New Hampshire Primary sparks student conversation



Catherine Hamilton

On Feb. 9, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump triumphed in the New Hampshire Primary. New Hampshire was first in a series of nationwide primary elections for delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Trump walked away with 35.3 percent of the Republican votes, winning by a large margin over runner-up John Kasich, who received only 15.8 percent of the vote. On the Democratic side, Sanders stood above Hillary Clinton with 60.4 percent of the votes, leaving Clinton with just 38 percent. 

Both Sanders and Trump express extremist views, and many view them as atypical candidates. Their policies on taxes, immigration, rights and the economy vary greatly. 

“I would say that the frustration with the federal government that has accumulated over the past seven years has caused people to want serious change,” sophomore Meghan Murphy said.“The differences between Trump and Sanders are huge, but one thing they have in common is that they’re both outsiders. The results don’t come as much of a surprise.”

Primary voting does not reflect the mainstream view of Clinton’s general popularity and campaign success. Her victory over Sanders in Iowa was by only a .3 percent margin. Comparatively, Sanders came out on top in New Hampshire by 22.4 percent.

Although Sanders won in New Hampshire, many students still feel skeptical of his future success over Clinton in the rest of the country. 

“Sanders’ overwhelming victory is not surprising as he enjoys a ‘home field advantage’ being from Vermont,” sophomore Spencer Miller said. 

Clinton still holds a strong chance against Sanders with much support from other regions of the country and the majority of the voting still left. Many students remain hopeful for Clinton’s future success

“While Sanders won New Hampshire as he was expected to, Hillary’s support has still been strong though out the Northeast,” sophomore Zach Hogan said. 

Meanwhile, Trump’s win in New Hampshire and his close margins with the other candidates gave some students a new perspective. Trump’s blunt personality garners a variety of responses, insult from some and amusement from others. 

“The results of the New Hampshire Primary show that Donald Trump is indeed a real potential candidate for the presidency – proving most media outlets wrong in their predictions that his strong support and popularity was just a fad,” sophomore Amanda Ehlers said.

“I hope that people realize how important it is to get to the polls on Election Day. Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility in this country.” 

After Trump, Kasich, Ted Cruz finished in third with Jeb Bush right behind him. “I am surprised that Donald Trump would win in such a left-leaning state,” sophomore Claire Getter said. “I also hope that Kasich continues to do well in the next few states.”

Even as Cruz and Trump retain their popularity, Kasich has drawn more attention, coming in second in New Hampshire.

The presidential campaign trail will continue to blaze, with the next statewide primary election set to take place on March 1 in Alabama. The final vote will take place on November 8.