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from The Associated Press

Feb 7, 2016 5:21 PM

Christie, others hit final stretch in New Hampshire

The Associated Press

HAMPTON — It's less than two days until New Hampshire voters go to the polls. But Hillary Clinton is in Michigan. And other candidates, even Jeb Bush, say their campaigns will go on no matter how they do on Tuesday. Donald Trump says he doesn't need to win New Hampshire — but he'd like to.

From their movements and remarks on Sunday, you'd think New Hampshire is unimportant in the race for president. In fact, it's the nation's first primary and the next in a series of clues into what Americans want in their next president. But the field is still crowded, and the electorates that await the candidates in South Carolina and Nevada are markedly more diverse. So there are more tests to come for the candidates and the parties.

Republican hopeful Marco Rubio is downplaying his rough outing in Saturday night's GOP debate, while touting his overall campaign momentum after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, hoping to use that momentum to boost his chances in Tuesday's contest.

Donald Trump, who finished second in Iowa, is pleased with his debate performance and place atop New Hampshire's GOP polls, and he's doubling down Sunday on his call for the U.S. to reinstitute waterboarding and even harsher treatment of foreign prisoners.

On the Democratic side, New Hampshire favorite Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton — who narrowly won Iowa — are avoiding predictions about Tuesday and looking beyond to South Carolina and Nevada, the next two states up in the nomination process.

But for other candidates, like Republican Govs. Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jeb Bush, the task is to make sure the closing argument here isn't their last.


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