Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday. Pete Buttigieg came second, while Joe Biden’s result was even more disappointing than anticipated.
Vermont’s Socialist Senator Sanders received 25.7 percent of the vote, followed by Pete Buttigieg (24.4 percent). A first, exclamation mark set Amy Klobuchar, who celebrated a third place with 19.8 percent and thus further strengthened her campaign that has been picking up momentum all month long.
However, where there are winners, losers cannot be far. Joe Biden’s, as well as Elizabeth Warren’s fall from grace, continued, and both obtained disappointing 9.3 and 8.4 percent respectively of the vote, putting Warren’s campaign already in jeopardy and Biden under immense pressure to perform well in weeks to come.
In delegates, this means that Sanders and Buttigieg each received nine and Klobuchar 6. All other candidates went away empty-handed. In summary, Pete Buttigieg is currently leading the Democratic race, with 22 delegates obtained after two states.
Sanders was visibly satisfied with the result, although he lost around 35 percent of his votes compared to 2016. “This victory is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders said to his followers while repeating his mantra that Trump was the most dangerous president in recent history. However, at the same time, it was also about “transforming our country,” Sanders concluded.
Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, called for moderation: “We cannot beat the most divisive president if we kill anyone who is not 100 percent of our opinion,” Buttigieg said in the direction of his competition. After his surprise success in Iowa and a solid result in New Hampshire, Buttigieg is now by many seen as a favorite of the party’s moderate forces.
However, Senator Amy Klobuchar, another moderate, continued to impress. Her third place was her first statement and revealed that she will go the distance. Moreover, she will beat Donald Trump, Klobuchar announced confidently after the result started to come in. Klobuchar, just as Biden and Buttigieg, appeals to moderates, who consider the party’s left as unelectable. Unlike Buttigieg, Klobuchar is an experienced Washington establishment politician and has been picking up serious momentum since the last debate. What counts for Klobuchar now is to raise sufficient donations to keep the momentum and, indeed, her campaign going.
For Joe Biden, on the other hand, the election evening was a disappointment, though an anticipated one. During last week’s debate, Biden had already predicted his defeat in New Hampshire and was not even in the state, yesterday evening when the results were published. Instead, Biden made the right move and focused on South Carolina, the state that will show whether Biden can win the race or not. Nevertheless, after the fourth place in Iowa, Biden could have used a solid performance yesterday, if only to make his donors believe.
The latter is an issue Biden needs to address. Donors tend to support winners. Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Biden are all appealing to the same major donors. Needless to say, yesterday did not increase Biden’s campaign account.
Senator Warren was also visibly disappointed and told supporters that she would not quit, despite the derailment of her campaign. Nonetheless, Warren has already become a sideshow in the race, and the quasi-non-aggression-pact she seems to continue with Sanders, has made it impossible for her to play the socialist card successfully.
Meanwhile, two candidates, Andrew Yang, and Senator Bennet ended their campaigns after subpar results yesterday. Both had never been serious contenders and arguably utilized the campaign trail to strengthen their national profile.
The next stop on in the race will be Nevada on February 22nd, where the Democratic Party will need to prove that it can conduct a caucus successfully. Sanders is currently leading the polls in the Silver State with 23.7 Percent. Biden is second (18.6) and Warren third (12.1). Nevada will be the first test for Buttigieg, who does not even poll in double digits, the same applies to Klobuchar. However, all candidates will have sufficient time to campaign and adjust the numbers in the meantime. Moreover, the Nevada debate will take place on February 19th also, and with a now narrower field, will offer opportunities for some and detriment to others.