On Tuesday, Democrats in New Hampshire flocked to Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-USSR), a self-identified “democratic socialist” who formerly supported communist Soviet-aligned Cuba’s policies for the United States. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (LGBT-Church of Social Justice) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Someplace Cold) followed close behind the socialist, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-1/1024th of a Plan) and former Vice President Joe Biden trailing badly at less than 10 percent.
(Complete results below.)
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of New Hampshire for a great victory tonight,” Sanders said, as DecisionDesk HQ called the primary for him at around 11:00 p.m. Eastern. “The reason we won tonight in New Hampshire, we won last week in Iowa, is because of the hard work of so many volunteers. And let me say here that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”
While the Iowa Democratic Party announced that Buttigieg won more state delegate equivalents in the Iowa caucuses, Sanders won more votes and his campaign has claimed that the party stole the election from him. Sanders also congratulated Buttigieg.
“Here in a state that goes by the motto ‘Live Free or Die,’ you made up your own minds. You asserted that famous independent streak. And thanks to you, a campaign some said shouldn’t be here at all, has shown that we are here to stay,” Buttigieg said in a victory speech. He congratulated Sanders for his win but also touted his strong second-place finish.
Yet he also got a dig in at Sanders, saying, “We’re not going to defeat the most divisive president in modern history by tearing down anyone who doesn’t agree with us 100 percent of the time.”
Klobuchar, who came from behind for a third-place finish, declared herself the moderate candidate.
“Donald Trump’s worst nightmare is that the people in the middle — the people tired of the name-calling and the mudslinging — have someone to vote for in November,” she said as results came in. Her supporters chanted, “Beat Trump, Vote Amy!”
“Everyone had counted us out, even a week ago — thank you, pundits. I came back, and we delivered,” she declared.
Biden, who knew he was likely to lose, left New Hampshire early to go campaign in South Carolina, where he hopes to still have a chance after getting trounced in the first two primary contests.
Warren decided to address the crowd early on Tuesday night, likely drawing more attention because viewers thought she might be dropping out of the race. Alas, no such luck.
Early in the evening, Fox News reported that billionaire coal-investor-turned-green-activist Tom Steyer was dropping out of the race. Benjamin Gerdes, senior press secretary for Tom Steyer, clarified on Twitter, “To all the reporters calling me right now, [Tom Steyer] is just getting started.”
Two Democrats did drop out, however.
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Who Again?) announced he would drop out after receiving less than 1 percent in the primary. In a terribly pathetic move, he also teased a future run for president.
“I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation. I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter. Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again,” Bennet tweeted. That’s cute…
I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation.
I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter.
Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again.
— Michael Bennet (@MichaelBennet) February 12, 2020
Democrats also rejected “Math.” Andrew Yang, the entrepreneur who made waves by promising to give everyone a $1,000 “freedom dividend,” warned about how AI threatens the workforce of tomorrow, and ran with the slogan “Math,” also dropped out.
“I am so proud of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got us here,” Yang tweeted.
I am so proud of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got us here. 🙏
— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) February 12, 2020
Tributes to Yang came in from Democrat leaders, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (S-Grow Yucca in NYC) and from his former competitors.
“Thank you [Andrew Yang] for running an issue-focused campaign and working to bring new voters into the political process. I look forward to working together to defeat the corruption and bigotry of Donald Trump,” Sanders tweeted.
“[Andrew Yang] started out unknown, but went on to make a big impact with his campaign built on preparing for America’s future. Andrew, we’ll miss you and the [Yang Gang] on the trail, but I can’t wait to work together to help prepare America for the challenges ahead,” Buttigieg tweeted.
Bloomberg, who decided not to contest the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, might have done surprisingly well in the first-in-the-nation primary. According to a DecisionDesk HQ poll conducted in the days before the primary, about 20 percent of Democratic likely voters and 19 percent of Independent likely voters would have considered the former New York mayor had he been on the ballot.
Despite his late entry into the race, Bloomberg may be a contender, especially as Joe Biden fades.
The DDHQ poll also asked likely voters about their positions on key issues.
Asked whether they prefer a Democratic nominee who supports “universal government health care, like single-payer or Medicare for all,” 57 percent of Democrats said yes, while only 28 percent said no. Independents also favored Medicare for All, 49 percent to 33 percent. When asked about the issue they most care about, Democrats chose climate change (36 percent) and health care (30 percent) over the economy (10 percent) and gun control (6 percent). Independents also selected climate change (32 percent) and health care (28 percent) over the economy (12 percent).
New Hampshire Democrats are more liberal than Democrats across the country, but the fact that Democrats and Independents prioritized climate change over health care marks a significant shift from 2018.
The extremely radical Sanders seems to be remaking the Democratic Party, especially in New Hampshire. CNN hailed Bernie as the frontrunner going forward, and he has certainly become the one to beat. If Sanders wins and remakes American politics, it would arguably mark the Soviet Union’s belated victory in the Cold War.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.