to 320,000 mentions throughout the day; that’s almost three times more than Ted Cruz, who was second in the Republican field in terms of Twitter mentions.

Following Trump’s loss in Iowa last week, his campaign made various efforts this morning to improve voter mobilization, offering rides to the polls on pro-Trump Facebook groups and attempting to mimic the Sanders campaign’s mastery of subreddits by getting supporters on the phones. Marco Rubio, meanwhile, spent the day trying to avoid the wrath of robots infringing on his campaign.