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Bernie Sanders thanks "yuge" voter turnout in New Hampshire victory speech

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday said his win in New Hampshire's primary was a result of a record-breaking turnout.

"Tonight, with what appears to be a record-breaking turnout, because of a 'yuge' voter turnout -- and I say 'yuge' -- we won," the Vermont independent told enthusiastic supporters in his victory speech rally in Concord. "We harnessed the energy and excitement that the Democratic Party will need to succeed in November."

When the polls officially closed at 8 p.m. ET, CBS News projected that Sanders had won New Hampshire's Democratic primary. Sanders confirmed his rival Hillary Clinton had called to congratulate her and he said she was "very gracious."

He suggested that if voters turn out in large numbers in future nominating contests, he could do just as well.

"What happened here in New Hampshire in terms of an enthusiastic and aroused electorate -- people came out in large numbers - that will happen all over this country," he said.

Sanders' victory speech mimicked his usual campaign stump speech.

"Together we have sent a message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington -- from Maine to California -- and that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people, and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs," he said. "What our camp is about is thinking big, not small, having the courage to reject the status quo."

The independent senator took aim at Clinton, who voted for the authorization that led to the war in Iraq.

"I voted against the war in Iraq -- and that was the right vote!" said Sanders, who also said the U.S. "cannot and should not be the policemen of the world."

Sanders said the U.S. must fix its immigration system so that it provides a path to citizenship, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, protect the right of a woman to control her own body and protect service members in the military and veterans.

His win comes a week after Clinton was declared the official winner of Iowa's Democratic caucuses last Monday. Acknowledging her loss on Tuesday, Clinton said in her concession speech that she's going to work hard to fight for every vote in every state.

Clinton's speech came just after her campaign manager, Robby Mook, blasted out a memo as polls closed that said the states that hold the March nominating contests are much more important than the first four in February.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.