Bernie Sanders (25.8%) won the New Hampshire primary by a small margin over Pete Buttigieg (24.4%). Sanders margin of victory this time around is significantly smaller than in 2016 when he beat Clinton by 22 points.
The field of his competitors is bigger this time around; nevertheless, his inability to win big and close-out the competition is making his argument for electability in a general election increasingly difficult to swallow. He hasn’t managed to exceed 30% of the vote in either Iowa or New Hampshire. This reflects, in part, the difficulty he has appealing to non-liberal voters.
Pete Buttigieg placed second, sharing the bulk of the moderate vote with Klobuchar (19.8%), who placed third. Similar to Iowa, Sanders was the favorite among young voters and liberals; Buttigieg and Klobuchar competed over older voters and moderates.
Elizabeth Warren (9.3%) placed a disappointing fourth, and Joe Biden (8.4%) placed fifth. Two former front-runners, these disappointing results put the longevity of both campaigns into question.
Each of the top five candidates—Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Warren, and Biden—has promised to stay in the race until Super Tuesday on March 3. Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet both dropped out last night after poor showings.
Klobuchar placed third, ahead of Warren and Biden. She’s had significant momentum since the Iowa caucus—raising $2 million since Friday’s debate—and has expanded her campaign accordingly. We’ll see if this late-stage surge will help her in Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday.
The billionaires—Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg—are still waiting in the wings, funneling money into advertising and staff in many of the early primary states, in particular South Carolina, Nevada, and California. Bloomberg has poured over $300 million in advertising and staff into the Super Tuesday states.
Speaking of money. Sanders is raising more than his competition. This puts him in a good position to finance upcoming contests South Carolina and Nevada, as well as Super Tuesday, when 15 states will all go to the polls.
The Nevada caucus—where Sanders is favored to win—is February 22 and the South Carolina primary is on February 29. Super Tuesday is March 3.
If there’s any sort of unity in the Democratic Party it’s: the left-wing base is game for Sanders; moderates and centrists don’t want anything to do with a democratic socialist and are subsequently splitting the moderate vote between Buttigieg and Klobuchar.