After a long-fought evening of a lead which shrunk and grew at times, it looks like Sen. Bernie Sanders has hung on to claim victory in the Granite State just as nearly every poll projected him to.
The margin of victory, however, is much tighter than predicted, with Sanders ending the evening just a couple of percentage points ahead of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and just about seven percentage points above Sen. Amy Klobuchar who came in a surprising third.
As Vox reports, Sanders once again prevailed in New Hampshire just as he did four years ago, though the victory was very close and could present issues down the road:
Bernie Sanders finished what he started in New Hampshire four years ago.
Though the final vote might have been closer than he liked, Sanders is the projected winner of the New Hampshire primary, according to Decision Desk HQ. Importantly, it looks like he and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg are tied in the delegate count. Decision Desk HQ’s preliminary estimates show that Sanders and Buttigieg will both get 9 delegates; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is estimated to get 6.
This is the second early state to give the independent senator and progressive icon from Vermont momentum heading into Nevada and South Carolina. He has a long way to go before securing the nomination, but claiming victories in Iowa and New Hampshire puts him in an enviable position moving forward.
It’s another win here for Sanders, who shocked the Democratic political establishment in 2016 with a 22-point win over Hillary Clinton. Over more than a month of covering the race here, I often heard him talk about his “gratitude” toward the state’s voters for uplifting and spreading his ideas nationwide in 2016. Sanders has been the favorite to win here for the past month, but there were doubts earlier this year whether he could pull it off.
Down the ticket, Pete Buttigieg ended up well ahead of his poll numbers, and Amy Klobuchar far exceeding her expectations for the night.
On the losing end, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former vice president Joe Biden finished the night in single-digits. Biden did so poorly, in fact, with an ending likely foreseen by his campaign, that he left New Hampshire earlier in the day and headed to South Carolina before voting even ended.
Biden seems intent on working his way through Nevada and South Carolina. Elizabeth Warren will be hard-pressed to continue much longer with reports that her fundraising numbers have already been suffering.
For Pete Buttigieg, the opportunity is now open to compete more seriously in the upcoming states and be better positioned heading into Super Tuesday if, by chance, Joe Biden falters further and exits the race before March.
Amy Klobuchar has a renewed chance to move on along the line to South Carolina, but she’ll need to put a “W” on the board somewhere to continue much further. New Hampshire could be her high water mark depending on how things play out in the coming days.
The possibilities right now are rather open-ended and there will be big news over the next few days as the dust settles and campaigns asses their positions. Most of the decisions are based on funding and whether it will be possible to compete further across the country.
Bernie Sanders will take his victory, albeit smaller than expected, and proceed to move toward other states with a big win in his column. He’s now leading many national polls and clearly is the front runner moving forward.