Democrats battle in New Hampshire primary


Jesse Costa/WBUR

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raises his arms in victory following the New Hampshire Primaries. Sanders edged out his top opponent Pete Buttigieg, accruing 26% of the Democratic vote. According to  WMUR, Sanders addressed supporters following his victory. “Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of New Hampshire for a great victory tonight,” Sanders said. “With victories behind us — the popular vote in Iowa and the victory here tonight — we’re going to Nevada. We’re going to South Carolina. We’re going to win those states as well.”

Miles Keefe, Staff Writer

HB students had the day off from school on Tuesday, Feb. 11 as voters from the community filled the gymnasium to cast their votes for a presidential nominee. The gym was just one out of the hundreds of buildings across the state of New Hampshire designated for the day as primary voting areas. 

The New Hampshire Primary is regarded as an important step in America’s political process, as it is the second overall state election and first primary election conducted to determine each party’s nominee for president. “[The NH primary] can be used as a way to indicate how the rest of the primaries may turn out as voters tend to vote for the candidates who they think will have a good shot at winning the whole shebang,” said communications director for the New Hampshire High School Democrats and president of the HB chapter of High School Democrats of America, Lily Coady ‘20.

A total of 33 candidates were on the Democratic ballot, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders claiming victory with 26% of the vote and Mayor Pete Buttigieg trailing close behind with 24% in a primary with strong voter turnout. According to NPR, “as of 10 a.m. ET [Feb.12], turnout was just over 288,000 with 93% of precincts reporting. That just surpasses the 2008 record. In 2016, turnout was about 250,000.” Rounding out the top 5 for the Democrats were Amy Klobuchar at 20%, Elizabeth Warren at 9% and Joe Biden at 8%. 

Minnesota Senator Klobuchar’s victory was a big upset against Warren and Biden who were previously considered frontrunners. According to WMUR, she had “surged in the polls after Friday’s debate and had hoped for a strong showing. Klobuchar told her supporters that she would carry her momentum into the next states in the primary process.” 

Coady attributes this “Klomentum” to the fact that “Amy spent a hefty chunk of her campaign canvassing here, and New Hampshire has grown to love her as a moderate candidate.” The remainder of votes went to candidates such as Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang, who ended his campaign after receiving less than 3% of NH votes.

In the weeks since the NH Primary, Buttigieg and Klobuchar suspended their campaigns before Super Tuesday on March 3 and endorsed Biden. Following disappointing results in the 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday, Warren and former NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, who was not on the ballot in New Hampshire, suspended their campaigns as well. The Democratic race has been narrowed between Biden and Sanders as heavy favorites, but it is still far from over, as a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to become the nominee and neither candidate has earned half of that number yet.

 On the Republican side, President Donald Trump defeated all of his competition, as expected. Trump is predicted to easily win the nomination and compete for reelection come Nov., giving a sense of urgency to Democrats who want him out of office at all costs. As Coady puts it, “I’m happy with any of [the Democrats] getting the nomination. All of them are a kajillion times better than the alternative.” 

The primary elections continue with 6 states voting on Tuesday, March 10.