The race for the Democratic Presidential nomination is still very much open—with five candidates haggling for front-runner status—and it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a smaller field of candidates after the results are released from today’s primary.
Historically, a poor showing in the Iowa caucus usually guarantees disbanding a campaign. That wasn’t the case this year. Iowa didn’t really clarify the field of candidates, with both Sanders and Buttigieg claiming victory; and both of them sort of having good reason to do so.
Sanders is favored to win New Hampshire; the question is by how much. Sanders won the popular vote at the Iowa caucus.
New Hampshire will be a big test for Buttigieg, who is expected to finish second. New Hampshire will, in part, clarify how much momentum he received from his victory in the delegate race in Iowa.
New Hampshire could also clarify to what extent Buttigieg benefited from the caucus guidelines of 15% viability. Because of Iowa’s viability guideline, Buttigieg benefited as a second-choice among many caucus-goers, with many Biden and Klobuchar and Yang supporters aligning with him after the first round of voting.
New Hampshire will test the strength of Buttigieg as voter’s preferred choice. Sander’s has a strong core of passionate supporters; that’s something Buttigieg will need to replicate as the field winnows.
Both Warren and Biden—both former frontrunners—are in precarious positions, and both candidates—along with Klobuchar—are competing for the third place slot. With three candidates all vying for third, there’ll be some broken hearts after tonight. Biden supporters—reflected in Iowa caucus data—tended to favor Buttigieg over Sanders as an alternative candidate. We’ll see if that’s mirrored in the primary.
Among these three candidates competing for third place, only Klobuchar received momentum coming out of Iowa. The question is: Does Klobuchar—fueled by her strong debate performance and stronger-than-expected finish in Iowa—have a shot of placing third, ahead of Biden and Warren? A Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll and CNN/University of New Hampshire poll both show some recent” Klomentum.” She’s also had a surge of online fundraising recently.
There are notable differences between the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary. Among them, the New Hampshire primary is semi-open, with both Democrats and independents allowed to vote; according to New Hampshire primary guidelines, Republicans aren’t allowed to vote. And different than the Iowa caucus, in New Hampshire it’s the secretary of state—not the Iowa Democratic Party—who organizes the election. All of this to say: we’re expected to see results more promptly than last week.