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The Stream: Celebration At Sanders And Trump Watch Parties

The Stream is your source for news, photos and analysis from NPR's political team on the ground in New Hampshire. For more coverage and analysis visit NPR Politics or elections.npr.org.

The Stream

  • Cruz: 'Left The Washington Cartel Utterly Terrified'

    Feb. 9 — 11:30 p.m. ET

    "Washington insiders were convinced our wave of support would break in the Granite State," Cruz said. "The men and women of New Hampshire proved them wrong."

    Cruz took the stage just before 10:30 here at the Alpine Grove Banquet & BBQ hall in rural Hollis. He proclaimed he was "effectively tied for third" with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. As results trickled in throughout the night, his supporters who were gathered here grew ebullient as he narrowly edged ahead of Bush, who made New Hampshire a central priority for his campaign and spent millions. Many in the crowd held out for a finish in the top three and said it would send a signal about Cruz's electability.

    Cruz has been arguing he has broad appeal beyond just his Iowa victory, where he rode support from the state's sizable evangelical bloc to a strong finish. But New Hampshire is more moderate, more secular, and it is typically harder for conservative candidates to fare well here.

    Cruz emphasized during campaign stops Monday and Tuesday he is aiming to bring back the coalition of "Reagan Democrats" — blue-collar voters who crossed over to back the former president in the 1980s.

    He also was helped by support from onetime backers of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who dropped out last week. Cruz picked up many of his co-chairs and supporters.

    Cruz congratulated winner Donald Trump and second-place finisher John Kasich. But he argued his stronger-than-expected finish should be treated as an important feat, too.

    "Thank you, New Hampshire for your results tonight," he ended. "Your victory tonight has left the Washington cartel utterly terrified."

    Next up: South Carolina, a more conservative state where another strong finish could continue to propel Cruz. — Jessica Taylor

  • Sanders Crowd Chanted 'Yuuuge, Yuuuge, Yuuuge'

    Feb. 9 — 10:22 p.m. ET

    Concord High School's gym pulsed with excitement when Bernie Sanders took the stage tonight, after a double-digit victory over Hillary Clinton. In appreciation of the senator's Brooklyn accent, the crowd began chanting "yuuuge, yuuuge, yuuuge" when Sanders talked about the "huge" changes his campaign wants to make. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told us this victory will give his campaign momentum going into South Carolina and Nevada, where polls suggest Sanders may be having difficulty attracting minority voters. Weaver also said the campaign expects to see lots of donations in the coming days and that Sanders' viability in a general election can no longer be questioned. — Will Huntsberry

  • Rubio: 'We Will Do Better'

    Rubio, who came in third in Iowa but fell behind tonight, said he was disappointed and that it was on him for not doing better during last Saturday's debate.

  • Kasich: 'The Light Overcame The Dark'

    Ohio Gov. and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, joined by his wife, Karen, speaks to supporters during a primary election watch party after finishing second to Donald Trump. Getty Images hide caption

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    Getty Images

    "Clearly change is in the air ... because tonight the light overcame the darkness" of political campaigns. — John Kasich, after coming in second in New Hampshire

  • Trump Speaking Now

    Donald Trump speaks at his election night watch party at the Executive Court Banquet facility in Manchester, N.H. Trump was projected the Republican winner shortly after the polls closed. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 9:59 p.m. ET

    "You know we learned a lot about ground games in one week."

    "If we had 5 percent unemployment, you really think we'd have gatherings like this?" — Donald Trump

  • Bush: N.H. Has 'Reset' The Race


    Jeb Bush spoke as Donald Trump took the stage.

  • Sanders Speaking Now

    Bernie Sanders speaks after being declared the projected winner of New Hampshire's primary. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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    Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 9:30 p.m. ET

    "Nine months ago ... we were taking on the most powerful political organization in the United States of America." — Bernie Sanders victory speech

  • 'Hillary For Prison' Chanted At Trump Camp

    As Hillary Clinton began speaking on TV, the crowd here at the Trump party in Manchester began booing. Periodically throughout the speech, as the audience for Clinton's speech cheered, Trump's crowd booed or chanted, "Trump! Trump! Trump!"

    People are also chanting "liar" and "Hillary for prison." — Sarah McCammon

  • Frustration But Still Hope Among Rubio Supporters

    Jaeden Walls, 8, waits for the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio with a sign of support she made for the senator during a primary night party at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, N.H. Getty Images hide caption

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    Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 9:20 p.m. ET

    Large crowd and loads of journalists here at Marco Rubio's party at the Radisson in Manchester, N.H. As election night results are filtering in, I've been speaking to supporters/volunteers who have mixed feelings. The general consensus — the Florida senator didn't do as well as they had hoped. There were grand ambitions that he could consolidate establishment support behind him after the Iowa caucuses, but they say that now the race looks now more settled than it did the day after Iowa.

    A few folks insisted that Rubio can play the long game — he has the money/support/endorsements in South Carolina to do well. And, they say, New Hampshire independents could have swayed this race. They think Rubio would do better in a closed primary.

    But there's also a sense of frustration — that maybe voters this cycle are angry and Rubio's message is "too sunny."

    Clinton is now giving her speech, and the Rubio crowd is booing. — Asma Khalid

  • Clinton Speaking Now

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Hooksett, N.H., after losing the New Hampshire primary. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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    Elise Amendola/AP

    "Now we take this campaign to the entire country," Clinton said after losing New Hampshire to Sanders.

  • Rubio Supporter Frustrated With Trump

  • Cruz's Party Not Sullen — Yet

    Here at Cruz's election headquarters — it's a ballroom at a BBQ place in rural Hollis (most candidates are having their parties in metro areas, his is the only one more rural — his strategy these last few days).

    CNN is on here and people are congregated near the TVs. People I've talked to had hoped Trump's numbers in polls had been overinflated. One argued it was too early to call the race and that networks were being irresponsible. What would be a good night for Cruz? People here have told me if Trump dips down below 30 percent. And Cruz needs to finish in third. Several people I've stopped to watch with and talk to keep looking especially at the margins between Cruz and Bush and think Cruz can overtake him. So the mood here isn't overly joyful here but it's also not sullen — yet. — Jessica Taylor

  • Clinton Campaign Spins Loss

    Supporters of Hillary Clinton hold signs spelling out her name at her New Hampshire primary campaign rally in Hooksett, N.H. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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    Elise Amendola/AP

    Feb. 9 — 8:54 p.m. ET

    The Sanders New Hampshire win, said campaign manager Robby Mook in a memo, was "an outcome we've long anticipated." He tried to make the case that March matters more than February. Read more from NPR's Scott Detrow here.

  • Mood Up At Cruz Party

    Big, big cheers as Cruz overtook Bush for third. Talking to people here I keep hearing — we just need third. — Jessica Taylor

  • Jeb Bush Supporters Smile For The (CNN) Camera


  • Meanwhile, Jim Gilmore


  • Waiting For Trump To Speak

    Supporters cheer for Donald Trump as they wait for him to speak at a rally in Manchester, N.H. Bill Sikes/AP hide caption

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    Bill Sikes/AP
  • Cheering For Sanders

    Feb. 9 — 8:27 p.m. ET: Bernie Sanders supporters cheer while watching the results on television as they arrive for Sanders' primary night rally in Concord, N.H. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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    Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images
  • No Buzz At Jeb Bush Party

    Polls closed in #NHPrimary very light crowd at the @JebBush HQ in Manchester. All eyes on monitor watching returns. pic.twitter.com/fbmiuhYI5J

    — BrakktonBookerNPR (@brakktonbooker) February 10, 2016

    Feb. 9 — 8:22 p.m. ET

    There's absolutely, positively no buzz at this event. Folks watching CNN on a large screen on the wall. — Brakkton Booker

  • No Results Displayed At Clinton Party

    Feb. 9 — 8:18 p.m. ET

    At Clinton's Iowa caucus night party there were big projection screens showing election results on CNN. Here in New Hampshire there are only two TV screens and they are displaying the big "H" arrow logo. The soundtrack is the standard Clinton song list (as found on Spotify) featuring girl-power ballads from Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and a Bon Jovi power ballad. — Tamara Keith

  • Cheers At Trump Party


  • Bernie Sanders Watch Party

    Feb. 9, 8:12 p.m. Bernie Sanders supporters John Gurney and Lisette Lux at the Democratic presidential candidate's New Hampshire Primary night watch party to begin in Concord, N.H. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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    Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Sanders And Trump Projected To Win


  • Holding Hope For (Dropped Out) Rand Paul

    Feb. 9 — 7:57 p.m. ET

    Turnout was heavy at the Broad Street Elementary precinct in Nashua — traffic was backed up trying to make the turn into the school.

    Several people were standing in the crowded parking lot holding signs and handing out leaflets, but two people stood out — Eric Eastman and Kathy Peterson were waving signs for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who dropped out last week.

    Eastman had two towers of signs, actually — Paul and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a seemingly odd dichotomy.

    "One hand is expressing the abundance of my heart, one hand is expressing the abundance of my head," he explained. With Paul out of the race, he said he was drawn to the Democratic socialist's views on social issues and marijuana legalization. But Eastman was coy about whom he actually voted for Tuesday.

    But Peterson was still holding out hope. "Paul's not out. He just suspended his campaign — if you look in the dictionary, that's just a temporary hold." She said Paul's decision was simply because he had to go home to the Bluegrass State to shore up his Senate re-election prospects, not because of his poor performance last week in Iowa. Her vote went to Paul, who still appears on the New Hampshire ballot. — Jessica Taylor

  • Huge Line At Donald Trump Party

    Feb. 9 — 7:10 p.m. ET

    The press line for @realdonaldtrump event in NH is crazy. A total mess. pic.twitter.com/btA0AnLuT4

    — Sarah McCammon NPR (@sarahmccammon) Feb. 9

    There's a huge line out the door at the Executive Court banquet center where Trump is hosting his watch party tonight in Manchester. The parking lot has been full for at least an hour, and cars are spilling into the lots of neighboring businesses.

    Even the media line is chaotic. A throng of reporters is crowded around one door, as security staffers struggle to get everyone through a screening bottleneck. Not clear whether the campaign and security staff were prepared to manage a crowd of this size, despite the fact that all reporters had to request credentials in advance. — Sarah McCammon

  • Long Lines For Voters

    Feb. 9, 7:33 p.m. ET. Long lines at Merrimack High School on primary day in Merrimack, N.H. Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images hide caption

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    Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images
  • Polling Volunteer

    Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. ET. Pat Murphy volunteers at the polling place at Merrimack High School in Merrimack, N.H. Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images hide caption

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    Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images
  • Cruz On Trump: 'Donald Doesn't Handle Losing Very Well'

    Cruz is mobbed by reporters outside Manchester's Red Arrow Diner. Jessica Taylor/NPR hide caption

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    Jessica Taylor/NPR

    Cruz is mobbed by reporters outside Manchester's Red Arrow Diner.

    Jessica Taylor/NPR

    Feb. 9 — 4:22 p.m. ET

    As he prepared to shake hands and meet voters inside the iconic Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester, Ted Cruz brushed off crude remarks a Trump supporter made — and that Donald Trump himself then repeated — Monday night at his final election eve rally.

    "Donald doesn't handle losing very well. And his typical response is to engage in insults, and usually the insults are pretty crude and profane. He's welcome to do that," the Texas senator told reporters. "My approach from the beginning has been that I don't respond in kind. I think the people of New Hampshire deserve better than someone just throwing mud and insulting the other candidate."

    And why does Cruz think Trump falls back on often vulgar jabs and punches?

    "There is a reason Donald Trump engages in profane insults — because he can't defend his own record," Cruz said.

    Expectations aren't quite as high in New Hampshire for Cruz as they were last week in Iowa. But that doesn't mean his campaign is discounting the Granite State. He repeated an argument he made on the campaign trail on Monday — if he can bring out a broad coalition for voters, he could have a surprisingly strong finish. The latest polls have shown Cruz competitive with other rivals who have spent far more time here, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

    "I feel terrific and I am encouraged," Cruz said. "If conservatives show up, we're going to have a very good day today. If libertarians show up and vote today, if Tea Party activists show up and vote today, if Reagan Democrats show up and vote today, if young people show up and vote today, we're going to have a really good day."

    There were supporters — and some hecklers — who greeted Cruz outside as he pushed his way into the busy diner. Volunteer Fran Wendelbowe, who came down from New Hampton, was waiting to greet him outside in the cold. She argued that Cruz had been underestimated.

    "The media has not been reporting on him all week. It's like, 'Ted who?' " she said. "I think we're going to do better than expected, because expectations are so low for us here. It doesn't matter where we place. On to South Carolina and the rest of the states." — Jessica Taylor

  • Granite State Ready For Some Peace And Quiet

    NH Quotable
    NPR

  • New Hampshire Voters Explain How They Picked

    A woman emerges from the voting both in Chichester, N.H., on Tuesday. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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    Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

    A woman emerges from the voting both in Chichester, N.H., on Tuesday.

    Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 3:16 p.m.

    At lunchtime, there was a steady stream of voters dropping in at Parkey-Varney School in Manchester. As they walked out with their "I voted" stickers, I interviewed them about the election. Notably, two of them said they had gotten a knock on the door while still in their pajamas.

    Jeff Ahrent. Voted for Trump

    "He's a businessman. We need a businessman. I am tired of just regular politicians," said Ahrent. "I feel that you don't really need a terrific leader; you have a Cabinet for all that. You have a Cabinet for major decisions, but dealmaking, business-making, getting things accomplished, I think he's a good candidate."

    Ahrent says he always votes Republican and never considered voting for a Democrat. Asked whether he thought about voting for one of the governors, Kasich, Christie or Bush, Ahrent was firm.

    "I don't believe in talkers," he said. "They're all stuffed shirts."

    Ahrent said he never liked George H.W. Bush. He voted for George W. Bush, but he wasn't happy about it.

    "You have to hold your nose sometimes and just pull the lever." This time, he wasn't holding his nose. He was excited to vote for Trump.

    Terry Young. Manchester resident; voted for Clinton

    "I got rousted out of bed in my pajamas," said Young. "It's OK. It's OK. I'm so glad to vote." She said she wasn't bothered by all the knocking and calling. She was impressed by the energy and dedication.

    "I think [Clinton]'s the best chance we have for a sane world coming up. I think every candidate has something to offer but she has the most," said Young.

    Madonna Moran. Sister of Mercy; voted for Clinton

    "Someone was at our door at 7:00 this morning, knocking to see if we were going to vote," said Moran. "Plus we've had so many calls, it's unbelievable."

    She figures she has been called 25 or 30 times over the course of the campaign.

    "[Clinton] clearly is the best one in terms of preparation. She's smart, she's so experienced, especially on the international level," said Moran. "I'd like a woman too. But I wouldn't choose a woman just because it was a woman. But I love the fact that we have a woman that is so highly qualified."

    Kevin Haynes. Works as a recruiter; voted for Sanders

    "I think he's one of the first just presidential candidates in a while that's really genuinely in the best interests of this nation," said Haynes. "I think a lot of people have money in politics, things like that. He really wants to take that out of it. So that's why he got my vote." — Tamara Keith

  • The Trump Family Does One Final Push For Donald

    Ivanka Trump campaigns for her father on Tuesday. Sarah McCammon/NPR hide caption

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    Sarah McCammon/NPR

    Ivanka Trump campaigns for her father on Tuesday.

    Sarah McCammon/NPR

    Feb. 9 — 2:56 p.m.

    Ivanka Trump made a brief appearance at her father's campaign headquarters in Manchester Tuesday afternoon, where she spent a few minutes greeting volunteers who are working the phone bank in a final get-out-the-vote effort.

    Resting a hand on her pregnant belly (she is due very soon and her father joked last night that he hoped she'd have the baby in New Hampshire and thereby ensure his victory), Ivanka spent a few minutes thanking the volunteers for helping the campaign.

    "It really is so amazing that you guys are taking the time to do this," she said.

    A volunteer told Ivanka her father is "the best," and she responded, "I'm biased, but I totally agree with you."

    Ivanka has played a prominent role in Trump's campaign, often introducing him and acting as a surrogate on the campaign trail. Trump's wife, Melania, occasionally appears alongside him but usually makes only brief speeches. A reporter asked Ivanka, if Trump is elected, would she step into the role of first lady? To which she replied, "That's a strange question."

    Matt Ciepielowski, Trump's state director in New Hampshire, said both Melania and Ivanka have been supportive of Trump's candidacy.

    He said, "Ivanka loves her father very much and wants to see him in the White House," adding that Melania wants to stay at home with their 9-year-old son, Barron, "as much as possible."

    Ciepielowski said he is "very confident" of a first-place win in New Hampshire for Trump, but he declined to speculate about how far out in front his candidate could finish.

    "A win is a win," he said. "I'm not super caught up in how big that margin is gonna be."

    Ciepielowski said the results will also help clarify which candidates are likely to give Trump the biggest challenge for the nomination. He said a win for Trump here would cement his status in the Republican field.

    "If he wins New Hampshire, you couldn't call him anything but the front-runner," he said.

    There was a lot of energy in the room, where Trump's initials — "DJT" — were displayed prominently on one wall. A couple of dozen volunteers sat around long tables, dialing voters and repeating the same prepared speech asking them to support Trump. Campaign officials say more than 500 volunteers were working on Trump's behalf in New Hampshire on Monday alone. — Sarah McCammon

  • Some Supporters Carry Signs. Others Decorate Hatchbacks

    A (clearly detail-oriented) Ted Cruz supporter drove this car to one of his events on Tuesday. Jessica Taylor/NPR hide caption

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    Jessica Taylor/NPR

    A (clearly detail-oriented) Ted Cruz supporter drove this car to one of his events on Tuesday.

    Jessica Taylor/NPR

    Feb. 9 — 2:02 p.m.

    NPR's Jessica Taylor spotted a Cruz supporter's car — plastered with slogans, symbols and messages of support for the candidate — outside the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, N.H.

  • At Trump HQ, A Last-Minute Push For Primary Votes

    A Donald Trump supporter talks to potential primary voters in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday. Sarah McCammon/NPR hide caption

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    Sarah McCammon/NPR

    A Donald Trump supporter talks to potential primary voters in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday.

    Sarah McCammon/NPR

    Feb. 9 — 1:54 p.m.

    With hours to go until New Hampshire's polls close, volunteers were phone-banking for Donald Trump at his state campaign headquarters in Manchester, N.H.

  • Rubio Faces Supporters And Detractors At A Primary Day Pit Stop

    Rubio supporters yell from a car window while driving outside a polling station in Bedford, N.H., on Tuesday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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    Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Rubio supporters yell from a car window while driving outside a polling station in Bedford, N.H., on Tuesday.

    Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 1:11 p.m.

    The snow has stopped, the icy New Hampshire roads have been cleared, and turnout in New Hampshire is looking high, according to an election official in Windham.

    The sidewalks at Windham High School were lined with signs for Jeb!, Trump, Rubio and Cruz as Marco Rubio swung through to thank supporters. Rubio sported his trademark New Hampshire campaign gear — a deep blue jacket with the lowercase "marcorubio" and the classic gray zip sweater. His two young sons looked on as Rubio shook hands and took photos.

    As his supporters yelled out, "Marco Rubio," other campaigns tried to drown out the cheers. "Go Trump!" shouted a Trump supporter.

    And, in a sign of the storied New Hampshire undecided voter, a man who was walking out of the polling place yelled out to Rubio, "Marco, you had my vote 'til your guys started yelling at us on the way in. We don't care for it in New Hampshire. We don't like that yelling."

    Rubio apologized.

    Reporters asked Rubio about his prospects in New Hampshire, and he insisted he is not aiming for a 3-2-1 strategy (third in Iowa, second in New Hampshire and first in South Carolina).

    "That's never been our strategy," he said. "We're just trying to get as many delegates as we can."

    Rubio was asked about South Carolina. And he stuck to a similar message: "Well, it's important, we want to get a lot more delegates there, so we feel real positive about that." — Asma Khalid

  • Kasich Explains His Campaign Style: 'I've Been Set Free'

    Republican presidential candidate John Kasich shakes hands with supporters outside Manchester High School, a voting location for the New Hampshire state primary. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Republican presidential candidate John Kasich shakes hands with supporters outside Manchester High School, a voting location for the New Hampshire state primary.

    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Feb. 9 — 1:06 p.m.

    LOTS of action this morning in Nashua at Ward 1 at Broad Street Elementary School.

    Let's start with the voters I spoke with as they headed back to their cars. The very first four people I talked to were for — in this order — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and John Kasich. A fifth woman would not tell me whom she cast her ballot for, but she said America needs to get back to what it was like when it was a great country.

    I said, "You sound like you might like Donald Trump." She smiled and said, "Nice try," but she still wouldn't say.

    A large scrum of reporters had gathered for Kasich, who dropped by in a scheduled stop to make one last pitch to voters. His efforts to talk to voters were hindered by the cameras and boom mics that surrounded him. He'd say "Hi, sweetie," to little girls there with parents or grandparents. He mostly kept saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you," as he shook hands and posed for the occasional photo.

    His backers chanted, "KASICH FOR US, KASICH FOR US, KASICH FOR US," the slogan on his campaign signs.

    He held a brief Q&A session with reporters, reflecting on the past seven months as a candidate, most of which were spent here in New Hampshire, where he held more than 100 town hall meetings.

    What does it mean, getting out of here, and what does he have to do to get to South Carolina?

    "Well, I probably have to keep breathing, walking, living, all that." He laughed and added, "I think we're going to do very well here."

    On his campaign style: "I've been doing what comes naturally."

    "I've been set free, I can do what I want and say what I want in these town halls," he said. "The conservative message is good, but I think there's a sense that this guy is able to tell us the things that are deep in his soul."

    Finally, how will his message change in South Carolina?

    First he notes that his campaign bus is already on its way down there.

    "You're gonna hear what I've been doing here," he said. "The message doesn't change. It's all gonna be the same. Voters all have the same concerns and I'll be down there to give them a good pitch. I'm sure the forces of negativity will be there to pound me, but I'm ready for it." — Don Gonyea

  • The Polls Open, And Supporters Have Their Signs Ready

    Feb. 9 — 11:17 a.m.

    NPR's Don Gonyea found Sanders and Clinton supporters out and trying to win over the voters, despite the snow.


  • Who Gives John Kasich Campaign Inspiration? Phil Donahue

    Feb. 8 — 10:42 p.m.

    Kasich held his final town hall on Monday night — his 106th in New Hampshire.

    His spoke to that fact at the top of his remarks at a Manchester restaurant.

    "One hundred six of these things, and I'm not sure I've drained everything out that I would have liked to tell people here, but it's been, it's been really great," he said.

    He covered familiar points in his stump speech, which lasted about an hour, like living within your means and helping others out when you can. Before breaking into a story about his parents, he stopped to say:

    "If I ramble on a little bit, forgive me. This is my last town hall ... before the general election, by the way. Because I'll be back."

    Kasich also referenced Ohio's Cuyahoga County, which Obama won by 40 points. Kasich also won that county, which he told the crowd was "pretty incredible."

    At several points during his speech, he would reference his campaign's rise. He said it's all been positive; he hasn't spent his time trashing anybody.

    "If I'm fortunate enough to be able to move on from here down to South Carolina and on through the country, I'm going to keep doing town halls. I don't care how you do it. If there's 5,000 people in an arena, why don't I just walk around. Phil Donahue did it, why can't I? Just get out there and walk around and talk to people." — Brakkton Booker

  • Before Primary Vote, Clinton Tells Crowd To 'Imagine'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets voters outside a polling station at Fairgrounds Junior High School in Nashua, N,H., on Tuesday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets voters outside a polling station at Fairgrounds Junior High School in Nashua, N,H., on Tuesday.

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Feb. 8 — 9:07 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton had an excess of surrogates for her final rally before the New Hampshire primary: one former president (also Chelsea), one U.S. senator, one governor, two members of Congress, and '90s Hollywood power couple Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.

    The event — held Monday night at Alvirne High School in Hudson, N.H., as snow piled up outside — had a different feel from her final one on the eve of the Iowa caucuses. There were fewer people in the audience (a smaller gym here), far fewer press, and notably fewer Clinton senior staff.

    In Iowa, the campaign manager and numerous other campaign officials had milled around the back of the room talking to reporters and talking about expectations.

    A few things could have brought down the tone, like a Monday-afternoon Politico report that Clinton was considering a "staff shakeup" post-New Hampshire. In addition, a new poll shows Clnton 26 points behind her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. And the big snowstorm that hit New Hampshire on primary eve likely didn't help.

    Bill Clinton told a joke that raised a few eyebrows, saying, "Sometimes when I am on a stage like this, I wish that we weren't married. Then I could say what I really think." He added, "I don't mean that in a negative way."

    He talked about understanding why people are angry but said, "The question is what are you going to do about it?"

    As for Hillary Clinton's remarks, they were a variation of the new stump speech she rolled out late last week, one in which the word "imagine" quite possibly appears more times than in the John Lennon song.

    "Imagine what we can do together," Clinton says, before listing a number of policy goals like a further improved economy, repaired infrastructure (and pipes that don't poison kids with lead), gun safety measures, and equal pay for women's work.

    During applause lines, the gym thundered with snow boots stomping on the wooden bleachers.

    "Nobody is better at creating the future than Americans," she said. "We can't quit. We can't get discouraged." — Tamara Keith

  • Sanders Makes A Final Pitch To the Young N.H. Voters Who Love Him

    Audience members listen to Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speak at a campaign rally and concert at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center Arena on Monday. Andrew Burton/Getty Images hide caption

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    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Audience members listen to Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speak at a campaign rally and concert at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center Arena on Monday.

    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Feb. 8 — 8:56 p.m.

    This is what a Bernie night feels like: Fingers raised in peace signs. An arena full of people break into a rendition of "Lean On Me."

    In the University of New Hampshire's hockey arena Monday night, blue "A Future To Believe In" signs flapped as Sanders made his closing arguments among a group where he is decidedly beating Clinton — young voters. The crowd appeared to exceed 1,000.

    Why Sanders? The No. 1 answer from these fans: He'll make college affordable. My parents aren't rich. He speaks to people like my family.

    As for whether Sanders is too idealistic, these supporters turned that question around: How do you get to pragmatism without starting with idealism? It takes big ideas to achieve even moderate steps, they argued.

    After the band played "Feel the Bern," Sanders took the stage, appealing to these college students to go out to vote Tuesday.

    "Democracy is not a spectator sport," he said. — Ailsa Chang

  • Jeb Bush Optimistic Ahead Of Tuesday's N.H. Vote

    Feb. 8, 8:41 p.m.

    Over 400 people braved snowy and icy roads to attend Jeb Bush's final town hall in Portsmouth — the former Florida governor even dragged out additional chairs himself before the event began. Many in the room were Florida friends and donors who came out to see Bush's last appearance before Tuesday's vote, a make or break moment for his campaign in a state where he has invested millions.

    Bush has been more at ease on the campaign trail lately, and he started off his speech by embracing his last name — something he was hesitant to do early on in his campaign.

    "I'm a Bush. I'm proud of it. Let's get this out of the way real quick," he said, laughing. "I love my mother, my father, my brother."

    He emphasized his main message: leadership and experience.

    "This is not aspiring to the backbench of the United States Senate, where people argue about arcane amendments," he said — an implicit swipe at Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. "I know how to do this. I know how to lead."

    Bush boasted of his attacks in Saturday night's GOP debate against Donald Trump, getting applause from the crowd when he said, "The next president in chief can't be an agitator in chief or a divider in chief — needs to be a commander in chief."

    The former governor was upbeat, for sure, and his campaign staff was pointing to the good news it got earlier in the evening, when Emerson College released a poll showing Bush in second place over the other governors he is fighting against, Ohio's John Kasich and New Jersey's Chris Christie. Bush communications director Tim Miller even joked to the press that they were blaring the school's fight song on their way to tonight's event. — Jessica Taylor

  • Rubio Keeps Repeating His Line, And Supporters Love It

    Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio holds a campaign rally in Amherst, N.H., on Monday. The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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    The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio holds a campaign rally in Amherst, N.H., on Monday.

    The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Feb. 8 — 8:23 p.m.

    Marco Rubio's Monday night speech was like a final pep rally before the big game day. Some 400 plus showed up to cheer him on despite the snowy roads.

    He began the night about 40 minutes late because of an interview with Fox's Megyn Kelly. The crowd watched as Kelly interviewed Rubio in a corner of the gym. There was one awkward moment during the interview when a protester yelled out "no record, no experience," but others in the crowd quickly drowned out the protest with louder cheers of "Marco, Marco."

    During his stump speech, Rubio repeated his trademark Obama debate line, and the crowd loved it. This was largely a friendly audience — many volunteers. One man held out a copy of the 2013 Time magazine cover with the Florida senator's photo and the headline "The Republican Savior" ... and asked Rubio to autograph it. But there were also some undecided voters in the crowd, who were hoping to get some clarity on their decision.

    Rubio took a few questions from local reporters as he was walking out the door. It seemed like an attempt to set expectations for Tuesday. He emphasized that Donald Trump has been leading every poll in New Hampshire and then pointed out that some of his GOP rivals have been in the state for months. — Asma Khalid

  • On Primary Eve, Trump Urges Voters To Turn Out At All Costs

    Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump addresses a Monday rally with his wife, Melania, in Manchester, N.H. Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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    Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

    Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump addresses a Monday rally with his wife, Melania, in Manchester, N.H.

    Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

    Feb. 8 — 8:23 p.m.

    In Manchester on Monday night, Trump walked onstage to "Revolution" by John Lennon and told voters "it's crunch time." He was about 40 minutes late to the rally because of the snowstorm and expressed hope that the snow would end in time for voters to get to the polls. Trump told supporters to make sure they vote, no matter what — even if your wife leaves you, he joked. Then he called his wife, Melania, to the stage, describing her as "beautiful ... but even more beautiful on the inside."

    Trump was also joined by his daughter Ivanka, who is expecting a baby soon.

    "I just wanna tell you if she has the baby tonight in New Hampshire, that guarantees victory tomorrow. Please Ivanka, have the baby tonight."

    Ivanka responded, "I should be so lucky."

    Trump stuck to familiar themes — talking up his poll numbers and debate performance, promising to negotiate with drug companies for better prescription prices, and to build a wall to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. He also swiped at rival Jeb Bush — calling him "weak on immigration" — and at Marco Rubio. Trump said Rubio was "sweating" and "having a hard time" at the most recent Republican debate, where Chris Christie mocked Rubio for repeating himself several times with a line attacking President Obama. — Sarah McCammon

  • The Donald On Tom Brady

    Feb. 8 — 3:30 p.m.


    Boston station WGBH spoke to Donald Trump about Tom Brady. Listen here.

  • Millsfield, N.H., Steps Into Midnight Spotlight

    Feb. 9 — 12:40 a.m.

    At midnight on Feb. 9, the 23 residents of Millsfield, N.H., had a chance to be the first primary voters in the nation. The story of Millsfield, and the history behind "first in the nation" voting, from @WGBH News.


  • Chris Christie Campaigns

    Feb. 8 — 11:28 a.m.


    From Boston's WBUR at a Chris Christie rally.

  • Cruz Doesn't Want Daughters 'In A Foxhole With A 220-Pound Jihadist Psychopath'

    Audience members recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of a town hall-style campaign event held by Ted Cruz in Barrington, N.H., on Monday. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

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    Robert F. Bukaty/AP

    Audience members recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of a town hall-style campaign event held by Ted Cruz in Barrington, N.H., on Monday.

    Robert F. Bukaty/AP

    Ted Cruz held a town hall Monday at a manufacturing plant in Barrington, N.H. — a more rural area than other candidates have been, which seems to be a strategy heading into Tuesday. It was a full crowd but not packed — it was also a big room. Most people I talked to were pretty decided, though I talked to two voters who had been deciding between Trump and Cruz and said they had had enough of Trump's language and were going with Cruz

    At a retail stop at a meat shop/restaurant in Raymond, N.H., Cruz repeated his thoughts on not drafting women — invoking his own daughters again. He seemed to expand/clarify his comments from Sunday, saying he doesn't want his daughters "in a foxhole with a 220-pound jihadist psychopath."

    He is also playing up endorsements he got from ex-Rand Paul supporters.

    In a press availability here in Raymond, though, he was downplaying expectations. He says he was underestimated in Iowa (not really — but the win was more decisive than many thought) and he talked of expanding the GOP coalition to include Reagan Democrats. He said polls seemed to show "Either Rubio or Trump" could win.

    When asked how seriously he was taking New Hampshire, he said,

    When asked how seriously he was taking New Hampshire, he said, "I hope and believe we'll do well here, but I also know we've got an incredible team on the ground in South Carolina, and 10 days after South Carolina is Super Tuesday, the so-called SEC primary ... our campaign from day one has been a national campaign."


    "I'm here in New Hampshire. I'm campaigning for these votes." After some speculation he might go straight to South Carolina, Cruz's campaign emphasized to reporters it WILL be in New Hampshire Tuesday night. — Jessica Taylor

  • Jeb Bush: 'I Will Not Blame Obama'

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush throws a snowball following a campaign event Monday in Nashua, N.H. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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    Steven Senne/AP

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush throws a snowball following a campaign event Monday in Nashua, N.H.

    Steven Senne/AP

    At the Nashua Country Club, Jeb Bush started with an awkward joke about how this one time, someone introduced him who had gone on Wikipedia and discovered Jeb was an avid rock climber and had a secret passion of being a movie star.

    "I have no interest in being a movie star; you can tell that from my candidacy, can't you?"

    He went on to say there are probably unemployed kids (with student debt that are stuck in their parents' basement with Cheetos stains on their T-shirts) who play games on the Internet to see who can edit Wikipedia pages as a game with their friends all over the world.

    His advice: If you do have a Wikipedia page, check it once in a while, because you too may be an avid rock climber.

    He went on to talk about how the Bush family is strong. He said he is proud of his dad and his brother and that it was an incredible honor to have his mom come up and campaign for him. "The family matters to us."

    He then ticked off his bio and talked about challenges he faced as a Florida governor and how that prepares him for the presidency from Day 1.

    He took shots at Trump, but nothing new.

    He also said he takes issue with presidents who blame predecessors. "When I'm president, I will not blame Obama for a single thing. Because the day I'm sworn into office it's on my watch, whatever it is."

    He ended his remarks telling the gathering of about 50 people: "I will not let you down." — Brakkton Booker

  • Clinton Supporters Chant, 'It's Time'

    Hillary Clinton speaks at Manchester Community College Monday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Hillary Clinton speaks at Manchester Community College Monday.

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    At Manchester Community College, Clinton is having her first event on the eve of the primary. She has packed the gymnasium here with a huge overflow crowd that will only be able to peer through the glass.

    Eruptions of the chant, "It's time. It's time for a woman in the White House. It's time."

    Voters I've talked to say her pragmatism resonates. It doesn't do any good to dream big dreams like Bernie Sanders does if none of them come true. Clinton may not promise the sun, moon and stars but her experience and intelligence will achieve substantive ends.

    Why is Sanders leading in New Hampshire? Voters in the state are dubious that it's because he is a next-door neighbor — even though that's the Clinton campaign's explanation. Clinton supporters say he is turning on young voters who are just more prone to idealism, but if Sanders is the nominee, he won't get elected and then we'll all be stuck with a Republican president.

    Sanders wants a revolution? Clinton supporters ask, how about finishing the women's rights revolution and getting a woman in the White House? — Ailsa Chang

  • Waving For Bernie

    Allegra Boverman/NHPR
    Volunteers for Bernie Sanders in Peterborough, N.H.
    Allegra Boverman/NHPR

    Spotted by our friends at New Hampshire Public Radio: Volunteers hold Bernie Sanders signs in Peterborough, N.H., on Sunday afternoon.

  • Christie Loving His Moment

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie holds a town hall event at a metal fabrication company in Hudson, N.H., on Monday. Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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    Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie holds a town hall event at a metal fabrication company in Hudson, N.H., on Monday.

    Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

    Chris Christie is acting like a guy polling near the top — not mired in single digits. Today is his 72nd day campaigning in New Hampshire. He is loving his moment as the big bad Goliath who toppled Marco Rubio's David in the debate Saturday night. (My words, not his.) And many who came to see him told me it gave them reason to consider him for the first time, or even to support him.

    On chatter that it was too little too late, Christie says he went after Rubio at the time and place of his choosing. I talked to a Cruz supporter who switched to Christie after a town hall Sunday. And a John Kasich supporter now leaning toward Christie after the debate and after seeing him directly, and with great detail, talked about how he has handled actual crises (Sandy) as governor. (Traffic jams did not come up.)

    As for Ohio Gov. Kasich, there was an overflow crowd for him in Concord Sunday as well. It was his 102nd New Hampshire town hall. Nos. 103, 104, 105 are scheduled for Monday.

    Kasich has also been gushing that journalist David Maraniss was on his bus and interviewing him; he told the crowd, "The guy's a Pulitzer Prize winner!"

    My understanding is that Kasich-- proud son of the scrappy town of McKees Rocks, Pa. — loved Maraniss' bio of the late, great Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente a few books ago. — Don Gonyea

  • Trump Goes Small

    People wait in line amid falling snow to enter a Monday campaign event for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Lions Club in Londonderry, N.H. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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    David Goldman/AP

    People wait in line amid falling snow to enter a Monday campaign event for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Lions Club in Londonderry, N.H.

    David Goldman/AP

    Feb. 8 — 9:25 AM

    Trump starts his day at an Elks Lodge in Salem, N.H. This is a small venue, seating no more than a couple hundred. It's already nearly full and the event doesn't start for more than half an hour, with people still coming in. Trump has four events scheduled Monday, most of them smaller venues like this — he is making a final retail push right before the primary.

    Several voters I talked to were happy that he is holding this event, because some say it's more convenient for them than a large rally. Most supporters don't seem worried that he will falter in New Hampshire like he did in Iowa (obviously his polling lead here is much larger). Most here seem to have made up their minds for Trump. — Sarah McCammon