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HOLLIS, NH (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Senator Ted Cruz didn’t win the New Hampshire primary, but he and his supporters say they believe his third place finish in the Granite State is still a victory.

Billionaire Donald Trump came in first place here after leading in the polls here.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, who attended more than 100 town hall meetings in New Hampshire came in second place.

Cruz told hundreds of people in Hollis, New Hampshire, “I congratulate Donald Trump on an impressive win, and John Kasich had a good night. But tonight, the real winner is the conservative grassroots.”

Finishing close behind Cruz are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

A total of 23 GOP delegates will be awarded proportionally.

The Texas Senator credited his 200,000 supporters nationwide, many of them from Texas for helping him win in Iowa last week and again in New Hampshire.

He rejected what he calls the Washington establishment who he says bet against him.

When Cruz began here, he was in the low single digits.

But by ending in third place in a northeastern state with few religious conservatives, he has cleared a path for himself as a constitutional conservative.

He now heads to South Carolina, the next primary state, with added momentum.

Cruz is expected to do well in the Palmetto State.

Following South Carolina is Nevada.

Then it’s onto Super Tuesday or the so-called SEC primary March 1st, where Texas is the crown jewel, awarding a total of 155 delegates.

Cruz says he expects to do well in the Lone Star State.

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