The revolution became reality on Tuesday night when both parties’ establishment candidates were crushed beneath the anti-Washington sentiment growing all over the country. In New Hampshire, both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders soared to victory, turning poll numbers into votes for the first time. If Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and the rest of the political elite were lying to themselves before, they can no longer pretend that this is a phantom movement.
“We are going to make America great again,” Trump said in his victory speech. “We are going now to South Carolina. We are gonna win in South Carolina!”
Though both Trump and Sanders suffered defeat in Iowa, their New Hampshire comebacks were decisive. Trump won with more than 35% of the vote in a ridiculously-crowded field while Sanders finished more than 20 points ahead of Clinton in the Democratic race.
Naturally, the media has been focused on the strong second place showing by John Kasich as well as the abysmal showing from Chris Christie. Kasich surged to take 16% of the vote, but Christie only managed to get about half of that. After the night was finished, the New Jersey governor’s campaign came to an end as well. Christie announced Wednesday that he was pulling out of the race.
That leaves Bush, Kasich, and Marco Rubio to battle it out for the establishment vote as the race moves into the South. Rubio, who was flying high just a week ago after his performance in Iowa, has seen his stock tumble following a poor showing at the last Republican debate. If anyone is happy to see Christie gone, it’s Rubio.
Then, of course, there is Ted Cruz. Cruz came in third in New Hampshire, a respectable follow-up to his win in Iowa. If voters have been turned off by accusations thrown against him by Ben Carson, it didn’t seem to show. No one other than Trump has been as mercilessly attacked as Cruz; if he’s still hanging in strong, he could very well be the one to watch as this race gets going.
On the other side of the aisle, Bernie Sanders said his victory was just the first step towards the White House. “Tonight, we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,” he said.
Clinton tried her best to wave off the landslide loss, telling her supporters that it was the outcome they always expected. “I want to say I still love New Hampshire and I always will,” Clinton said. “Now we take this campaign to the entire country. We are going to fight for every vote in every state.”
But if the first primary in the nation is any indication, both liberals and conservatives are in the market for something new.