Donald Trump Wins New Hampshire Republican Primary

Donald Trump

Donald Trump has won New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary.

With 90 percent of the vote counted, Trump had 35 percent, according to NBC News. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was second with 16 percent, followed by Ted Cruz with 12 percent, Jeb Bush with 11 percent, Marco Rubio with 10 percent, Chris Christie with 8 percent, Carly Fiorina with 4 percent, Ben Carson with 2 percent, and Rand Paul, who has ended his campaign, with 1 percent.

New Hampshire has 23 delegates to the Republican National Convention, and they are awarded proportionally. As of 11:45 p.m. Eastern, Trump had won 10, Kasich three, and Cruz and Bush two each, the Associated Press reports.

Trump was widely expected to take first place, but Kasich’s second-place finish was notable since his campaign had failed to gather much steam so far. Also notable was Rubio’s poor finish after a strong third-place performance in the Iowa caucuses. Cruz, who won Iowa, was not expected to repeat in New Hampshire, which has a smaller percentage of voters aligned with the religious right.

Trump’s victory speech started out uncharacteristically low-key, despite his familiar declaration of “We are going to make America great again.” The business tycoon thanked his family, his campaign staff, and the people of New Hampshire.

But then he got in a dig at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who won the state’s Democratic primary and had just concluded his victory speech. “He wants to give away our country, folks,” Trump said. “We're not going to let it happen. … We're going to make America great again — we're going to did it the old fashioned way. We're going to beat China, Japan, beat Mexico at trade."

Trump further promised to “rebuild out military,” create “strong, incredible borders,” “repeal and replace Obamacare,” “knock the hell out of ISIS,” and “preserve our very sacred Second Amendment.” He said that if law-abiding Paris residents had been armed during the terrorist attacks there in November, the outcome would have been different: “If there were bullets going in the other direction, believe me, it would have been a whole different story, folks.” He also said he would be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

He didn’t bring up LGBT issues, but he is certainly no progressive here. He has said he would appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn last year’s marriage equality ruling and voiced support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which would exempt businesses, individuals, and nonprofits from nondiscrimination laws if the discrimination is based on a religious belief concerning marriage.

“Donald Trump has pandered his way to the top of the field by opposing the most basic protections for LGBT people and supporting Kim Davis-style discrimination against LGBT people,” said a statement issued by Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin. “What’s more, despite being married three times himself, this is a candidate who says he looks forward to appointing justices who would overturn marriage equality for loving same-sex couples. Donald Trump’s calculated efforts to use division, fear and bigotry to score political points is as dangerous as it is vile. Hillary Clinton is the candidate we can count on to defeat Trump — or whichever one of these backwards anti-LGBT candidates emerges as the Republican nominee.”

Kasich is a social conservative too, but he has avoided anti-LGBT rhetoric and even said he accepts that marriage equality is the law of the land. The candidate, who courted New Hampshire voters with 106 town hall meetings, gave a modest speech to supporters Tuesday night, although he expressed pride in having run a positive campaign. “Tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning,” he said.

He pledged to bring Americans together. “We’re going to solve the problems of America not by being extreme, not by being first a Republican or a Democrat,” he said. He noted that as a conservative, he sees government as the last resort to address problems, not the first, and he urged Americans to get to know their neighbors and build community. “It doesn’t take government, it takes our hearts,” he said.

Rubio acknowledged that his showing in New Hampshire was disappointing, and he blamed it on his poor performance in Saturday night’s debate. “Our disappointment tonight is not on you — it’s on me,” he told supporters.

Cruz, meanwhile, refused to sound like a loser. "Because of tonight,” he told supporters, “the voters will have a clear choice. We are here because of you. Because of your passion for our nation.”

He’s currently polling second to Trump in South Carolina, where the next Republican primary will be held February 20. Then comes the Nevada caucus, February 23 for the GOP.

Watch Trump's and Kasich's speeches below.

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