Clinton Loses Primary to Sanders, Stays Optimistic

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Manchester, NH, 9th Feb 2016: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presents her concession speech to a group of supporters at Southern New Hampshire University. Bernie Sanders took the Democratic title in the New Hampshire primary. (Photo by: Jacob G. Dmochowski/BUNS)
Written by Libby Allen

By Libby Allen
BU News Service

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton may have won by a hair in the Iowa Caucus, but she lost by 20 points Tuesday night in the New Hampshire primary, securing 39 percent of the vote, with fellow Democratic contender U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders taking 59 percent.

The long-time Democratic front-runner has secured her campaign for gay rights, racial equality, closing the gender pay gap, and strengthening universal healthcare, and was met with cheers from supporters Tuesday night.

“This is about great leadership,” Ted Eytan, a 47-year-old physician, said at the rally Tuesday night. “I think she has all of the experience, and as a woman in America hasn’t had everything handed to her.”

Though most of Tuesday’s crowd consisted of Clinton’s supporters, there was at least one Sanders supporter among them.

“I had a hard time deciding who to vote for between Hillary and Bernie. I love the Clintons and I’ve always supported them, but I decided to vote for Bernie,” said Juliana Wilson, a graduate student at Franklin Pierce University. “In the end, my decision was based on changes in [Clinton’s] platform about gay marriage and things like that.”

In her speech Tuesday, Clinton, optimistic about her campaign’s future, thanked her family, former president Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton, for their support. She also further emphasized her campaign’s agenda.

“We need to build a growth and fairness economy, with higher wages and better paying jobs, including the national mission to create millions of jobs in clean energy,” Clinton said.

As she now officially trails behind Sanders, her campaign’s future is, according to U.S. tradition, now at a disadvantage. The New Hampshire primary is not an official predictor, but its outcome plays a significant role for the remainder of the election. Working in Clinton’s favor, the primaries have been wrong before. Clinton’s husband and former president Bill Clinton lost the 1992 primary to Mass. Senator Paul Tsongas. Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also lost the New Hampshire primary in 2000 and 2008, respectively.  

Clinton and Sanders have been squaring off for months and emerged from the Iowa caucus neck-and-neck last week.

“We need to close the loopholes in our tax code and crack down on corporations that gain the system,” Clinton said.

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