Supporters in Concord cheer after Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is announced the winner of the New Hampshire primary. (John Minchillo, AP)
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MANCHESTER, N.H. — Sen. Bernie Sanders won a definitive victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary Tuesday, propelled by support from a wide network of men, women, young people and independent voters.

Sanders was buoyed by near-record turnout and a belief among voters that he was more honest and trustworthy than Clinton, who won New Hampshire eight years ago against then-candidate Barack Obama.

"The government of our great country belongs to all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs," Sanders told supporters Tuesday night in a message that he said resounded "from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California."

His win likely will prompt rank-and-file Democrats — and some major campaign donors — to give his campaign a second look as the race shifts to contests in Clinton-friendly states such as Nevada and South Carolina. Sanders stuck to core campaign themes this week to avoid upsetting a race trending his way.

"I felt like he was the most honest," said Nicole Reitano, a 24-year-old from Nashua who voted for Sanders. "He's had the same views forever, and he's never budged. That makes me feel confident in him."

While Sanders' victory means he's assured of a majority of the state's pledged delegates, Clinton remains ahead in the overall delegate count because of support from superdelegates — the party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. Clinton has amassed at least 392 delegates and Sanders at least 42; the magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,382.


Inside her rally, Clinton's supporters defiantly chanted, "I'm with her!" and roared with approval when the former secretary of state took the stage, joined by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea.

"We're going to fight for every vote in every state," Clinton told a cheering crowd after she conceded defeat. She acknowledged she has "some work to do, particularly with young people."

Sanders, once labeled a "fringe candidate" by his detractors, received majority support from younger voters and those who called themselves moderate or politically liberal. He also was favored narrowly by women.

"The people of New Hampshire have sent a profound message to the political establishment, to the economic establishment, and by the way, to the media establishment," Sanders told a victory rally.

"What the people here have said is that, given the enormous crisis facing our country, it is just too late for the same-old, same-old establishment politics and establishment economics. The people want real change."

Clinton, meanwhile, was backed by a majority of voters 65 and older, according to exit poll data compiled by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks.

In the week since her slim victory in the leadoff Iowa caucuses, Clinton's campaign has tried to lower expectations in New Hampshire, the site of her 2008 comeback.

Sanders, the senator from neighboring Vermont, had maintained a steady lead in New Hampshire despite Clinton's longstanding ties.

Sanders' gains come amid shifting political ideologies in the state, with two-thirds of Democratic voters on Tuesday identifying as politically liberal.

During the 2008 primary, only 56 percent of Democratic voters said the same, exit poll data show.