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Essential Politics: New Hampshire primary results are just the beginning

I’m Christina Bellantoni, your morning-after Essential Politics host. And like this primary season, we’re just getting started.

As both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would say, it was a yuuuuge night. Both men, as different as can be but both attracting angry voters frustrated by their respective parties, claimed decisive New Hampshire victories.

With about 88% of votes tallied, Trump led the Republican pack by just over 50,000 votes. In a two-way contest, Sanders prevailed over Hillary Clinton by nearly 50,000 — roughly the same number.

But even though both came in second in the Iowa caucuses — one narrowly, the other by a large margin — this race is far from over.

Want to know what could happen next in the presidential primary contest? You’ll need a map.

There will be 29 primaries or caucuses held over the next month, along with a host of debates, including the Democratic face-off Thursday night in Wisconsin. And as Cathleen Decker notes, the contests will quickly move to territory far less hospitable to Tuesday night’s big winners.

For context, remember that the Republican race in 2012 played out until April 10. The Democratic contest between Clinton and then-Sen. Barack Obama eight years ago dragged on through each and every primary and caucus, all the way to the end of the calendar. Clinton ended her bid on June 7, 2008.

It’s way too early to know if Californians will be so lucky to hold such weight eight years later with our June 7 primary. But Sanders promised to keep on from Maine to California. And no one on either side dropped out.

SECOND PLACE LAUNCHES KASICH

Ohio Gov. John Kasich claimed 16% of the vote, behind Trump but ahead of a pack of contenders who were still fighting for third place as the clock struck midnight in New Hampshire.

Lisa Mascaro writes that Kasich, who ran a largely upbeat campaign, used his victory speech Tuesday to prove his approach was the right one.

"Something big happened tonight," Kasich said, criticizing the onslaught of negative ads against him. "Maybe, just maybe, we are turning a page on a dark part of American politics, because tonight the light overcame the darkness of negative campaigning."

He did not mention the super PACs that ran negative ads on his behalf.

Noah Bierman spent time with Kasich last summer, and found the governor might have a little Trump in him.

COUNTING EACH AND EVERY ONE

Team Clinton is going to be talking a lot about one magic word: delegates.

Chris Megerian reports on a Robby Mook memo detailing how the team has heavily invested in states that will hold primaries and caucuses in March, when 56% of delegates will be up for grabs.

By comparison, the four early states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — are responsible for only 4% of delegates.

"The March states better reflect the true diversity of the Democratic Party and the nation — including large populations of voters who live in big cities and small towns, and voters with a much broader range of races and religions," Mook wrote in his memo.

Don’t miss Decker’s piece observing that the former secretary of State is sounding both tone-deaf and human notes on the campaign trail.

RESULTS AND SPEECHES

Track each and every vote on our results page, and see video of the speeches and get caught up on what you missed last night on Trail Guide.

If you’re more interested in the aftermath, today’s Trail Guide will have you covered.

FAREWELL TO NEW HAMPSHIRE

But before we go, a fond farewell to the Granite State’s quirky traditions. Mike Memoli found a town that uses a crank handle to capture ballots — a practice that might have seemed like state-of-the-art technology, in 1892.

Bierman examines some of the more popular beliefs about the Granite State. Independent and well informed? Maybe not, studies show. But one of every eight voters there say they’ve shaken hands with a presidential contender.

POLITICAL TOURISM

Megerian introduces readers to Linda Verraster and John Alkema, who live in San Clemente, Calif., but headed to New Hampshire this week to get a glimpse of the presidential candidates. It’s Alkema’s third time and his wife’s first.

They aren’t alone. It’s such a thing, there’s even a term for it: "political peepers."

FIORINA DOWN BUT NOT DONE

Former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina captured about 4% of the votes, but insisted in her speech she was leaving New Hampshire with "wind at our backs."

The music at her headquarters included Tom Petty’s "Won’t Back Down."

REALLY NOT GIVING UP

Javier Panzar got ahold of GOP presidential hopeful and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore last night, asking his plans after winning just over 100 votes in New Hampshire and just 12 in Iowa.

He is not dropping out of the race just yet, Gilmore says. The Virginia primary is March 1.

GARCETTI CROSSING THE BORDER FOR CLINTON

The Nevada border, that is.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted Tuesday he will be helping Clinton’s campaign ahead for the Feb. 20 caucuses.

STATE TREASURER 'ALMOST THERE' ON 2018 GOVERNOR’S RACE

For state Treasurer John Chiang, the hint was so big as to almost be an announcement. Almost.

On Tuesday, he told a group of business leaders in Sacramento that he’s "almost there" on throwing his hat into the ring for governor in 2018. Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers reports the state’s banker says the decision could come as soon as April. A bid would pit Chiang against Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and maybe others.

NO STATEWIDE WATER BOND

Myers also reports that backers of a potential $4.9-billion water bond on the November ballot are calling it quits. Though they hope the Legislature will include water supply issues in a natural resources bond measure for the fall, they also admitted that the bumper crop of potential propositions is making things awfully expensive.

"An extraordinary eleven initiatives are in circulation today, with several more about to enter circulation," water bond backers wrote to their supporters in a letter obtained by The Times. "This has driven the price of [voter] signatures to a very high level."

TODAY’S ESSENTIALS

— Gov. Jerry Brown lashed out at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon for blocking the Obama administration effort to cut carbon pollution from power plants. Brown said the conservative majority of justices "appear tone-deaf as they fiddle with procedural niceties."

— Sarah Wire reports that under a House bill from Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village) passed Tuesday, the Department of Veterans Affairs would have to look closely at whether its mental health and suicide prevention programs meet the needs of the growing number of female veterans.

LOGISTICS

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