On Tuesday night, residents of the state of New Hampshire got to head to the polls and vote in the Democratic primaries.
This was the second contest of the primary season, and it followed the Iowa caucuses a week earlier, which had been messy and failed to provide a conclusive winner. New Hampshire is always seen as an indicator for the primaries, but its power was magnified this time, as it would mark the first time there would be any conclusive results in the primary.
Heading in, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was already heavily favored. He’d made a strong showing in Iowa, which had driven him to first place nationally, and he was polling in a comfortable lead in New Hampshire. He was also a senator from a state bordering New Hampshire, which gave him a geographic advantage.
Simultaneously, his largest competitors in the state were all stumbling. Pete Buttigieg, who’d edged out a win over Sanders in Iowa, was polling 7 points behind him in New Hampshire, and nationally he still wasn’t seeing many results. Elizabeth Warren, the other presidential candidate from a state near to New Hampshire and Sanders’s closest ideological rival, was also seeing declining poll numbers, both nationally and locally, which seemed to spell a clear path to victory for Sanders.
On the night of the primary, which went through smoothly, the results came through and, as predicted, Sanders won.
Sanders got a plurality of the vote, with 25.7% and 9 of the state’s 24 delegates. Buttigieg got 24.4% of the vote and also received 9 delegates. Amy Klobuchar came in third, with 19.8% of the vote and 6 delegates.
All other candidates received no delegates, with Elizabeth Warren at 9.3%, Joe Biden at 8.4%, Tom Steyer at 3.6%, Tulsi Gabbard at 3.2%, and Andrew Yang at 2.8% (the entrepreneur announced that he would be suspending his campaign following this poor showing).
This result provides a concrete boost to the campaign of Bernie Sanders. Topped on with his win in Iowa, this sets him apart from the crowd and gives him a lot of momentum heading into Nevada and South Carolina, which will be needed, as he doesn’t poll nearly as well in those states.
It’s also just generally a good sign for the rest of the campaign, as currently the only person posing any kind of threat to him is Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg, while he’s done well so far, is someone who’s seen as too weak to win the nomination, and polls have shown him unable to beat President Trump in battleground states, something he’ll need to do to win the general election.
However, there is still a long time left until the Democratic nominee is officially decided in July, and anything can happen in that time. The next Democratic primary will be the Nevada caucuses, on February 22, and already candidates are gearing up to try and build themselves up, with Sanders and Buttigieg trying to sustain themselves and all other candidates are trying to break out to the front of the pack.