Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the projected winner of the New Hampshire primary, according to NBC News and ABC News.
His victory in the Granite State, combined with his strong showing in the chaotic Iowa caucuses, places him as the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race.
“The reason I believe we are going to win is that we have an unprecedented grassroots movement from coast to coast of millions of people,” Sanders told supporters at his victory party on Tuesday night. “The reason we are going to win is that we are putting together an unprecedented multigenerational, multiracial movement.”
“In this point in the campaign, we are taking on billionaires and we are taking on campaigns funded by billionaires, but we are going to win because we have an agenda that speaks to the needs of the working people of this country,” he added.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared headed for a second-place finish in New Hampshire, with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) in third and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and former Vice President Joe Biden trailing behind.
The results of the first two states have thrown the Democratic race into a tailspin, with front-runners dropping and lower-tier candidates surging.
The person struggling most after Iowa and New Hampshire is Biden, who was the leader of the race and considered so formidable that other more moderate or establishment candidates decided not to run.
But the next leg of the presidential campaign will look very different from what’s come so far. Iowa and New Hampshire are both overwhelmingly white states, while Nevada and South Carolina ― which come later this month ― are significantly more diverse.
Those are the states where Biden is hoping to perform better. Instead of waiting for the results in New Hampshire Tuesday night, he flew to South Carolina and held a party there.
“We’re moving [into] an especially important phase because, up until now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituents of the Democratic Party, the African American community. And the fastest-growing segment of society, the Latino community,” Biden told the crowd down South.
“So when you hear all these pundits and experts, cable TV talkers, talk about the race, tell them: It ain’t over, man. We’re just getting started,” he added.
But there’s no doubt that the first two states have dealt a significant blow to Biden’s candidacy. In New Hampshire, voters who liked him said they were nervous about him after his showing in Iowa, where he appears to have come in fourth. Many said they were taking a look at candidates like Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg instead.
Biden knew New Hampshire wouldn’t be good for him.
“I took a hit in Iowa and I’ll probably take a hit here,” Biden said Friday at the Democratic debate in Manchester. The comment disappointed and frustrated many of his supporters, who felt like he was writing off the state and giving up too early.
He and his team argued that candidates like Sanders and Warren had a bit of a home-field advantage, coming from nearby states.
But that supposed advantage never materialized for Warren, even though many of her backers from Massachusetts came in to get out the vote for her in New Hampshire.
Warren has consistently been in the top tier of the field. But her finish in New Hampshire, which will give her zero delegates, alarmed some of her supporters.
Her campaign, which seems to be grasping for ways to reverse her slow slide in the polls, is playing up its operations in key Super Tuesday states and released a lengthy memo on Tuesday arguing she was far better positioned than Buttigieg and Klobuchar to net delegates in states like California and Texas.
“Our campaign has been organizing in traditionally red and blue areas of Nevada, South Carolina and states voting in March for months, and in some places nearly a year, and we are confident that we’ll continue to show strength by competing everywhere, not just in pockets that reflect one segment of our party or another,” Warren campaign manager Roger Lau said in the memo.
In her speech Tuesday night, Warren chastised her fellow candidates for fighting with one another.
“These harsh tactics might work if you’re willing to burn down the rest of the party in order to be the last man standing,” Warren said of recent battles between Sanders, Buttigieg and Biden. “They might work if you don’t worry about leaving our party and our politics worse off than how you found it. They might work if you think only you have all the answers and only you are the solution to all our problems.”
“But if we’re going to beat Donald Trump in November, we are going to need huge turnout within our party, and to get that turnout, we will need a nominee that the broadest coalition of our party feels they can get behind,” she said, continuing to present herself as the “unity” candidate.
Buttigieg is leading in the delegate count in the Iowa caucuses, although both he and Sanders requested a recanvass of the results Monday. The Associated Press did not declare a winner in that race.
One person who took advantage of this dynamic was Klobuchar, who had struggled to break into the top tier until New Hampshire.
At last week’s debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, Klobuchar went after Buttigieg, blasting the 38-year-old former mayor of a city with just over 100,000 people for saying he found the coverage of the Senate impeachment trial so “exhausting” that it made him want to watch cartoons instead.
“You said it was exhausting to watch and that you wanted to turn the channel and watch cartoons,” Klobuchar said, telling Buttigieg that the remark may have made him look “like a cool newcomer” but that it wasn’t appropriate.
“I don’t think that’s what people want right now. We have a newcomer in the White House, and look what that got us,” she said.
But Klobuchar has not built up the national campaign operation that other candidates have. And both she and Buttigieg could struggle to maintain their momentum in Nevada and South Carolina.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found Klobuchar polling at 0% among African Americans. Buttigieg was at 4%, far below both Biden (27%) and Sanders (19%).
“I think Biden is really strong in South Carolina,” Charles Whetstone, the Calhoun County Democratic Party chair, said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s his to lose.”
Kevin Robillard contributed reporting.
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