The dust has settled — sort of — after the first-in-the-nation primary, and the two non-traditional/non-establishment candidates are projected to finish in first in their respective parties. ("Sort of" and "projected to finish first" are used because the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office said all results reported on the night of the primary are "unofficial" because they will not receive and count the returns until Wednesday morning.)
Real estate mogul Donald Trump finished first on the Republican side, with 35 percent of the vote as of 11:06 p.m. PST on Tuesday night, according to CNN. He is followed by moderate Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who at the same time trailed far behind with only 16 percent of the vote. Rounding out the top six were: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses, with 12 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 11 percent (29,186 votes), Florida. Sen. Marco Rubio with 11 percent (27,774 votes) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 7 percent.
This win reaffirms support for Trump following his second place finish in the Iowa caucuses, and puts him in position to do well in South Carolina — home of the first Southern primary. (The Republicans go there and then to Nevada.) He has been consistently polling in first, and he leads in the RealClearPolitics Average by double digits.
Kasich seems to be the establishment's choice for the moment — at least on primary night — even though he is a moderate. The question is whether or not Republican primary voters and caucusgoers will continue voting for him. Bush appears to be too far down to mount a serious comeback, especially since he has struggled ever since Trump entered the race.
During his speech at end the of the night, after it was clear he fared poorly, Christie, a former U.S. Attorney who essentially prosecuted Rubio during last Saturday's Republican Debate over the use of "25-second speeches," seemed to withdraw from the race without actually saying it. So, going after Rubio during the debate obviously did not help. The Florida senator appears to be too badly beaten — both in the polls after finishing first in the establishment group, third overall, in Iowa and in standing — by his implosion during the debate to resurrect himself.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 60 percent to 38 percent, according to CNN as of 11:31 p.m. PST. After finishing in a virtual tie in Iowa, Sanders pulled out a major victory, which will not only give his campaign a boost, but likely serves as a blow to the Clinton campaign — not because of the loss, which was expected, but because of Sanders' margin of victory.
Clinton is leading in the RealClearPolitics Average for Nevada, where the Democrats go next, and she has consistently polled ahead there. There have not been new surveys added to the index since the end of 2015, so Clinton's standing is likely to change. Sanders has 12 field offices in the Silver State.