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Carly Fiorina And Chris Christie Drop Out Of GOP Race

BuzzFeed News correspondents Evan McMorris-Santoro, McKay Coppins, Rosie Gray, Ruby Cramer, Tarini Parti, and Jim Waterson are reporting in New Hampshire.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Here's what you need to know:

  • Republican businessman Donald Trump won his first political victory, beating a large field of candidates. Ohio Gov. John Kasich finished second.
  • Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he will go home to reassess his campaign after a disappointing sixth place finish.
  • In this weekend's GOP debate, Rubio faltered under attacks from Christie. In last week's Democratic debate, Clinton and Sanders argued over who's the true progressive.
  • New Hampshire voters have correctly picked the last two GOP nominees — Mitt Romney and John McCain — and last correctly picked John Kerry as the Democratic nominee in 2004.

Updates

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is suspending his presidential campaign after a single-digit finish in New Hampshire on Tuesday, a staffer told BuzzFeed News.

After place near-last in the Iowa caucuses, Christie had staked his campaign on a strong showing in New Hampshire, a state friendlier to more establishment-leaning Republicans.

His campaign touted his debate performance over the weekend — in which he aggressively attacked Marco Rubio for repeating the same line about President Obama — as a turning point for the governor.

While Christie may have damaged Rubio, who finished in a disappointing fifth place, the performance ultimately did not give his candidacy the boost it needed to deliver a victory in the granite state.

Read more here.

Kyle Blaine

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Ted Cruz says the Republican presidential race is now down to a choice between him and Donald Trump going into the South Carolina primary.

"South Carolina historically has played a critical role picking presidents. And I think Iowa and New Hampshire perform an incredibly important function in narrowing the field and in many ways this field is becoming a two-person race between me and Donald Trump," the Texas senator said on the Mike Gallagher Show Wednesday.

"What Iowa and New Hampshire demonstrate is that the only person in this field who can beat Donald Trump is me. The other candidates are not able to beat Donald Trump."

Read more here.

Andrew Kaczynski

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — New Hampshire voters were supposed to anoint a prophet.

After nine nightmarish months of Donald Trump dominating the GOP race, party stalwarts had hoped Tuesday's first-in-the-nation primary would end with the emergence of a consensus establishment standard-bearer ready to take the fight to The Donald. But when the polls closed in the Granite State, the billionaire was celebrating a blowout — while a distant cluster of also-rans jockeyed pathetically between second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes.

In a cast of presidential candidates once hyped as the most dynamic and diverse in the party's history, not one could get within 19 points of Trump. And yet almost all of them declared Tuesday they were determined to soldier on.

Now, as the unruly Republican presidential field decamps for South Carolina, many in the party are predicting a drawn-out and damaging primary fight.

Read more here.

McKay Coppins

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WASHINGTON — The Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns went on a hiring spree over the last few months of the year, but the amount of minority hires for both campaigns remained steady, according to data provided to Inclusv, a group that monitors and facilitates diversity hiring in Democratic electoral politics.

In a round of data provided to Inclusv Tuesday and provided to BuzzFeed News, the Clinton campaign self-reported that minorities currently make up 30% of its staff, down slightly from 32.2% in October of last year. The Sanders campaign reported minority staff made up 30.9% at the end of 2015, down from 33% in October.

Read more here.

Darren Sands

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Just before 11 a.m. ET, the Associated Press finalized the list of runners-up in the Republican field.

With Trump first and Kasich second, third place officially went to Ted Cruz, followed by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

With about 95% of precincts reporting at 10:55 a.m. ET, here were the final results:Trump with 35.3%, Kasich with about 15.7%, Cruz with 11.7%, Bush 11.1%, and Rubio with 10.5%.

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Sanders Meets With Rev. Al Sharpton In NYC

I am meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem.

The morning after his decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders was in New York City's Harlem neighborhood on Wednesday to meet with Rev. Al Sharpton.

The civil rights icon is an important figure in the black community, and a potential endorsement of the Vermont senator could help to shift African American supporters of Hillary Clinton towards Sanders.

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Trump Bar Quiet On Primary Night

Only about a half a dozen people, including the bar tender and a waiter, showed up Tuesday night at Trump bar in NYC to take in the New Hampshire primary results. The bar, located in ground floor of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, has become a tourist attraction since Trump started taking off in the polls.

"There were more supporters here last week for Iowa," the man in the gray suit said. That night, the man said, Trump supporters had gathered around the bar, excited at first but soon disappointed, as the caucus results showed a victory for Ted Cruz.

One of the men sitting on a leather couch in the bar was a former driver for the Trump family and now supporter of the presidential hopeful.

He said he believes in Trump and didn't seem happy with Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly, saying "she got nasty with him," while shaking his head when her face popped on the television screen.

Read the full report here.

-Albert Samaha and Kendall Taggart

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Trump Takes Victory Lap On Morning Shows

Fresh off his big win in New Hampshire, Trump took a gracious tone while taking his victory lap on the morning talk shows Wednesday.

The outspoken presidential contender was subdued when talking about his competitors, saying that everyone did well. When asked on the Today show who his biggest competitor is now, he said he "wouldn't want to pick one."

"I think we're doing very well, we have something really special," Trump said.

He's now setting his sights on South Carolina, where he said he packed a stadium at an event two days ago. He also referred to his campaign success as a "movement."

Trump avoided his usual grandstanding Wednesday and instead kept things very positive and refused to go negative on any of his competitors during his interviews. Instead, he called Kasich a "nice guy," said Christie did "an amazing job" at the most recent debate and also said that he likes Rubio very much.

"As you get closer, you act a little bit differently," Trump said on Today.

Meanwhile, John Kasich, who came up from behind to come in second for the Republicans in New Hampshire, said people always underestimate him but somehow it always seems to work out.

Speaking on the Today show, Kasich distanced himself from his competitors saying that he "was the only one with a really positive message" and that he "always thought that light could overcome darkness."

But made sure to acknowledge that "it's a long road...to the nomination."

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Presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, who is known for wearing a rubber boot on his head, currently has received more write-in votes in the New Hampshire primary than former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.

Read more here.

— CJ Ciaramella

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CONCORD, N.H. – John Kasich took second place behind Donald Trump in the New Hampshire Republican primary – but even his own supporters admitted they will struggle to carry his campaign's success on to other states after focussing all their efforts on the first primary.

The Ohio governor held his party at the Courtyard Marriot in Concord where staff were overwhelmed with the sudden surge in media interest in the governor. Kasich was introduced to the stage at least six separate times but his supporters in the audience seemed uncomfortable chanting "Kasich! Kasich!" for prolonged periods of time. Instead they kept trailing off to silence.

Eventually some took to half-heartedly shouting "buy a seatbelt" in reference to Kasich's pledge to get so much done in his 100 days as president that voters will be left breathless. But he's got a long way to go. The main effect of his relative success on Tuesday night was to frustrate efforts to pick a single anti-Trump candidate from the Republican field.

Read more here.

Jim Waterson.

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Jeb Bush — who at the time of his speech to supporters was in a close race with Ted Cruz for a third place finish in New Hampshire — declared the presidential race "reset" on Tuesday.

"The pundits had it all figured out on Monday night when the Iowa caucuses were complete," Bush said. "They said that the race was now a three-person race between two freshmen senators and a reality TB star. While the TV star is still doing well, it looks like you all have reset the race and for that, I am really grateful."

Bush added later in the speech: "This campaign is not dead, we're going on to South Carolina." — Kyle Blaine

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — After a one-point win in Iowa and a double-digit loss in New Hampshire, the hopeful trajectory Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook charted some three months ago no longer seems probable.

Instead, as polls closed here on Tuesday, before Clinton greeted a crowd in Southern New Hampshire University's athletic center, the campaign manager released a memo to reporters headlined, "March Matters," signaling the long road ahead.

"Here's what we're going to do," Clinton said on stage with her husband and daughter. "We take this campaign to the entire country. We're going to fight for every vote, in every state. We're going to fight for real solutions that make a real difference in people's lives."

Since she got in the race last April, Clinton and her advisers have directed the large share of the campaign's time and financial resources on the first four primary states: Iowa and New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. But ahead of those remaining two contests, members of Clinton's team sought on primary day to forecast close races there, too — particularly on Feb. 20 in Nevada, a state her aides once regarded with confidence.

Read more here.

Ruby Cramer

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Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz sailed to first place in the Iowa caucus last week — but as he faced what looked to be a third-place finish in New Hampshire on Tuesday night, he sought to reignite enthusiasm in his supporters.

"We need a proven principled leader who stands with the people," Cruz told the crowd in Hollis just before 11 p.m., as polls showed that he was edging out Jeb Bush for third place. "We must defend the Constitution — defend life, marriage, and religious liberty — and always defend the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."

He finished by pointing ahead to the next few contests — where, he hoped, he would regain his footing against Donald Trump.

"Who has the judgment, the temperament, the experience, the knowledge, the clarity of vision, and the strength of resolve to stand by our friends and allies and to defeat our enemies, to defeat radical Islamic terrorists?" Cruz asked.

"Iowa and New Hampshire together have gone a long long way to answering that question. Thank you for tonight's results. Your victory tonight has left the Washington cartel utterly terrified. And so now on to South Carolina, on to Las Vegas, on to Super Tuesday." — Stephanie M. Lee

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Speaking to supporters Tuesday after his second place finish in New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said there is "magic in the air" with his campaign.

Kasich bested the other establishment candidates in the race, including Jeb Bush and Chris Christie. He credited his positive message for his strong finish, and said his success shows that maybe a change is happening in the election.

"We never went negative because we have more good to sell than to spend our time being critical of somebody else," Kasich said. "And maybe, maybe just maybe, at a time when clearly change is in the air, maybe, just maybe we're turning the page on a dark part of American politics because tonight, the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning. And you made it happen."

In a speech that emphasized unity and civility, Kasich urged Americans to slow down and listen to their neighbors.

"That's the America I know, where we slow down our lives. We slow down our lives, and let's just leave this hall tonight, and I would ask you to just reflect on this. Because you see we're all made to change the world. We're all made to be a apart of the healing of this world," he said.

He continued, "From this day forward, I'm going to go slower, and spend my time listening, helping, and bringing people together to fix our great country." — Kyle Blaine

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In his concession speech after suffering a devastating defeat in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Marco Rubio acknowledged that his poor performance at Saturday's debate had hurt his campaign, and asked his supporters to rally to fight for another day.

"Our disappointment is not on you, it's on me," Rubio said. "I did not do well on Saturday night. But listen to me: that will never happen again."

Rubio had a difficult night on Saturday, when he repeated a rehearsed line four times and opened himself up to biting criticism from Chris Christie.

Until Tuesday night, however, he insisted that repeating the line had not been a gaffe and that his debate performance had been strong.

"Not all days are going to be great days," the candidate said. "We're not always going to get what we want." — Nicolas Medina Mora

vine.co
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After a disappointing sixth place finish on Tuesday night, Gov. Chris Christie told supporters he will go home to New Jersey and not head to South Carolina as planned, as he considers dropping out of the race.

"We're going to take a deep breath," he said. "We will make a decision tomorrow based on the completed results."

Like fellow candidate Ben Carson, Christie, too, spoke of the allure of clean laundry. "We haven't been home for two weeks so we can actually get a change of clothes, which would be a nice thing," he said.

True to form, Christie didn't mince words about his loss. "They've spoken very clearly," he said of New Hampshire voters' decision to vote for Trump. With more than 60% of precincts reporting, Christie only managed to pull in 7.7% of the vote. — Charlie Warzel.

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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — As primary results trickled in Tuesday evening, Jeb Bush's campaign made the case that that the former Florida governor is well-positioned for a strong showing in South Carolina — a state where Granite State second-place finisher John Kasich has no viable path.

Calling Kasich the "leading Republican advocate for expanding Obamacare" and pointing to the Ohio governor's past cuts to defense spending, Tim Miller, spokesman for Bush, told reporters: "He doesn't have a constituency past New Hampshire. He does not have a viable path to the nomination, and he certainly does not have a viable path in South Carolina."

Read more here.

Tarini Parti.

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Speaking to a capacity crowd on Tuesday night, Donald Trump, a real estate developer with no prior campaign experience, thunderously declared victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary.

Trump started off his speech thanking a laundry list of people: his deceased parents, brother, family, staff, other candidates, and the state of New Hampshire, before sending some words to his winning counterpart, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"He wants to give away our country, we're not going to let it happen," he said of Sanders' just-finished victory speech. "We wish him a lot of luck but we're going to make America great again and we're going to do it the old fashioned way."

The speech then meandered into a series of forceful talking points, including but not limited to: trade deals, bolstering the military, building an "incredible" wall on the border, repealing and replacing Obamacare.

"I am going to be the best jobs president that God ever created," Trump said of his economic ambitions.

The rambling speech lasted a fraction of Sanders' call to action, focusing instead on hammering away at the controversial issues and anxieties that played well with New Hampshire voters.

The result was, in standard Trump fashion, a piecemeal smattering of independent clauses.

"In a nutshell we're going to make great trade deals, rebuild our military — it's going to be so strong, nobody is going to mess with us. Nobody. We're going to take care of our vets," Trump said.

"The world is going to respect us again, believe me," he told the crowd while flanked by his wife and family.

Trump's victory aligned with months of New Hampshire polls, which had the real estate developer leading since July. — Charlie Warzel.

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CONCORD, New Hampshire — There is a feeling that something real, something serious, is happening with Bernie Sanders at his victory party here Tuesday night.

Cable networks called the race immediately after polls closed — a triumphant, dominating victory — and Sanders supporters were ready, finally, to declare their revolution starts now.

"We feel the change," said Selina Marcille, a 28-year-old college administrator from Pembroke, New Hampshire. "Iowa was a travesty, and two coin flips absolutely does not speak to what what America needs. This is just the start."

Read more here.

Evan McMorris-Santoro

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In his victory speech Tuesday night before a crowd of cheering supporters, Bernie Sanders said his win in the New Hampshire primary represented the beginning of a broader political and economic revolution in the United States.

"We won because we harnessed the energy and the excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November," he said.

The Vermont senator boasted of the massive win by what was once a grassroots campaign.

He also proudly stated his campaign had not accepted donations or assistance from "a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs."

He thanked Clinton for a "gracious" phone call she had made to concede defeat, before continuing to criticize conservatives.

"We will need to come together in a few months and unite this party because the right-wing Republicans we oppose must not be allowed to gain the presidency," Sanders said to cheers. "The last time a Republican occupied the White House, the trickle down economic policies drove us into the worst economic downturn since the Depression of the 1930s."

With his rival Clinton seeking to frame the race in broader terms than income inequality, Sanders also pledged to fight institutional racism and what he said was a broken criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates young people of color. He also said the United States should continue to push for the rights of women, LGBT, and disabled people — groups frequently mentioned by Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sanders also sought to contrast himself against the former secretary of state by highlighting his vote against the war in Iraq.

Recalling his humble beginnings as the son of a Polish immigrant who came to the U.S. without knowing English, Sanders marveled at what he said was an unbelievable victory.

"This is the promise of America, this is the promise we must keep alive for future generations," Sanders said. "What began last week in Iowa, what voters here in New Hampshire confirmed tonight, is nothing short of the beginning of a political revolution."

Adolfo Flores

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Here's what Bernie Sanders was doing as polls closed in New Hampshire and he delivered a crushing defeat to Hillary Clinton: BALLIN' 🏀🏀

In video captured by NBC, the Democratic presidential contender was playing basketball with his grandchildren in Concord.

Watch the footage here.

Stephanie M. Lee

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In her concession speech after losing New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders on Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton reiterated the similarities between her policy positions and those of the Vermont senator, all while insisting that she has a better understanding of how to bring those ideas into practice.

"People have the right to be angry, but they are also hungry," Clinton said. "They are hungry for solutions. So what are we going to do? What's the best way to change people's lives? Who is the best changemaker?"

The former secretary of state reminded her supporters that she and Sanders agree on the need to reform campaign financing laws and to hold Wall Street accountable, but insisted that the "true differences in this race are about how" to accomplish those goals.

Clinton also emphasized the need to address racism and gender discrimination, in addition to income inequality.

Earlier on Tuesday, Clinton's campaign issued a memo saying her "high levels of support in the African-American and Hispanic communities are well known."

The candidate concluded her speech by acknowledging she has "some work to do" to convince younger voters to support her.

"Even if they are not supporting me now," Clinton said of young people, "I support them." — Nicolas Medina Mora

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In a stunning reordering of the Republican field, John Kasich will finish second behind Donald Trump, multiple national outlets have predicted.

ABC News, NBC News, and Fox News all projected the Ohio governor will be the Republican runner-up.

With 29% of precincts reporting at 9:15 p.m. ET, Kasich had 15.4% of the vote, behind Trump's 34%, according to the Associated Press.

Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio are all jostling for third place.

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Clinton Concedes to Sanders via Twitter

To @BernieSanders, congratulations. To New Hampshire, thank you. And to our volunteers: I’m so grateful for what you built. Now, onward. -H

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In a memo released when the polls closed Tuesday night, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook conceded the race in New Hampshire while downplaying the significance of the first two nominating contests.

Mook laid out the campaign's strategy to win the nomination in March.

Noting that Iowa and New Hampshire largely consist of white voters, Mook emphasized Clinton's strengths with black and Latino voters as states with more diverse populations hold their primaries and caucuses in the coming weeks and months.

"Hillary's high levels of support in the African-American and Hispanic communities are well known," the memo reads. "She has maintained a wide double digit lead over Sen. Sanders among minority voters in national surveys and in states where African-American and Hispanic voters make up a large share of the electorate. That type of support was not created overnight; it has been forged over more than 40 years of fighting for and alongside communities of color. They know her, trust her and are excited about her candidacy."

The memo also lays out what the campaign sees as Sanders' vulnerabilities, mainly positions not in line with President Obama's priorities and his foreign policy experience and knowledge.

"[A]s electorates become more diverse and media scrutiny more intense, Sen. Sanders will face increased pressure to explain his record — especially on issues where he deviates from President Obama, who remains exceedingly popular among Democrats in these states. Democrats in these states want to build on the progress made under President Obama," Mook writes.

The memo continues, "Thus, we expect Sen. Sanders' positions and past votes on three of President Obama's key priorities — gun safety, immigration reform and Obamacare — to cause significant problems for him in states with large African-American and Hispanic populations. Additionally, as the campaign moves to states with a heavier presence of military personnel and veterans, Sen. Sanders should expect renewed questions about his foreign policy proposals and preparedness to be Commander-in-Chief."

Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri tweeted that the former secretary of state had telephoned her rival to congratulate him on the win.

@HillaryClinton called to congratulate @BernieSanders and now en route to address her supporters.

Kyle Blaine

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Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Win New Hampshire Primaries

Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, as polls predicted.

This is really happening: Donald Trump just won the GOP’s New Hampshire primary.

With polls closed in New Hampshire, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have surged to victory, delivering sobering blows to the establishment wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

With commanding leads in both exit polls and early counts, media networks across the country confidently called the result as soon as polls closed.

With 10% of Democratic votes counted at 8:10 p.m. ET, Sanders led Clinton 56% to 41.8%, according to the Associated Press.

On the Republican side, with 7% of precincts reporting, Donald Trump led with 33.5%. John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio are in a close contest for the runners-up positions.

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Corbynites Feel the Bern

Something strangely familiar going on across the pond... good luck tonight @BernieSanders #feeltheBern

CONCORD, New Hampshire — In the closing days of the Iowa campaign, Bernie Sanders took to telling potential caucusgoers that the world would be watching what they did on caucus night.

Turns out it was New Hampshire where the world tuned in. Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, the U.K. Labor Party leader whose supporters burning with liberal puritanism scorched the left-wing establishment in that country last year, took note of a night where Sanders is expected to do well.

Corbyn often comes up among supporters of Hillary Clinton upset at Sanders' ongoing support. Corybn is generally seen by the establishment as dooming the Labor Party to minority status for the foreseeable future. Clinton supporters say Sanders would be the Corbyn of the U.S., guaranteeing the Democrats' defeat in November.

Sanders hasn't embraced Corbyn much. He doesn't mention him in his stump speeches and his aides don't tie the U.K. campaign to the U.S. race. But Sanders was happy to see the establishment applecart upturned by Corbynites in 2015. He put out a statement saying he was "delighted" by Corbyn's win last September.

Evan McMorris-Santoro

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WASHINGTON — The Hillary Clinton campaign has hired a press aide from the U.S. Department of Education to be its press secretary for black media, several sources with direct knowledge of the hire told BuzzFeed News.

Denise Horn, a veteran of the Obama reelection campaign in 2012 and assistant press secretary at the Department of Education, will begin with the Clinton campaign this month as director of African American media, the sources said.

Horn formerly worked for Facebook. She will begin at the Clinton campaign on Monday. At the Department of Education Horn handled black media and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), which the Clinton campaign is making a big push towards engaging, a Clinton aide said.

Horn will also engage spiritual leaders and other grassroots organizers, as well as amplify efforts in the early primary and Super Tuesday states.

Read more here. — Darren Sands

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Insane Traffic Jam In One New Hampshire Town

Line of people waiting to vote in #NHPrimary estimated to be 2 miles long in Merrimack https://t.co/3ktMY2ZER2 #WCVB

Merrimack is a town of roughly 27,000 people in southeastern New Hampshire, and during Tuesday's primary there was just one polling place for all residents: Merrimack High School.

So in the hours before the polls closed at 7 p.m., the roads leading to the voting booths became snarled in traffic so congested that the Merrimack Police Department warned commuters to expect "major delays."

Merrimack resident Jacqui Lantagne, 30, told BuzzFeed News that she, along with dozens of other frustrated voters, had parked their cars in the lots of businesses along the side of Daniel Webster Highway and were plodding through the snowy terrain on foot. There were cars as far as the eye could see, she said.

"It is insane traffic. It's not like this at all normally in New Hampshire, especially in Merrimack," Lantagne said by phone, shivering and huffing in the 21-degree evening air.

Read more here. — Stephanie M. Lee

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It's tough times for the New Hampshire campaign team of Vermin Supreme, the outsider candidate for the Democratic nomination who hopes to beat Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders with a promise of a free pony for everyone. While other potential nominees appear at events across the state in a desperate attempt to get out the vote, Supreme's team have lost track of their candidate, and Supreme doesn't own a mobile phone.

"We are just going to be a presence and that will be enough," said pro-Vermin activist Rainbow Robyn of the Rainbow Tribe when asked about her campaign's tactics. She was speaking in the campaign's downtown Manchester campaign HQ, which also happens to be The Shaskeen Irish pub.

Supreme campaigns while wearing a rubber boot on his head and runs on a platform of "lies for less." He was last seen heckling Chris Christie, demanding Christie require people to brush their teeth, and asking Ted Cruz whether he would fluoridise the water used for waterboarding.

Vermin's other policies include world peace and a free pony for everyone, which would be used instead of ID cards.

"But if your identification pony dies you'd have to drag it with you for ID," noted Rainbow Robyn, drinking a pint while working out how to deploy the team's limited campaign resources, which consist of five volunteers, a few posters and some stickers pledging to use zombies to create energy.

Despite this approach she is hopeful her candidate will receive more votes than potential Republican nominee Jim Gilmore: "Vermin's been at it longer. He's got a name now. He got a minute on Fox News. Rock on Vermin."

What would be a good result?

"A good result would be that we end up at the best party," she added. "With dancing girls and balloons and confetti and later in the day clothing optional." — Jim Waterson

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Early exit polls in the New Hampshire primary point to much sought after independent voters splitting their attention between both parties.

In New Hampshire, independents can vote in either party's primary if they register as a member just before casting their ballot. After voting, they can then revert their affiliation back to independent, but most do so before leaving the polling station.

In exit polling reported by NBC, some 42% of voters casting a ballot for a Republican candidate said they were independents, against some 39% of those voting for a Democratic candidate.

CNN is reporting from exit polls that show 35% of those voting for a Republican candidate were "undeclared," compared with 41% for Democratic voters.

According to CNN's exit poll, 65% of voters casting a ballot for a Republican candidate said the most recent debate figured in their vote, while 53% of Democratic voters said it mattered. About 46% of Republican voters decided on their candidate in only the last few days, while 22% of Democrats said they did the same.

High turnout by unaffiliated voters is usually good news for outsider candidates, such as Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who were both leading in polls before today's poll.

Only three out of 300 precincts have results in by mid-afternoon in New Hampshire. — Dan Vergano

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Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he was only repeating the word a rally attendee used when he called Ted Cruz a "pussy" on Monday, and called the criticism of his actions a result of political correctness.

"Well, I never used the word," Trump said on the Howie Carr Show. "And it was a woman that shouted out the word, and I said, 'you shouldn't say that,' ba ba ba, and I repeated her word because we had 5,000 people, we were having a great time, got a standing ovation. When I said it, I was just kidding, and I said, 'Never, ever say that word.' And everybody laughed. You know, people are so politically correct today, Howie, that it's absolutely ridiculous what's going on."

Trump added that he didn't think the issue was a "big deal," noting that Carr was the first person to ask him about the "pussy" riot.

"I repeated it and I will say, it was fun, and everybody had a good time, and it was just a repeat of a word," Trump said. "I haven't found that to be a big deal. Actually, you're the first one that mentioned it to me, but that's all right, I guess."

Earlier on Monday, in response to another question about his use of the word, Trump said he would "act differently" as president. — Chris Massie

w.soundcloud.com
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Trump Suggests Obama Might Not Want To Stop Terrorism

w.soundcloud.com

Trump said in an interview on Monday that it is possible President Barack Obama doesn't want to stop terrorism.

In an interview with conservative radio host, Michael Savage, Trump was asked about column by a former Homeland Security agent who alleged the Obama administration ordered him to delete records of Muslims with ties to terrorist organizations, and praised Trump for his strong stance on terrorism.

"It's radical Islamic terrorism, and we have a president that won't even use the words and if you don't use the words, you're never going to get rid of the problem," Trumps said. "We have a—maybe he doesn't want to get rid of the problem. I don't know exactly what's going on." — Nate McDermott

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Marco Rubio — defending his repeated attack line against President Obama at the last Republican debate — says the real question is why other GOP candidates are not saying the same thing.

Rubio suggested that Christie doesn't employ the same attack lines because he supports the president's agenda.

"Yes, I'm gonna keep saying the same thing because it's the truth," said Rubio on Concord News Radio on his contentious debate moment with Christie where he repeated the same line three times in a row. "It's what I deeply believe, Barack Obama has done damage to this country. "

"He has deliberately tried to change it and make it more like the rest of the world. Obamacare was not an accident. Dodd-Frank was not an accident," Rubio said. "The stimulus was not accident. The deal with Iran was not an accident. It is all part of a concerted effort and a deliberate effort by this president to redefine the role of government in our lives and the role of America in the word. It is at the core of why I'm running and of course I'm gonna continue to repeat that because that's what this election needs to be about."

Rubio continued, "The fundamental question is why aren't they saying the same thing? Why aren't more Republicans saying what I said right now? Their failure to do so makes you wonder if perhaps they support some of those agenda items and in the case of Gov. Christie we know he does." — Andrew Kaczynski

w.soundcloud.com
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CONCORD, New Hampshire — The message from a Sanders team feeling confident in tonight's vote tally: Don't try and tell us New Hampshire doesn't matter.

"Fifty percent plus one is a win. Anything beyond that is momentum," a senior Sanders New Hampshire campaign aide told BuzzFeed News moments after Bernie Sanders made a stop at a polling place here.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has sought to downplay New Hampshire as a natural Sanders lock. The Vermont senator is a neighbor, they say, and the heavily white electorate here favors his national support numbers.

But Sanders aides are feeling very good about New Hampshire, and not just because of public opinion polling showing Sanders leading heading into today's balloting. They see the New Hampshire race as the culmination of an insurgent campaign that started way back in the pack in early summer and is now continuing to cause headaches for the national frontrunner.

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MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — After being called a "pussy" by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz says he expects insults from Trump but won't respond in kind.

"Donald doesn't handle losing very well and his typical response is to engage in insults, and usually the insults are pretty crude and profane," Cruz told reporters before a retail stop at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester on Monday, his last retail event in New Hampshire on primary day. "Look, he's welcome to do that."

"I'm not going to insult Donald," Cruz said. "I think the people of New Hampshire deserve better than someone just throwing mud and insulting the other candidates. And my focus is gonna be on record. Listen, there is a reason Donald Trump engages in profane insults, because he can't defend his own record."

Cruz then pivoted to Trump's record on healthcare, saying "for example he cannot defend his support of government controlled healthcare, of socialized medicine."

"Donald doesn't want to debate that and he doesn't like the fact that he lost in Iowa, so he's chosen to go down the road of insults," Cruz said.

At a rally in Manchester on Monday night, Trump mock-chastised but repeated a rally attendee who had shouted out that Cruz was a "pussy" for not fully supporting waterboarding.

"She said — I never expect to hear that from you again! — she said he's a pussy. That's terrible. Terrible," Trump said.

Rosie Gray

Responding to being called a "pu--y" last night, @tedcruz says profanity is Trump's style & says it's not surprising

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Carson Says He Would "Sit Down And Discuss" Being Trump's VP

It's at the 7:27 mark.

Carson told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto on Tuesday that he "certainly would sit down and discuss" being Trump's VP pick if he was asked.

Carson is also reportedly winging his way to South Carolina before the polls close in New Hampshire. ABC News, citing the campaign, said Carson will skip his own primary party.

BuzzFeed has contacted the Carson campaign to confirm the report. News that Carson was heading to Florida instead of New Hampshire or South Carolina after the Iowa caucuses last week led to a blow-up between his campaign and Cruz's, which publicized the trip as a sign of giving up. The two campaigns have since buried the hatchet. —Dan Vergano

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Last-Minute Tactics Draw Complaints From Campaigns

Robocalls from the John Kasich campaign to voters on a do-not-call list have sparked complaints to New Hampshire's attorney general as well. Whether recordings left on voicemail constitute prohibited calls is in dispute. The Kasich campaign is countering that the complaints are being pushed by Christie's supporters.

"Voter shaming" letters that come from a shady sounding advocacy group have also triggered dirty tricks complaints in New Hampshire. The letters tally which of the voter's neighbors voted in recent elections and promises to send an updated tally after the primary. Political scientists have experimented with such letters as a way to motivate voters, but people tend to find them creepy. A legal commentary site, LawNewz, says they have linked the letters to a political advising firm that in the past has connections to Rubio's campaign.

And on Saturday, canvassers purportedly from the Bush campaign knocked on doors to tell voters that Fiorina had dropped out of the race, which was untrue. One of the doors belonged to the head of a Fiorina political action group, however, who reportedly told them to "get the hell out of here." A Bush spokesman told local ABC News, WMUR, that the canvassers were not from their campaign. —Dan Vergano

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Last-Minute Tactics Draw Complaints From Campaigns

Robocalls from the John Kasich campaign to voters on a do-not-call list have sparked complaints to New Hampshire's attorney general as well. Whether recordings left on voicemail constitute prohibited calls is in dispute. The Kasich campaign is countering that the complaints are being pushed by Christie's supporters.

"Voter shaming" letters that come from a shady sounding advocacy group have also triggered dirty tricks complaints in New Hampshire. The letters tally which of the voter's neighbors voted in recent elections and promises to send an updated tally after the primary. Political scientists have experimented with such letters as a way to motivate voters, but people tend to find them creepy. A legal commentary site, LawNewz, says they have linked the letters to a political advising firm that in the past has connections to Rubio's campaign.

And on Saturday, canvassers purportedly from the Bush campaign knocked on doors to tell voters that Fiorina had dropped out of the race, which was untrue. One of the doors belonged to the head of a Fiorina political action group, however, who reportedly told them to "get the hell out of here." A Bush spokesman told local ABC News, WMUR, that the canvassers were not from their campaign. —Dan Vergano

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Clinton surrogate and New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen says her candidate faces an "uphill fight" against Sanders in Tuesday's primary.

"We know it's an uphill fight in New Hampshire," Shaheen said on the New Hampshire Today radio show on Monday. "We've seen the polls. They've been almost 2-to-1 in Bernie's favor. Nate Silver from the NYTimes says that running against a neighbor in New Hampshire gives them about a 15% lift and we've seen that the neighbors, whether it's Paul Tsongas or John Kerry, have done well in New Hampshire in the last 30 years."

Shaheen's recently dismissed the importance of polls, saying they "don't mean much" and are "gonna fluctuate."

In Monday's interview, Shaheen went on to say, "We know it's tough, but Hillary's fighting for every vote," adding that Clinton had resisted advisers who told her not to campaign in New Hampshire and to go straight to South Carolina instead. — Christopher Massie

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Christie Surrogate Says New Hampshire Is A Race For Second, Third, and Fourth Place

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said on Tuesday that it was wise for candidates like the one he supports, Chris Christie, to focus on rivals other than Donald Trump because of the businessman's commanding lead in New Hampshire.

"Most people believe that New Hampshire is not about who finishes first, it's about who finishes second, third, and fourth," Baker told Boston Herald Radio. "Because most people have believed I think for a while now that Donald trump is gonna win in New Hampshire. So if your endgame here, if your goal as a candidate is to be one of those people who finishes second, third or fourth, then you probably ought to be paying attention to the people you're competing with for that."

Baker added, "Because I've heard you guys talk, as long ago as a month ago, you were saying you thought Trump was gonna win New Hampshire and I think that's an opinion that's held by most people at this point." — Chris Massie

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Though Donald Trump has squeezed in a couple retail stops in the final days before the New Hampshire primary, his final rally was a quintessential Trump event: a big, grand speech from behind a podium, where Trump could just play the hits ("Who's going to pay for the wall?" "Mexico!"), talk about polls, and tweak his rivals (including in a most profane manner).

It's the polls, though, that people have scrutinized in final days of the New Hampshire primary. Can Trump bring out the voters the polls say he has?

Though the campaign recently started opening up to the media about its redoubling its efforts to reach voters and get them to vote in New Hampshire, it remains to be seen whether it will be enough. Voters here to witness Trump's closing argument on Monday said they came despite, in some cases, a lack of contact from the campaign. These were not famously waffling New Hampshire voters, though; when state party vice chairman Matt Mayberry asked the crowd how many were still undecided, very few people raised their hands.

—Rosie Gray

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Donald Trump may think he's a good dealmaker, but outside his mega-rally in New Hampshire on Monday night the Republican candidate had a rival in the form of David Dixon, who was offering three Trump-branded badges for just $10.

Dixon, 57, ignored the snowstorm to sell a range of Trump-branded goods to Republicans waiting in the freezing conditions outside the Verizon Arena. Goods included badges featuring Hillary Clinton being locked up in prison, as well as sombrero-wearing Mexicans poking their heads over the top of a newly-built US border wall. Other top sellers includes "Make America Great Again" baseball caps and "Trump 2016" scarves.

Because wherever the Republican presidential candidate goes on the campaign trail in Trump Force One, Dixon follows behind in his car, hoping to make a thin profit.

"Since September I've driven 45,000 miles," he told BuzzFeed News outside the venue. "It's a lot of miles. I know Iowa well."

—Jim Waterson

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Here's some Democrats:* Lloyd Kelso – Has pledged to give his entire presidential salary to charity.* Steven Lipscomb – Running with the slogan of "Fix It America"* Star Locke – Texan carpenter with strong views on Islam.* Robert Lovitt – Someone from Kentucky.* William McGaughey – Describes himself as the "non-socialist Bernie Sanders".* Raymond Moroz – Would be "ecstatic" if he got 12 votes, the number Jim Gilmore got in Iowa.* Edward O'Donnell – Has been running for president for 32 years at a cost of $1.2million.

And some Republicans:* Tim Cook – Self-declared "christian conservative" who says gun control made the holocaust possible and beat Hillary Clinton in his own Twitter poll.* Ted Cruz – Candidate who is doing fairly well.* Brooks Cullison – Lawyer from Illinois. Owns a beagle named Buddy.* Matt Drozd – Former Pittsburgh area councilman who says he's done "everything that front-runner Donald Trump has done, on a smaller scale". Proposed West Pennsylvania should secede and become its own state.* J. Daniel Dyas Jr. – Wants to force Congress to "to declare public homosexual acts illegal."* Kevin Huey – Man from Aurora, Colorado. Otherwise unknown.* Walter Iwachiw – Once claimed New York City stopped him making $1.6bn.

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Here is Bernie Sanders Playing Four Different Sports In This Public-Access Montage

vine.co

Bernie Sanders could very well be the most athletic person in Vermont, a review of his sports-related accolades as mayor of Burlington shows.

CCTV, the public-access channel in Burlington that hosts a wide array of old Sanders TV shows and interviews, recently released Positively Bernie, a collection of his best public-access clips.

One segment features a minute-long, four-box montage of Sanders playing baseball, hockey, tennis, and basketball.—Andrew Kaczynski

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Protesters In Robot Suits Get Roughed Up At Rubio Event

View this video on YouTube

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Robots — well, protestors in robot suits — were manhandled when Rubio visited a polling station, sparking an impromptu rally, on Tuesday. At least one was identified as an American Bridge PAC protestor.

"Marco Roboto" and the "Rubio Talking Point 3000", are meant to parody the repetition of Rubio's canned talking points that drew criticism during Saturday's debate. The robots were saying "feel the Bern" at the rally.

The two robots have enjoyed a "rough and tumble" life protesting Rubio, as shown by video provided by the political action group. —Dan Vergano

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Monday defended Hillary Clinton against attacks from Bernie Sanders over Clinton's Iraq War vote.

"Well, she's already explained that herself," said Albright of Clinton's much-derided vote to authorize military force against Iraq. "I think that it was a question of what intelligence was there, context. But, I can tell you this, one vote is not a policy. I was just actually stunned listening to Sen. Sanders because it doesn't matter what the question was, he would always return to that one thing."

"It may be a good arguing point, but it is not, in anyway, of finding out what he might do in a difficult case," she continued.

Albright added that Sanders never showed up to briefings she gave on Capitol Hill.

"Unless he looked totally different or something at the time, I don't remember ever seeing him in one of those meetings," she stated. — Andrew Kaczynski

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Jim Gilmore, the former Virginia governor running for president in the Republican primary, says he has much-needed "Gilmentum" after he participated in the Des Moines, Iowa GOP undercard debate.

"After Des Moines, they're calling it Gilmentum. Gilmentum, yeah, it's what they were calling it after Des Moines," Gilmore said Monday on the John Fredericks Show.

Gilmore said in the interview that he is staying at Super 8 Motel by the airport in New Hampshire.

"Hey look, it's the free breakfast. It means everything, it's a really nice honeybun and coffee," said Gilmore of the Motel 8.

Gilmore, who doesn't register in most polls, has loaned his campaign more than $120,000 of his own money, according to recent FEC filings. — Andrew Kaczynski

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Marco Rubio Known For Incurable Anxiousness Among Friends, Allies and Advisers

Marco Rubio's flustered debate performance – where he was caught repeating the same line four times – is just another moment where the senator's anxious nerves took center stage.

Though generally seen as cool-headed and quick on his feet, Rubio is known to friends, allies, and advisers for a kind of incurable anxiousness — and an occasional propensity to panic in moments of crisis, both real and imagined.

Despite his best efforts, Rubio is sometimes unable to keep his inner anxieties from bubbling to the surface.

BuzzFeed News reporter McKay Coppins writes about how Rubio's "jittery restlessness" has followed him throughout his life and in some ways may be the driving force in his rapid political rise.

Read the full report here. This article was partially adapted from Coppins book The Wilderness.

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Sanders and Kasich won in Dixville Notch.

This is it, the moment the first votes of the #NewHampshire primary are cast in #DixvilleNotch https://t.co/VkngkCr5rE

Nine people voted in the New Hampshire village, known for its long-stranding practice of holding its vote the midnight before primary day. Dixville Notch is one of the first towns to report results in the New Hampshire primary.

The results:

Republicans: Kasich 3, Trump 2

Democrats: Sanders 4, Clinton 0

And Cruz and Clinton took the town of Millsfield.

CRUZ wins Millsfield w. 9 votes (Trump with 3, 1 each for Rubio, Kasich, Bush, Christie, Fiorina and Paul). Clinton gets 2 votes. Sanders 1

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Marco Rubio Delivers Stump Speech Line, Repeats Stump Speech Line, Strongly Appears To Recognize What He's Done

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In Nashua on Monday, Marco Rubio again struggled just a bit with repeating a line — though he appeared to catch himself just at the end:

We are taking our message to families that are struggling to raise their children in the 21st century, because as you saw, Jeanette and I are raising our four children in the 21st century, and we know how hard it's become to instill our values in our kids, instead of the values the try to ram down our throats.In the 21st century, it's become harder than ever, to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church, instead of the values that they try to [beat] ram down our throats in the movies, and music, in popular culture.

–Katherine Miller

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A Woman Called Ted Cruz A “Pussy” And Then Donald Trump Repeated It Onstage

A Woman Called Ted Cruz A “Pussy” And Then Donald Trump Repeated It Onstage https://t.co/U0RSs7pO43 https://t.co/8MFChC8FB4

More highlights in democracy — a woman in the audience called Ted Cruz a "pussy" on Monday night, Trump heard it, and then in the process of reprimanding her for this remark, both told her to shout it and repeated the word onstage.

Read the full story here.

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On Eve Of N.H. Primary, FBI Confirms "Ongoing" Investigation Into Clinton Emails

Kevin Lamarque / AP

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry in 2011.

The FBI formally confirmed in a letter disclosed Monday that it is investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state, describing the probe as "ongoing."

In a Feb. 2 letter to a State Department official, FBI General Counsel James Baker revealed little about the scope or scale of the investigation, and characterized his letter as an acknowledgment of what has been widely reported: That the FBI has been working on matters related to Clinton's use of a private email server.

"The FBI has not, however, publicly acknowledged the specific focus, scope or potential targets of any such proceedings," Baker wrote. "Thus, while the FBI's response to you has changed to some degree due to these intervening events, we remain unable to provide the requested information without adversely affecting on-going law enforcement efforts."

The probe into the private email server has been a poorly kept secret since last summer, forcing Clinton to defend her actions at almost every turn on the campaign trail. Baker's letter, which was filed in federal court Monday, comes on the eve of the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire.

Read the full report here.

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MANCHESTER, N.H. — With her campaign trailing Bernie Sanders by double digits hours before voting, Hillary Clinton denied speculation that her campaign is headed for the same sort of staff shakeup that marked her last presidential bid.

In an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, set to air in full on Monday night, Clinton said she'd be sticking with her team — though she also indicated that she and her aides would be looking to assess their strategy going forward after Tuesday's primary.

MADDOW: Politico.com, just this afternoon, just published something that says that there's changes in the works, and there's always these sort of campaign gossip stories but they say they are citing a half dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation…

Are you planning some sort of shakeup like that?

CLINTON: Yeah, somebody showed that to me. I have no idea what they're talking about or who they are talking to. We're going to take stock, but it's going to be the campaign that I've got. I'm very confident in the people that I have. I'm very committed to them. They're committed to doing the best we can. We're going to take stock, what works, what doesn't work. We're moving into a different phase of the campaign. We're moving into a more diverse electorate. We're moving into different geographic areas. So, of course it would be malpractice not to say, "OK, what worked? What can we do better? What do we have to do new and different that we have to pull out?"

Later on Monday afternoon, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta tweeted:

There is zero truth to what you may be reading. It's wrong. Hillary stands behind her team, period.

Ruby Cramer

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Congressman Darrell Issa, a supporter of Marco Rubio's presidential bid, defended the Florida senator's recent debate performance in a radio interview on Monday, calling Chris Christie "a lot overweight" in the process.

"He was told in a domineering fashion by a slightly overweight governor—okay he wasn't slightly, he's a lot overweight, I'm in a position to understand that," Issa told Boston Herald Radio while defending Rubio's four-time repeated line during the debate that President Obama knows what he's doing.

Christie, who underwent lap band surgery in 2013, has lost significant weight in recent years.

Read the full report here.

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Presidential candidates campaigned through the ice and snow in New Hampshire on Monday, as parts of New England were flogged by a winter storm.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said whiteout conditions in southern New England were reported Monday morning, as gusts of wind across the region reached up to 60 mph.

The area's gusts could reach 70 mph, forcasters warned, adding that residents of southern New England should expect downed tree limbs and power lines.

In New Hampshire, NWS forecasters projected around six to eight inches of snow in many parts of the state, with high winds causing limited visibility and dangerous travel.

A winter weather advisory is in effect in New Hampshire, limiting access to primary-related events until 6 AM Tuesday morning — an hour before most polls open.

A number of schools closed for part or all of Monday and Tuesday, the Boston Herald reported.

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NASHUA — Jeb Bush, who pushed campaign finance limits by raising millions for his allied super PAC before officially becoming a candidate last year, on Monday said the "ideal" way to fix the influx of money in politics would be to overturn the Supreme Court decisions that paved the way for big money in elections.

In response to a question at a Rotary Club luncheon, Bush said he thinks "campaigns ought to be personally accountable and responsible for the money they receive."

Bush said overturning a Supreme Court decision would "unfortunately" require a constitutional amendment, but proposed greater transparency with a 48-hour turnaround on reports filed to the Federal Election Commission.

"The key is to have total transparency about the amount of money and who gets it."

Bush made similar comments in New Hampshire last November. — Tarini Parti

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LONDONDERRY, N.H. – Every supporter matters in New Hampshire, even if they're a small child. Thanks to the US primary season, 4-year-old Grace Lesparance is now on first-name terms with leading presidential candidates, who have attempted increasingly desperate tactics to win her backing.

But Grace only has eyes for one candidate: Carly Fiorina.

"Grace loves Carly and this is why we're here," said Stephanie Lesparance, whose young daughter asked to be taken to a Fiorina event in the suburbs of Manchester, ahead of Tuesday's primary vote. "[Grace] sees her on the TV and she's like 'oh Momma, Carly's on the TV and she's a genius'. We saw Hillary on the TV the other day but she's holding out for Carly, I don't know why."

Asked why she was so obsessed with Fiorina, who is struggling at the bottom of the Republican field, Grace told BuzzFeed News simply, "She's my favourite."

After eating some grapes, playing with a Disney colouring book, and considering her position, Grace added: "She's for America! Carly for President!" — Jim Waterson

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