MANCHESTER, N.H. — New York businessman Donald Trump won the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, handily defeating a host of rivals a week after coming in a disappointing second place in the Iowa caucuses.
The race was called just after polls closed in New Hampshire at 8 p.m. EST.
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov John Kasich ended up beating out Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore], Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for second place.
Inside Trump’s election night celebration party in Manchester, a crowd packed into a small ballroom to watch the returns and await the Republican’s victory speech.
Trump's supporters waiting for him to address them pic.twitter.com/xKwtYUpH1m
— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) February 10, 2016
Once he took the stage, Trump began with his campaign trademark: “We are going to make America great again.” Trump then thanked his family and paid homage to his parents.
Referring to his loss in Iowa — in large part due to a failure in his get-out-the-vote effort — Trump said: “You know, we learned a lot about ground games in one week, I have to tell you.”
Trump heads to South Carolina as the favorite in the polls. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average, Trump leads there with 36 percent of the vote. Following Trump is Cruz at 19.7 percent, Rubio at 12.7 percent and Bush at 10 percent.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump talked to The Daily Caller as he did some last minute campaigning at a diner by the Manchester airport. “We’ll have to see what happens,” Trump told TheDC. “It’s very early. But we feel very good, very confident.” (RELATED: Donald Trump Talks To The Daily Caller: ‘If I Win By One Vote, I’m Happy’)
At a pre-primary rally on Monday night, Trump pleaded with the crowd at the Verizon Wireless Arena to get to the polls, no matter what’s going on in their lives.
“I say it all the time: if you’re sick, if you’re really, like, you can’t move, you’re close to death, your doctor tells you it’s not working, your wife is disgusted with you…I don’t give a damn, you got to get out to vote, right? You got to get out to vote,” Trump said. (RELATED: Donald Trump Implores New Hampshire Rally To Help Him Rebound)
As for the race for second place, Rubio rode a wave of momentum into New Hampshire after his strong third place finish in Iowa but Christie appeared to stop it after attacking the Florida senator for sounding robotic and scripted in Saturday’s GOP debate here in Manchester.
Rubio, in his election night speech about his likely fifth place finish, referenced that debate in his election night speech, saying: “I did not do well on Saturday night… That will never happen again!”
Rubio: "I did not do well on Saturday night… That will never happen again!" pic.twitter.com/anT7GUvSqW
— Vince Coglianese (@TheDCVince) February 10, 2016
The night was particularly rough for Christie, who seemed likely to come in sixth place after a focus on New Hampshire and an endorsement from the state’s Union Leader newspaper. In remarks to his supporters on Tuesday, he said he planned to go home to New Jersey and take a close look at the results — a statement that appeared to be a hint that he will consider withdrawing from the race.