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Donald Trump Scores His First Election Victory


When this presidential campaign started, hardly anyone could have predicted the results of yesterday's New Hampshire primary. The fact that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won came as no surprise in the end. Boosted by the anger and frustration of many voters, Trump won on a night when more people voted in the New Hampshire GOP primary than ever before. And Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by one of the largest margins ever recorded in that state's Democratic primary. We went to check in on how the night went for the winners. And we start with with NPR's Sarah McCammon, who was following Donald Trump.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Winning is a big theme of Donald Trump's campaign. But he hadn't actually claimed a victory until last night.


DONALD TRUMP: New Hampshire, I want to thank you. We love you.

MCCAMMON: New Hampshire voters gave Trump the victory he needed after finishing a disappointing second in the Iowa caucuses. His campaign says that will cement his status as the Republican front-runner.


TRUMP: You started it. Remember, you started it.

MCCAMMON: Speaking to supporters gathered in a banquet hall in Manchester, Trump congratulated his Republican rivals...


TRUMP: Now that I got that over with...

MCCAMMON: ...While promising to beat them all in South Carolina. He had similar words for the other big winner of the day.


TRUMP: Congratulations to Bernie. In all fairness, we have to congratulate him. We may not like it.

MCCAMMON: Trump said Bernie Sanders, the Democratic winner who's focused his campaign on economic inequality, wants to give away our country.


TRUMP: We wish him a lot of luck, but we are going to make America great again. But we're going to do it the old-fashioned way.

MCCAMMON: Again Trump promised his supporters that he would beat other countries at trade, strengthen the military and get Mexico to pay for a wall along the southern border. Trump found vindication for his blunt message in New Hampshire last night, thanks to voters like John Gould of Nashua.


JOHN GOULD: I can't go to a Panera sometimes and order because the guys there are speaking Spanish. I mean, it's ridiculous. English should be the language for our country, and I should be able to go and converse with people. And if you travel around the world a little bit, the United States has got - it just - it doesn't feel right.

MCCAMMON: Barbara Dexter of Goffstown says throughout this campaign, the establishment has been too slow to acknowledge that Trump's support is real. But they can't look away now.

BARBARA DEXTER: I think it kind of opens up the eyes to the people in Washington that people aren't really happy with what they've been receiving, and that we need a change.

MCCAMMON: Despite his unconventional style, Trump has insisted from the beginning that he was building a serious campaign that could win. So when it actually happened last night, his speech sounded like it has all along.


TRUMP: We are going to start winning again. And we're going to win so much, you are going to be so happy. We are going to make America so great again - maybe greater than ever before.

MCCAMMON: Trump promised to keep winning as the GOP race heads to South Carolina. Sarah McCammon, NPR News, Manchester. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.
Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.