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Government & Politics

Kasich Surpasses Expectations in New Hampshire

John Kasich
NHPR

Ohio Gov. John Kasich did what he needed to do to keep his presidential campaign rolling: He’s come in second in New Hampshire.

Kasich is projected to win about 16 percent of the vote, about half the total amassed by  Donald Trump but still ahead of the candidates who have gotten far more national attention. 

 That includes Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and Govs. Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

Kasich's speech after his second-place finish was confirmed by AP and other news organizations sounded very much like a victory address, saying that "Something big happened tonight" with voters affirming his positive campaign message.

"The light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning, and you made it happen," he declared.

Kasich campaigned as a moderating force – and in the traditional New Hampshire style, holding more than 100 town halls there. Pundits have questioned whether even a good showing in New Hampshire will be enough, but Kasich says he’s prepared for South Carolina, which holds the next primary on Feb. 20th. He’s heading there tonight.

Update: The Detroit News is reporting that Kasich plans to spend Monday and Tuesday of next week campaigning in Michigan instead of South Carolina. 

After South Carolina comes the geographically scattered Super Tuesday on March 1, then the race moves to more friendly Kasich territory – the Midwest.

(In one sign that national media now expects Kasich to be around for awhile, CNN put out a piece on how to pronouce his last name correctly.)

The GOP tally with about 60 percent of precincts recorded, according to New Hampshire Public Radio:

Donald Trump: 34%
John Kasich: 16%
Ted Cruz: 12%
Jeb Bush: 11%
Marco Rubio 11%
Chris Christie: 8%
Carly Fiorina 4%
Ben Carson: 2%