New Hampshire results show American anger against career politicians

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump - considered long-shot outsiders - have grabbed the imagination of grass-roots voters.

 |  4-minute read |   11-02-2016
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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire yesterday easily defeating former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton to become the first Jewish candidate ever to win a presidential contest.

This has America asking this morning, could it be possible that there will be a Jewish president in the White House next?

His was a victory so clear, so decisive and so thorough that his lead was quickly called by all leading channels, promptly projecting him as a winner.

It was a triumph mirrored on the Republican side by the bombastic blunt talking billionaire Donald Trump, who easily coasted to victory.

The night belonged to the two outsiders who have grabbed the imagination and admiration of the grass-roots voters who want to send a strong message to the elites who control American politics.

Sanders and Trump were both considered long-shot outsiders and their victories are a reflection of the anger of the average Americans against career politicians.

They are also anxious about economic turmoil, illegal immigration and the threat of terrorist attacks on American soil.

Also read: Rise of Trump and Sanders reflects polarisation in American politics

Their wins are also a sign that both the Democratic and the Republicans races will be bitter battles that will stretch on. Sanders won 60 per cent of the votes while Clinton only had 39 per cent. Trump towered at 34 per cent. Governor John Kasich had 16 per cent and Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio were tied at 11 per cent.

Trump’s victory must have horrified those who are concerned about his hateful rhetoric targeting women, Mexicans, Muslims and immigrants in general.

Trump remained undaunted and clearly relished the moment."Wow, wow, wow. We are going to make America great again," he said smiling and flashing a thumbs-up sign.

Sanders, the self-described democratic socialist achieved the victory nine days after becoming the first Jewish figure ever to win delegates in a presidential primary in his second place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

He has never claimed to be religious. In fact, in a recent town hall hosted by CNN, he said he was not a follower of organised religion but said he was both "religious" and "spiritual".

He also said in his victory speech: "We have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California."

"And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their Super PACs. I do not have a Super PAC and I don’t want a Super PAC," he continued.

He talked about the contributions he received from average Americans: "I am overwhelmed, and I am deeply moved far more than I can express in words by the fact that our campaign’s financial support comes from more than one million Americans who have made more than $3.7 million individual contributions than any candidate in the history of the United States up until this point in an election. And you know what that average contribution was? 27 dollars."

He asked for more money. The people responded and the contributions broke his campaign website. Sanders raised $5.2 million in the first 18 hours after the New Hampshire polls closed. That makes it $4,814 a minute.

Voting for Sanders, the political revolutionary is voting against Clinton who has the support of the "establishment". Sanders has called his win "the beginning of a political revolution".

"The people of New Hampshire have sent a profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment and by the way, to the media establishment," he said.

For Clinton, it’s a shocking loss because New Hampshire, where she lost by 20 percent has traditionally been very supportive of the Clintons. This is the state that propelled Bill Clinton in 1992 to victory and it was here that Hillary beat Barack Obama in 2008.

However, it is evident she is not giving up."Now we take this campaign to the country. We are going to fight for every vote in every state," she said.

It may very well come down to that, a tooth and nail fight for every vote for a nomination that political pundits had predicted that Clinton would win easily.

Writer

Sonia Chopra Sonia Chopra @soniachopra28

The writer is a freelance journalist based in Ohio. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, New York Newsday, The Orlando Sentinel, Salon.com, Rediff,com, India Abroad, Indian Express, Firstpost.com, and The Quint.

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