The New Hampshire primary is held after the Iowa Caucuses and aims at choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for presidency. The first primary election to be held each election, the New Hampshire primary is designed to give an early voice to the New England area, similar to the way the Iowa Caucus give a voice early on to the Midwest (“2016 New Hampshire Primary”). Also called the first-in-the-nation primary, the primary has been a major testing ground for candidates for both the Republican and Democratic nominations. Candidates who do poorly in the New Hampshire primary while lesser-known candidates who perform well gain huge amounts of attention as this sample essay will discuss.
2016 New Hampshire Primary
In this year’s New Hampshire primary, two outsiders surged forward and seized victory against the other candidates. Donald Trump won the Republican nominee by a huge margin, more than doubling the second place candidate’s votes. His surprising triumph has established his candidacy as a force to be reckoned with by his opponents. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by a landslide, which was equally as surprising as Trump’s win. Sanders commanded more than sixty percent of votes, blowing Clinton out of the water. Like Trump’s, Sanders’ win marked him as a serious competitor.
At this year’s New Hampshire primary, outsider Donald Trump saw victory. Despite predictions that Donald Trump’s campaign was about to end, due to his performance in the Iowa caucus and poll predictions, Trump won eleven out of twenty three votes, which is almost thrice as many votes as the number two Republican, John Kasich (Allen and Singer 2016). Kasich, the governor of Ohio, received only seventeen percent of the votes but declared the night a victory.
After taking a stand against negative campaigning, Kasich accredited his second place finish to the positive tone of his campaign and his town hall meetings in which he spent time with voters and listened to their concerns. Texas senator Ted Cruz came in third place with just under twelve percent of the votes. Jeb Bush came in fourth, less than one percent behind Ted Cruz. Candidate Marco Rubio was unable to rally much support after his poor performance at the New Hampshire Republican debate. Though he came in third during the Iowa Caucus, Rubio fell in fifth place in the New Hampshire primary (Allen and Singer 2016).
For the democratic primary, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by getting more than sixty percent of the votes. Not surprisingly, Sanders proved incredibly popular with young voters. The Vermont senator received more than eighty percent of voters aged eighteen to twenty nine, which is better than Obama in the primaries eight years previous (Allen and Singer 2016). Seen as a long shot because of his self-declared democratic socialism, Sanders’ sweeping victory immediately marked him as a serious contender for the oval office.
Hillary Clinton came in second with more than twenty percent less votes than Sanders (Collinson 2016). Her performance is an indicator that perhaps her reputation for being a successful progressive cannot compete with the way that Sanders’ call for political revolution has energized Democratic millennials. The blow was particularly heavy because of the Clintons’ amicable history with New Hampshire; in 1992, they made Bill Clinton the ‘comeback kid’, and then in 2008, the primary salvaged her race against Barack Obama after she came in third during the Iowa Caucus (Collinson 2016). The numbers have proved Bernie Sanders to be a serious contender for the presidency.
Trump and the New Hamshire primary
Donald Trump, the Republican victor for the New Hampshire primary in 2016, is better known for his contributions to the business and entertainment industries rather than politics. Having attained an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, the businessman has the largest Twitter following of any other Republican candidate by far (Boyd and Desjardins 2015). In terms of budgeting and government spending, Trump believes that the government must tighten its purse strings farther than a sequester or budget cut in order to confront the government’s deficit.
He feels that climate change is a hoax and opposes wind turbines because he believes they present an aesthetic problem (Boyd and Desjardins 2015). Trump believes that instead of cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits, we should grow the economy as a means to save them. While he has yet to explain how that might happen, he has tweeted that he knows, “where to get the money” and “nobody else does” (Boyd and Desjardins 2015). When it comes to gun control, Trump believes that it is important for people to have guns for self-defense but that restriction on guns should be limited.
He wants to ban assault weapons and extend the waiting period to purchase a firearms (Boyd and Desjardins 2015). His feelings on immigration and refugees are very strong; he wants to deport all undocumented individuals, put a freeze on green cards, and prevent all Muslims from entering the country for the time being. Trump wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, limit abortion rights, and ban same-sex marriage (Boyd and Desjardins 2016).
Implications of the results of the primary
One possible implication of the New Hampshire primary results this year is that Hillary Clinton has a problem appealing to women. Campaigning with Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used her familiar phrase, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”. She was targeting women who voted for Sanders and was not the first. Gloria Steinem, feminist leader, suggested that young women supported Sanders only so that they could meet boys.
Their efforts were in vain, however, as women made up more than half of the New Hampshire electorate, which greatly favored Sanders. A possible explanation for Clinton’s lack of popularity with young women is that younger women tend to not look at gender barriers as much of a hurdle anymore. Meanwhile, older women appreciate Clinton’s struggle as a woman trying to be seen as a serious contender and sympathize with the criticism and sexism she has experienced during her political career.
Another implication of the New Hampshire primaries was that many people have problems trusting Hillary Clinton. From the beginning of the campaign, poll respondents said that they did not think she really cared about them and could not be trusted. Thirty four percent of voters said that a candidate’s honesty and trustworthiness was the most important factor to them (Taylor 2016). Of those voters, Sanders beat Clinton ninety one percent to five percent.
Similar studies showed the same results. In one, twenty six percent of voters said that the most important factor in deciding who to vote for was whether the candidate seemed like they cared about them; of those voters, Sanders came out on top again with eighty two percent to seventeen percent (Taylor 2016). As a result, Clinton only carried four out of three hundred precincts.
a third possibility
A third possible implication of the primary in New Hampshire is that Americans are angry. In polls, forty percent of voters said they were angry at how the federal government was working and forty two percent of those people voted for Donald Trump. Trump attacks opponents without a filter and appeases a rising trend in dissatisfaction with political correctness. His tough-guy attitude drew in voters of all ages and genders. This anger is not restricted to the Republican Party though. More than sixty percent of Democratic voters state that they were angry with the federal government and those voters supported Sanders by a forty-two point margin (Taylor 2016). Regardless of party, voters are clearly dissatisfied with the way the government has been performing and are hungry for change.
Another implication of the 2016 New Hampshire primaries is that there is a huge education gap within the Republican Party. Though Donald Trump does garner some support from voter with higher education degrees, it is not the case for the vast majority of his supporters. Much of his support comes from citizens with only a high school education or less (Taylor 2016). In fact, Trump dominates that demographic. Forty six percent of voters with a high school education or less support Trump for the presidency (Taylor 2016). When it comes to those with higher education, however, the gap closes significantly.
One final implication of this term’s primary in New Hampshire is that Republicans decided to whom to give their support late and their decisions depending highly on the debates. In the week leading up to the primary, many New Hampshire citizens stated that they were still undecided on who to vote for. Even the day of the election, many said that they did not make their decision until they received their ballot. Almost half of Republicans said that they decided their allegiance just a few days before the election, while less than a quarter of Democrats said the same (Taylor 2016). Both Trump and Kasich benefitted from this late surge. More than half of voters said they were influenced by recent debates in their decision making, in which both Republican candidates performed well.
Bernie Sanders, Democratic victor of the New Hampshire primary, has several contrasting views. Sanders aims to limit corporate and interest-group spending in campaigns and would require disclosure of any organization spending more than ten thousand dollars on election-related campaigns (Desjardins 2015). In terms of environmental issues, he wants to charge companies for carbon emissions.
He has proposed a bill which would use that money to boost renewable energy technology (Desjardins 2015). Sanders believes that our country should have universal preschool and free tuition at public colleges and universities. He intends to fund this plan with taxes on the wealthy and on some Wall Street transactions (Dejardins 2015). Sanders wants to ban assault weapons, repeal a gun law that protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits and eliminate federal handgun waiting periods. He aims to launch universal healthcare provided by the government.
The single-payer system would be funded by both federal and state governments and would provide free healthcare to all Americans (Dejardins 2015). When it comes to immigrants and refugees, Sanders wants to offer a clear path to citizenship to all immigrants and waive some deportations for the time being.
The New Hampshire primary is an early indicator of public opinion regarding presidential candidates. Candidates that are unable to make their mark in the New Hampshire primary often drop out of the race while those who do well are often propelled to the forefront of the media’s attention. This year, the two winners beat their opponents by significantly large margins. While Trump received more than double the votes the second place Republican did, Sanders earned more than half of Democratic votes. The 2016 New Hampshire primary election has cast both Trump and Sanders in a different light; while before, both seemed like they might be a longshot, the numbers in the polls indicate that these two contenders have established themselves as serious and viable candidates for the presidency.
“2016 New Hampshire Primary”. 2016 Election Central. Election Central, 2016. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.
Allen, Cooper, and Singer, Paul. “Top takeaways from the New Hampshire primary”. USA Today. USA Today, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Boyd, Nathalie, and Desjardins, Lisa. “What does Donald Trump believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues.” PBS News Hour. NewsHour Productions LLC, 16 Jun. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
Collinson, Stephen. “Outsiders sweep to victory in New Hampshire.” CNN. Cable News Network, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Desjardins, Lisa. “What does Bernie Sanders believe? Where the candidates stand on 10 issues.” PBS News Hour. NewsHour Productions LLC, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2016.
Taylor, Jessica. “New Hampshire Primary: 5 Things That Explain The Results.” NPR Politics. NPR, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.