Election 2020: Sanders wins NH primary with strong local support

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Temple for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Eric Blackmer of Peterborough stands in the rain outside the Peterborough Community Center during primary voting Tuesday morning. “I support Bernie because I think he’s the most consistent. I think he’s the most authentic. The least likely to be pushed around by the money interests. And he’s a nice guy.” Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Kathleen Barnes of Peterborough, a self-proclaimed “enthusiastic Warren supporter” outside of the Peterborough Community Center during the presidential primary Tuesday morning. “She’s my gal.” Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Hancock's polls for the Presidential primary on February 11, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Hancock's polls for the Presidential primary on February 11, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Voters check in in Bennington for the Presidential primary on February 11, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Voters sign in at the Antrim Presidential primary on Feb. 2, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Voters sign in at the Antrim Presidential primary on Feb. 2, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Voters sign in at the Antrim Presidential primary on Feb. 2, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

  • Kathleen Barnes of Peterborough outside of the Peterborough Community Center raises her fist in the air Tuesday morning to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and says it would be nice to break the glass ceiling in 2020 and elect a women president. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Outside of the Peterborough Community Center during primary voting Tuesday morning, State Senator Jeanne Dietsch (D-Peterborough) says Klobuchar has her vote. “I think she can bring the party together. I think she can bring the country together. That’s why I’m voting for her.” Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in New Ipswich for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Husband and wife Jep Streit and Susan Knight of Greenfield show their support for for Pete Buttigieg outside of the Greenfield Meetinghouse Tuesday afternoon. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Voting in Sharon for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to a packed Franklin Pierce University fieldhouse on Monday afternoon. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to a packed Franklin Pierce University fieldhouse on Monday afternoon. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Bernie Sanders speaks at Franklin Pierce University on Monday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Bernie Sanders speaks at Franklin Pierce University on Monday. Sanders won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/12/2020 6:01:32 PM
Modified: 2/12/2020 6:01:22 PM

Bernie Sanders supporters statewide and around the country rejoiced Tuesday night as the best turnout since 2008 in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary cast their votes for the Vermont senator. Sanders edged out former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and held off the surging Amy Klobuchar to put him first in line for the Democratic presidential nomination at this still-early stage.

“I think he’s a real person and he hasn’t changed in four years,” said Jim Gillette of Dublin, who cast his vote for Sanders in the primary in 2016 and again at the polls on Tuesday. “I just think he’s a genuine person and he’s been around long enough and knows what has to get done.”

In 2016, Sanders had just one candidate to beat in the primary, Hillary Clinton, and he did so by nearly 60,000 votes. 2020’s margin would not be nearly so wide, with dozens still on the ballot and recent surges by Buttigieg and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar giving them respectable vote counts on Tuesday as well.

Sanders won New Hampshire with 75,110 votes reported as of press time Wednesday (26.2 percent of Democratic votes cast, excluding write-ins), with Buttigieg second (71,296, 24.9 percent) and Klobuchar third (57,753, 20.2 percent).

Locally, Sanders was even more popular than he was statewide; the independent senator won in all 16 towns the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript covers except Francestown, where he tied Klobuchar; Hancock, where Buttigieg won by about 40 votes; Sharon, which Buttigieg won 31-27, and New Ipswich, where Buttigieg won again, though every Democratic vote cast in New Ipswich combined (695) wouldn’t have beaten the 861 who voted for Trump on the Republican ballot. Statewide, Sanders claimed 26.27 percent of Democratic votes cast, excluding write-ins; locally, that number was up to 29.1 percent, with 3,076 of the 10,570 Democratic votes.

“I thought he has the best chance of beating Trump. I like what he stands for and I do like his forcefulness and positivity and I think he has the best chance,” Suzan Gillette of Dublin said.

Even with the popular vote win, Sanders receives the same amount of state delegates toward the nomination as Buttigieg, nine each.

Moderates

For moderate voters still leary of Sanders pushing the needle to the left, the choice was between Buttigieg and Klobuchar. For the last month, Carole Munroe of Dublin went back and forth between the two. In the end, Munroe decided to support Klobuchar on Tuesday simply because she wants a moderate candidate to be the next president.

“I think she’s pragmatic and has common sense, and I’m hopeful she can bring this country together, although that might be a big challenge,” Munroe said. “I think we need someone who can bring this country back together and we need somebody who can bring honesty and integrity to the presidential office.”

Munroe wasn’t alone; Klobuchar, barely on the radar until her endorsements by the New York Times and Union Leader, kept her surge going in New Hampshire, garnering 20.2 percent of the vote and finishing third behind Buttigieg’s 24.9. However, neither moderate candidate performed as well locally as they did statewide. In the MLT coverage region, Buttigieg’s numbers dropped to 23.6 percent of the vote, and Klobuchar’s to 19.8.

Biden, Warren falter

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign had a disappointing day in New Hampshire, falling behind Klobuchar and finishing with just 9.1 percent. The Warren campaign spent a lot of time painting the MLT region liberty green, and that did show up in the results, as she grabbed 9.8 of the local vote. Biden, whose support has been rapidly waning, pulled up stakes and headed to South Carolina midday Tuesday. He finished at 8.5 percent in New Hampshire, and did even worse locally, with 7 percent.

Yang, Bennet shut it down

With early poll numbers indicating that neither Andrew Yang nor Michael Bennet would be competitive in New Hampshire, both candidates announced the end of their presidential campaigns Tuesday.

Big turnout

Despite what CNN reported as record-setting turnout, reporting went relatively smoothly as compared to the disastrous Iowa caucus.

Antrim had 100 votes logged by 9:10 a.m., volunteers said.

“We’re trying not to be Iowa,” Supervisor of the Checklist James Creighton said.

What’s next?

The remaining candidates will look to continue their momentum or pick up the pieces at the Nevada primary on Feb. 22, followed by the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29 and then the 11-state Super Tuesday on March 3.

Aside from his lead in the horse race, history tells us Sanders has the best shot at the Democratic nomination. No candidate in the past 40 years has won both Iowa and New Hampshire and failed to become the Democratic nominee. But with Sanders’ New Hampshire margin razor-thin, the race is far from over, though voters like Eric Blackmer of Peterborough hope the Granite State results are a sign of things to come.

“To me, Bernie’s the candidate most likely able to beat Trump, because he’s consistent,” Blackmer said. “He’s been the same for over 40 years. You listen to his speeches from the ’90s and he’s talking about the same things,” Blackmer said. “I’ve been checked out of politics for years, Bernie’s the first person that’s brought me back in because I believe he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do.”

Abbe Hamilton, Meghan Pierce and Tim Goodwin contributed to this story.


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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