Primary Blog: In New Hampshire, Outsiders Are In As Trump, Sanders Win Big
Full day coverage from NHPR reporters and contributors in the field. Photos, victory speeches, voter voices, and much more.
Where to vote: Map of N.H. Polling Places
Live returns and results (Check after the polls close for real-time updates.)
For political junkies: These are the Towns to Watch on Primary Night
The victory speeches:
Full speech audio: VT Sen. Bernie Sanders, winner of the N.H. Democratic Primary
Full speech audio: Donald Trump, winner of the N.H. Republican Primary
Carson's Supporters Say They're In For The Long Haul
by Rik Stevens
At Nashua's Crowne Plaza, supporters of Republican Ben Carson were unfazed by the 3 percent the doctor was pulling in Tuesday. The campaign never anticipated doing well in New Hampshire and focused instead on Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada.
In fact, Carson himself was in South Carolina as the returns came in.
"We met expectations, which were low," says Bob Dees, Carson's national campaign chairman.
Dees says he expects Carson will fare better in South Carolina and Nevada where the demographics "better align" with the campaign's main thrusts.
"He's in it for the long haul," says Dees.
Supporter Ryan Cacciola just decided to vote for Carson Tuesday morning after flirting with - and rejecting - Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush. He says it will take the American people a little longer to get past " the 15 second sound bites" that he says have characterized the campaign. Once they do, Cacciola says, Carson will be an attractive alternative.
"He is, in my opinion, the best person for the job," says the 23-year-old Cacciola.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tells supporters he is heading home, and not to South Carolina.
Paige Sutherland describes the mood at Christie's camp after his speech:
Even at Zero Percent, Gilmore Remains Optimistic
by Rik Stevens
The mood is sedate at Fratello's restaurant in Manchester, where former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore watches returns come in with a small handful of staff and supporters.It was a very sedate mood at Fratello's restaurant in Manchester where former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore watched returns come in with a small handful of staff and supporters.
The governor, who has failed to catch much traction with voters, says the debate structure that favored high-polling candidates left qualified hopefuls on the outside looking in. He says a simple solution would have been to simply split the large GOP into two halves and conduct co-equal debates, not have a so-called "undercard" debate.
"Then you could have had an honest discussion about what's best for the American people," Gilmore says.
He maintains he has the credentials as a former governor and veteran to address the most pressing issues facing the country: The economy, security, veterans services and defending gun rights.
He says he'll assess whether to continue his campaign after seeing the final New Hampshire results.
"It is fair to be critical of my campaign if we're not pulling at least 1 percent," Gilmore says.
At the time of this writing, Gilmore has so few votes that the AP is tabulating his percentage at zero.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has taken second place in the New Hampshire Republican primary, according to the Associated Press. With 44% of precincts reporting, Kasich holds firm at 16% of the vote.
There is a tight race for third on the GOP side, with Cruz, Bush, and Rubio holding 12%, 11%, and 10% respectively.
Hillary Clinton concedes to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. In her speech, she vows to continue her campaign and focuses on issues including equality, race, and campaign finance.
Full Speech Audio: Hillary Clinton
Clinton took the stage accompanied by Bill and Chelsea Clinton. She said she called Sen. Sanders to congratulate him on his victory . She also referenced Sanders’ opposition to Citizens United – a cornerstone of his campaign - and said no one was more committed to reforming the campaign finance system than she is.
On the Democratic side, Sanders victory stands at 58% to Clinton's 40% with 32% of precincts reporting. Political scientist Dante Scala calls Clinton's loss "devastating in loss and scope."
Fiorina 'Won't Back Down' After New Hampshire
by Rik Stevens
There's no shortage of enthusiasm at the campaign night headquarters for Republican Carly Fiorina. About 150 people are jammed into the ballroom at the Derryfield Country Club in Manchester to watch the primary returns roll in.
Fiorina took to the podium with Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" blaring from the speakers.
"You really have given us the energy to keep going," Fiorina told her supporters. "We ARE going to keep going."
Vivian Ackley has been volunteering for Fiorina for about a year -- the first time the 72-year-old from Hampstead felt passionate enough about a candidate to get personally involved. She likes Fiorina's compassion.
"She starts off talking about the potential of people, then she has a plan to pull that potential out," says Ackley. "She touched my heart."
Fiorina has fallen to the lower tier of Republicans seeking the nomination but her press secretary, Audrey Scagnelli says she's in the campaign for the long haul and notes she just bought a $1 million ad buy in fourth-to-vote Nevada.
"This is not a single-state race," Scagnelli says.
And her backers, Ackley included, were just hoping to give Fiorina "wind at her back."
At Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters at Southern New Hampshire University in Nashua, the campaign has switched from playing pop music to airing Clinton ads on two large screens on either side of the room.
Supporters are standing or seated in three sets of bleachers around a large stage with a single podium. Campaign workers are passing out a handout with endorsements from state legislators in the next state on the primary map, South Carolina. If there is a mood in the room, it’s as if a Sanders win had been expected, which, of course, it was.
Trump supporter Frank Ricci of Providence, Rhode Island celebrates after Donald Trump's Republican primary victory was called in New Hampshire.
8: 23 PM:
Early returns show Ohio Governor John Kasich in a solid second-place position with 16% percent of the vote. Producer Ted Siefer reports there is a "lot of energy" at Kasich's Concord headquarters, with the crowd cheering each time results are updated on a projection screen.
NHPR's Emily Corwin talked to Kasich supporter Mary Morris, who came with her five home-schooled children to spend primary night at Kasich's camp. While Morris says she supports Kasich, her kids, who range in age from 8-15, have their own opinions. They support Cruz, Sanders, and Rubio.
Sam Evans-Brown reports the Sanders campaign had not yet finished letting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters into the gym at Concord High School when the race was called.
The Associated Press has called the New Hampshire Primary just minutes after the polls closed. Donald Trump is the projected winner on the Republican side, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the winner on the Democratic side.
The margins of victory are still unknown.
Former Virginia Jim Gilmore arrives to greet about twenty supporters at his Manchester, New Hampshire primary night headquarters. He says he plans to remain in the race regardless of tonight's outcome.
"I gotta ticket to fly out to South Carolina tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM," Gilmore said.
NHPR has confirmed voting has been extended in Merrimack because of high voter turnout.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign headquarters is set up at Concord High School in New Hampshire's capital city.
NHPR's Sam Evans-Brown and producer Logan Shannon are reporting from the Sanders camp, where there is a "pre-game party" atmosphere, with a large crowd and a deejay.
Emily Corwin will be reporting from Ohio Governor John Kasich's camp in Concord, where producer Ted Siefer says the press contingent is large, with reporters packed into an over-flow room next door to the main hall.
The podium at Donald Trump's camp in Manchester. NHPR's Josh Rogers will be reporting from the front-runner's headquarters this evening.
Our reporters are headed out to eight candidate campaign headquarters around New Hampshire. NHPR's live broadcast kicks off at 7 PM. Listen on air or stream online right here.
Geraid Winn has been Littleton's town moderator since 1966 and has overseen voting in thirteen presidential primaries. By about 5:00 PM, Winn told NHPR's Chris Jensen that about 2,200 of the towns nearly 3,700 voters had cast ballots.
According to Cindi Rice Conley, moderator in Londonderry, turnout has been "phenomenal," numbering 4000 ballots cast at 5:15 PM.
Eric Trump, son of Republican candidate Donald Trump, talks to state rep. Al Baldasaro at Londonderry High School.
Sanders supporter: 'Good grief, do I want someone in there who doesn’t care for us?'
by Rik Stevens
It’s not just the youth vote that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is tapping into.
At the Belknap County Nursing Home in Laconia, 77-year-old John Haven is among several residents who cast ballots for Sanders over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
"My heart tells me he can't get it but he's telling it like we want to hear it," says Haven. "Good grief, do I want someone in there who doesn't care for us?"
Arvilla Chapman is also a Bernie backer. The 87-year-old agrees with Sanders on economic issues.
"He was going to do things for the ones who need extra money," she says. "Raising pay and raising Social Security, helping families."
Activities director Brenda Twardosky says about about 30 of the nursing home's 91 residents are voting today.
Marjorie Morin, who's about to turn 92, cast her vote for Clinton, proud to support a woman for the office.
"She seems so down to earth and sincere," she says.
Among the residents, there is one concern about Sanders, and it may seem a little counterintuitive. They worry that at 74, he's too old to be elected.
In Bedford, a Republican stronghold near Manchester, traffic was heavy near noon and a line of cars stretched down the road leading up to the school. Ed Anderson arrived at the polls wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat and said his mind was made up for Donald Trump.
Listen to what he told NHPR's Casey McDermott:
"You’re looking at three women from New Hampshire who would love to see the glass ceiling broken," says Sylvia Larsen, former State Senator, with her daughter, Amelia Curti and granddaughter Tessa Curti.
Voter Voices: Dover Voter Says 'Radical Change' Drew Him to Sanders
by Rik Stevens
That's what drew Chuck Rhoades to the polls Tuesday to vote for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. The independent voter from Dover has long leaned Democratic and says he agrees with Sanders' call for campaign finance reform, environmental protections and higher taxes on wealthy people.
"He’s been consistent for many years and I trust him," Rhoades says. The 62-year-old worked for the campaign of Barack Obama in 2008 but couldn't support his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
"I just don’t like her positions or her record," he says. "She's come late to some issues. I know she has a lot of knowledge but I just don’t agree with some of what she's done."
Is he worried about the "socialist" label that Sanders wears proudly hurting him should he win the nomination?
"I think that’s an issue he's going to have to deal with," Rhoades says. "It depends on how much people can get beyond that surface thinking and into the issues."
Texas Senator and Republican candidate Ted Cruz takes a selfie as reporters look on. Cruz is making a campaign stop at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester.
Voters in Newmarket are casting ballots at a local fire station. NHPR's Jason Moon caught up with a few of them. Take a listen:
On the West Side of Manchester at Ward 11, Democrat John Colburn told NHPR's Paige Sutherland he was unsure about his vote until this morning. Take a listen:
NHPR's Casey McDermott spoke to voters in Bedford:
William and Barbara Clapp are registered Republicans. Williams didn't want to specify who he voted for, but says, "I just voted for the person who I sort of agree with politically and philosophically."
His wife Barbara says she was undecided until she walked into the booth and voted for Ohio Governor John Kasich.
"I just think he’s an even-tempered, experienced man who would put a lot of effort into leading this country."
Ralph Dieter is the assistant moderator in Bedford. He says that as of 11 AM, 2,873 ballots had been cast, representing 18.5 percent of registered voters in the town.
"We expected it to be heavy, some of it this morning was weather dependent," he says. "We had to do a lot of shoveling, I did. And the rest of it is conjecture. I don’t know how to figure that. But there was a fairly high level of interest."
In Durham, Union Support on Display for Clinton
by Rik Stevens
After the months-long campaign, the final day of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary is seeing the candidates' organizations and ground game in full swing.
In the UNH town of Durham, volunteers stand in the cold behind the polling place at Oyster River High School, just beyond the line warning against electioneering past a certain point. A pile of campaign signs leans against a nearby doorway, and vans roll by with candidate signs taped to the side and messages reading: "This van is going to the polls!!"
"I normally don't get too caught up in the primaries; we usually let the candidates duke it out," says Clinton sign-holder Steve Lachance, business manager for the United Association union of plumbers and pipefitters, "But Hillary just lines up with everything we’re for."
He explains why he and other union members are out supporting Clinton over Bernie Sanders, who has enjoyed wide support from organized labor.
"It's definitely going to be a heated race," he says. "She's got the knowledge and know-how to save the country."
New Jersey Governor and GOP candidate Chris Christie made an impromptu stop at Mary Ann's Diner in Windham. Photographer Allegra Boverman says Christie shook hands with every kid in the restaurant, and that the diner's owner said they were not expecting him (and his entourage).
Sam Needleman is a 16 year-old junior at Hopkinton High School. When asked why he was willing to stand outside the polls and hold a Hillary Clinton sign when he's not old enough to vote, this is what he had to say:
NHPR's Natasha Haverty spoke to a 93 year-old voter at Concord's Ward 3. Take a listen to what she had to say:
In Pelham, moderator Philip Currier says voting has been, "slow, but picking up a hair. I don't think we'll get to 50 percent for the day."
As part of New Hampshire's "GOP Heartland," Pelham is one of the towns to watch in the Republican Primary.
Voter Turnout, New Registrations Heavy in Durham
by Rik Stevens
Candidates of both parties have been targeting young voters - especially Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton - and in Durham, they've found their marks.
Simon Freitas is a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of New Hampshire. The Everett, Massachusetts native says Sanders' message of income equality and economic reform resonates with him.
"Obviously free public college!" he says, laughing as he stands outside the Oyster River High School where he voted in a primary for the first time. "When I come out of college, I'm probably not going to be making that much money and I'll probably be drowning in student loans."
For Graham Ayres, a 23-year-old senior at UNH, both Democrats made pitches that align with his own ideas of where the country needs to go. The undeclared voter from Enfield, N.H., says he ultimately voted for Clinton because she's more electable in the fall.
"I consider myself an educated voter who sees the importance of this election," Ayres says.
Inside the school, poll moderator Christopher Regan says it's shaping up to be a busy day. There were 40 or so people waiting at the doors when polls opened and by 9:30, nearly 850 had voted. He expects between 4,000 and 5,000 for the day.
"It projects to go heavier for a primary," he says.
Regan also notes a large number of people who registered to vote on Tuesday, which is allowed in New Hampshire. That, he says, signals more enthusiasm than in other years.
"My guess is that these are not the usual voters," Regan says.
Regan says there hadn't been any problems with the new state law requiring a photo ID.
NHPR's Casey McDermott spoke to voters in Manchester's Ward 4.
Maria Camacho of Manchester is a 22 year-old, undeclared voter supporting Ben Carson. She said it was a challenge deciding whom to vote for in the primary, and said that she wished New Hampshire could have seen more candidates that thought they could win here besides Donald Trump.
"Barack Obama was a wonderful president," Camacho said, "It is sad to see Obama go, but I know the next president that we'll have will do its job."
Nik Janson is a registered Democrat supporting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
"I think both Republicans and Democrats feel the country's not working for them," he said. "I think there's a lot of anger on the Republican side and I think Donald Trump's found a way to tap into that. I think Bernie Sanders has found a way to tap into the fact that Democrats don't need to settle for what he calls establishment politics."
In Hollis, poll moderator and state rep. Jim Belanger says that although the early morning turnout wasn't as strong as he expected, "there as not been a down moment."
In Concord, Voters Weigh in On Their Choices
by Rik Stevens
Ray Popsie of Concord is one of those voters the candidates have coveted: The independent, or undeclared, voter who is not aligned with either party. The 55-year-old transportation manager voted for Carly Fiorina.
"I think she's more even-keeled than everybody else," Popsie says. "If you vote for Hillary Clinton or if you vote for Trump, you're just not paying attention."
He believes people are flocking to Trump because "they don't wan the regular old guys anymore."
Popsie's first choice was Marco Rubio but the Florida senator's much-criticized debate performance left him cold.
"He just became too robotic," Popsie says.
Lena Healey, 37, is blunt when she explains her vote for Trump.
"This country's gone weak," she says. "(Trump) tells it like it is."
Melissa Fisk voted in Concord with her two sons, 10-year-old Ryder and Tanner, 8, in tow. It was actually Ryder who got the longtime Democrat interested. For Christmas, the aspiring politician said he wanted to meet all the candidates so the family went on the campaign trail and came away impressed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
"It felt like he had the most trustworthiness."
Fish says she was put off by Hillary Clinton's support of Planned Parenthood and the ongoing investigations into the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
As for Ryder, he's already got his own campaign sign: Ryder Fisk 2048.
Maureen Barrett is another lifetime Democrat who says she voted for Donald Trump because can't trust Hillary Clinton and she's fed up with political correctness.
"I like the man. He's got a lot of characteristics like I do," says the 68-year-old Barrett, of Concord. "He says what he means and he's not into the same old corruption. If Hillary gets in, this country is going to go right down the tubes."
Concord Ward Sees Heavy Morning Turnout
by Rik Stevens
It looks like it could be a busy day at the polls as the nation’s first presidential primary gets underway. When the Ward 3 polling place in Concord opened at 7 this morning, there were already 15 people waiting in line and a steady parade of voters streamed in over the next 45 minutes.
And those voters interviewed had one thing in common: They’re angry and they’ve had it with what they see as Washington’s politics as usual. So, you had Democrats voting for Donald Trump, independents casting ballots for Carly Fiorina and Republicans pulling for whoever they thought could knock off Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the fall.
Polls are open across New Hampshire for the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
About 30 voters waited in line outside Concord's Ward 7 before doors opened at 7 a.m.
City election officials went through the crowd to remind them to have their IDs ready when they got to the voting station inside.
Annaliese Worster was one of the voters waiting in line before the polls opened. She brought her daughter Ellie, and their dog, Lulu, a yellow lab.
"I'm really excited about voting because I feel like every primary session we have an opportunity to elect a nominee for our party that represents us in the best way that they can."
Bernie Sanders supporters were placing signs just outside Ward 7 before the doors opened, but an election official quickly told them the signs had to be removed because they were on public property.
Polls Open for First in the Nation New Hampshire Primary
- by Rik Stevens
Voting in New Hampshire began at midnight in Dixville and Hart's Location. Most polls open between 6 and 8 a.m. though some open later in the day. Polls close between 7 and 8 p.m.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicted a turnout of 62 percent. Gardner believes 550,000 votes will be cast by the time things wrap up: 282,000 votes for Republican hopefuls and 268,000 ballots for Democratic candidates. The last time there was no incumbent on the ballot (in 2008) about 530,000 people voted in the primary.
The X-factor: Weather. The National Weather Service says a storm that started Monday could leave up to eight inches of snow in some parts of the state by the time it ends early today. That could drive down turnout.