Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, multiple outlets are reporting.
CNN and NBC, among other outlets, called the race for Sanders shortly after all polls closed in New Hampshire at 8 p.m. ET.
He was leading with 51% of the vote compared to 40% for Clinton.
Most polls had given Sanders a big edge heading into the primary, which came a little more than a week after Clinton narrowly edged out Sanders in the Iowa caucuses. The CNN/WMUR poll from Monday gave Sanders a huge 26-point lead.
Clinton remains the front-runner for the nomination, but Sanders’ stronger-than-expected showing in the early-primary states has been a dramatic twist in the nomination battle that critics once called a “coronation” for Clinton.
Indeed, she led Sanders by more than 50 points in New Hampshire about one year ago.
Clinton conceded the New Hampshire race shortly after it had been called. In a strategy memo, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said splitting the first two contests was an outcome the campaign “long anticipated.”
“The nomination will very likely be won in March, not February, and we believe that Hillary Clinton is well positioned to build a strong — potentially insurmountable — delegate lead next month,” Mook said, pointing to the next two voting states of Nevada and South Carolina.
Both states feature Democratic electorates far more diverse than that of Iowa or New Hampshire, which polls have shown could be a boost for Clinton.