Road Ahead For Clinton's Nomination Bid Could Be More Smooth Despite Defeat In New Hampshire

Leading U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was soundly defeated in the primary vote in New Hampshire Tuesday, but the path ahead for her bid to win party nomination could be more favorable, experts said.

In a surprise development, Clinton's only rival Senator Bernie Sanders won a resounding victory over the former first lady and secretary of state, earning 60 percent of the Democratic vote.

This was the first loss in Clinton's bid to win the Democratic Party's nomination to run for the White House. She narrowly defeated Sanders in the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, a U.S. Midwest state, last week.

But experts said Clinton will have better luck going forward, as Sanders is not expected to attract the same level of support in other primary states. One key constituent is African Americans, and Clinton has a 2 to 1 lead over Sanders with this crucial group.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua that among voters under 30, Clinton was demolished in New Hampshire.

"She's got to find a way to get young people in. While at the same time, she also has to try to win the nomination without rubbing Sanders' (supporters) the wrong way ... She can't keep casting Sanders as living in fantasy land and his female supporters as being gender traitors. She's got to watch that," O'Connell said.

On Sanders, O'Connell said, the question still remains: Can he get minorities to support his campaign?

"If he can, he's turned what was once a hopeless cause into something that is just a little less hopeless," he said.

O'Connell said that Sanders' challenge is to get African American voters to support him, noting that they make up a nearly half of the Democratic party in some Southern states.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua

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Analysis & Political Strategy