Attendees at Bernie Sanders’s primary night party at Southern New Hampshire University Field House in Manchester.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
With over half of precincts reporting in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was leading Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota was firmly in third place, several percentage points behind Mr. Buttigieg, surpassing expectations for her performance in the state.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. were well behind. Both addressed supporters early in the night, pledging to continue the primary fight.
There was also a Republican primary, which President Trump won handily, The Associated Press reported.
There are 24 delegates up for grabs for the Democrats, a relatively tiny number given that a candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the party’s presidential nomination.
Here’s what you need to know:
Here’s how tonight is shaping up.
We’re starting to get a sense of how the New Hampshire race is shaping up, with more than half of precincts reporting.
Mr. Sanders is in the lead, followed by Mr. Buttigieg. Ms. Klobuchar is mounting a surprisingly strong challenge, a few points behind in third place.
Hailing from just over the border with Vermont, Mr. Sanders was the overwhelming favorite in the contest. If the two Midwestern moderates keep the margins close, it could presage a longer battle for the nomination.
The results do not look good so far for Ms. Warren and Mr. Biden.
Ms. Warren remains far behind the top three, with numbers that have to disappoint her supporters, despite an effort by her campaign to describe her path forward in terms of accumulating delegates on a district-by-district level, rather than carrying entire states.
Mr. Biden, who worked hard to lower expectations, is stuck behind her in single digits. Two brutal losses may further undercut the central argument for his candidacy: that the former vice president is the most electable in the field.
Mr. Biden all but knew the results would be bleak. He left the state earlier on Tuesday after telegraphing his bad finish in Friday’s debate.
But Ms. Warren, as a neighboring senator, had designs more recently on a strong New Hampshire finish that could have served as a springboard toward Super Tuesday. But that nearby state factor did not seem to be helping in Massachusetts-bordering Salem, where 100 percent of precincts were reported and Ms. Warren was in fifth place with 6.9 percent of the vote.
Klobuchar celebrates her ‘happy, scrappy’ campaign’s apparent third-place finish.
Praising her “happy, scrappy campaign,” Ms. Klobuchar, who finished fifth in Iowa, celebrated like a victor on Tuesday night, as it appeared as though she would come in third.
“While there are still ballots left to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way,” she declared.
With 60 percent of precincts in, Ms. Klobuchar was just shy of 20 percent of the vote — putting her on course to win delegates in the state.
“Because of you, we are taking this campaign to Nevada,” she said. “We are going to South Carolina. And we are taking this message of unity to the country.”
Ms. Klobuchar spoke about her grit, and grinned as she recounted the debate performance last Friday that appear to propel her rise in the state.
“Just like so many of you out there, I know a little bit about resilience,” she said.
After falling short twice, Biden says he’ll win the next two contests.
Mr. Biden pledged on Tuesday night that he would emerge victorious in the next two nominating contests, after dismal results in the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses.
“We’re going on and we’re going to win in Nevada and in South Carolina,” Mr. Biden told supporters gathered in a hotel ballroom in Nashua, N.H., for his primary night party, appearing via live stream from Columbia, S.C.
Mr. Biden was supposed to attend that party in person, but his campaign announced Tuesday morning that he would leave for South Carolina instead. Mr. Biden, who is not known for his brevity, spoke for under three minutes, using the time to express thanks to his supporters in the state.
“We’re going to be back,” he said. “We’re going to be back in New Hampshire. We’re going to be back there to defeat Donald Trump in November.”
Mr. Biden also addressed supporters in Columbia, emphasizing his support in the black community and noting that 99.9 percent of the country’s black voters had not yet cast ballots.
“That’s the opening bell, not the closing bell,” he told the crowd. “You cannot win the Democratic nomination for president, and you shouldn’t be able to win it, without black and brown supporters.”
Warren says her campaign is ‘built for the long haul.’
Ms. Warren addressed supporters early Tuesday evening, conceding that she was likely to finish in fourth place.
She sought to play down the results, suggesting a long primary fight, and she congratulated her rivals before issuing some of her most direct criticism of them yet.
Ms. Warren mentioned her fellow candidates by name, saying that she respected Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg but that they represented small factions of the Democratic Party.
She spoke about the uptick in negative advertisements in the primary and the behavior of some candidates’ supporters. Ms. Warren framed it as “harsh tactics” not befitting a Democratic nominee.
“Harsh tactics might work if you’re willing to burn down the party, in order to be the last man standing,” she said. “We will need a nominee that the broadest coalition of our party feels they can get behind.”
She also tossed a compliment to Ms. Klobuchar. “I also want to congratulate my friend and colleague Amy Klobuchar for showing just how wrong the pundits can be when they count a woman out,” she said.
Ms. Warren’s early results were disappointing for the senator of a neighboring state, once hailed as a Democratic primary front-runner. Now, instead of leading from a position of strength, she was discussing plans to cobble together delegates throughout the country.
“I’m here to get big things done,” Ms. Warren said. “Our best chance for this party and this nation is with a candidate who can do the work.”
“Our campaign is built for the long haul, and we’re just getting started.”
Ashley Tauber, 42, a supporter of Ms. Warren, said before the speech that she expected the senator to win states that were more diverse and voted later.
“New Hampshire isn’t the full picture,” she said. “She needs more diversity of income and of thought and other races of people.”
Donald Long, 58, said he was perturbed by the rise of Mr. Buttigieg.
“Now is not the time for a middle-of-the-road candidate,” he said.
Ms. Tauber jumped in: “That’s where roadkill happens.”
High spirits at Sanders’s primary night party.
Supporters filled a college gymnasium for Mr. Sanders’s primary night party. Cheers echoed around the room as the big screen, which had been displaying the Sanders campaign logo, switched to CNN. Even bigger cheers came when CNN showed Mr. Sanders in first place with the votes flowing in.
Expectations in the room were high — for good reason. The state is in Mr. Sanders’s backyard, and he won the New Hampshire primary in 2016 against Hillary Clinton by 22 percentage points. Tons of reporters were here, and the fire marshal said he was expecting to let in 1,000 supporters, then assess if there was room for more. Anything less than a victory would be a major disappointment.
A stage was set up at the front of the room, with American flags and Sanders signs. Every time new numbers came in, there was more cheering. A concession stand outside the gymnasium sold pizza and popcorn.
There was no sign of Mr. Sanders yet, but some of his senior staff members were milling around. They were in a good mood.
“I’m excited to get results on the same night people voted,” said Mike Casca, the top spokesman for the Sanders campaign, when asked how he was feeling.
Buttigieg supporters are cautiously optimistic.
At the Buttigieg headquarters in Nashua, there was optimism about the New Hampshire results and some trepidation about the future.
“I know it’s going to be more of a struggle after this,” said Tara Maden, a 49-year-old from Nashua who works for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care system. “He’s doing better with the minorities than he was early on and he’s getting more name recognition.”
Betty Buckley, a 52-year-old graphic designer from Pembroke, N.H., predicted second place here and trouble ahead.
“South Carolina is going to be where everyone thinks he won’t do as well,” she said. “It depends on whether he can bring out people of color. They don’t know him. But a year ago he was unknown to all of us.”
Both women described themselves as independent voters who had backed Senator John McCain, a Republican, in 2008. “Though when he picked Sarah Palin, then I was out,” Ms. Maden said.
Their support for Mr. Buttigieg helps explain both why his appeal to independent and Republican voters has served him well in Iowa and New Hampshire and why he faces more hurdles in subsequent states.
Black voters dominate South Carolina’s Democratic primary electorate — they are not voters who backed Mr. McCain. The coming weeks will show whether Mr. Buttigieg can expand his coalition beyond the older, relatively centrist white voters who have propelled his rise in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Exit polls shed a little light on voters’ decisions.
According to CNN’s exit polls, Ms. Klobuchar won a plurality of New Hampshire voters with a college degree, with 28 percent of their support, as well as white women who had graduated college, with 34 percent.
Mr. Sanders prevailed among white voters without a college degree, taking 29 percent, but Mr. Buttigieg won the most votes of white women without a degree, with 27 percent.
The exit polls, which surveyed about 2,500 voters, offered a snapshot of New Hampshire voters on Tuesday night.
Nineteen percent of those who voted in the Democratic primary called themselves “very liberal,” and 42 percent were “somewhat liberal.” Mr. Sanders won both groups. Among the 35 percent who described themselves as moderate, Ms. Klobuchar prevailed.
Mr. Buttigieg won among voters who earned more than $100,000 per year.
The collapse of Mr. Biden could be starkly seen in the preferences of voters by age. Mr. Biden was unable to win those over 65, traditionally his strongest supporters, nor did he prevail among union households, another supposed source of strength.
It was Mr. Sanders who did best with union voters, taking 31 percent, while Ms. Klobuchar was the top pick of those over 65.
In all, about one in three voters were under 45, and Mr. Sanders easily won their support. Sixty-five percent of voters were older than 45. Ms. Klobuchar prevailed with them.
About one in seven had never cast a ballot in a Democratic primary. Mr. Buttigieg, who campaigned on a message of welcoming independents and “future former Republicans,” won a plurality, with 25 percent.
On issues that mattered most to voters, Mr. Sanders won among those who listed health care and income inequality; Mr. Buttigieg was the first choice of those who cared most about foreign policy and climate change.
In terms of candidates’ qualities, a plurality wanted a nominee who can bring “needed change,” and Mr. Sanders was their favorite. Ms. Klobuchar was the top pick for those seeking someone to unite the country — a message she and Mr. Buttigieg both want to make their own.
Three in five voters said it was more important to nominate someone who can beat President Trump than one who agrees with them on issues. Mr. Buttigieg was their top pick. Mr. Sanders was the favorite candidate on issues.
The exit polls examined other attitudes about candidate qualities. Four in five said a candidate’s age was not important. About one in three said nominating a woman would make it harder to beat Mr. Trump.
Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet dropped out.
Mr. Yang and Mr. Bennet ended their longer-than-long-shot bids for president on Tuesday night.
Mr. Yang made the announcement at his primary night party. Speaking to supporters inside a ballroom in Manchester, Mr. Yang said that “endings are hard” and that he had intended to stay in the race until the end.
“I am the math guy, and it’s clear from the numbers we’re not going to win this campaign,” he said. “So tonight I’m announcing that I am suspending my campaign.”
Both Mr. Yang and Mr. Bennet had spent considerable time and resources in the state. Mr. Bennet had staked all his hopes there, holding 50 town hall events there in the 10 weeks leading up to the primary and campaigning exclusively there in the final stretch, even on the night of the Iowa caucuses.
Another low-polling candidate, Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, will decide on Wednesday whether to continue after getting less than 1 percent of the vote in New Hampshire.
“He’s going to take some time to evaluate what’s next for the campaign and will make a decision tomorrow,” Aleigha Cavalier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Patrick, said in a text message Tuesday night.
Mr. Patrick has never exceeded 1 percent in a debate-qualifying poll and was counting on New Hampshire — next door to his home state — to give him some traction.
Reporting was contributed by Alexander Burns, Nick Corasaniti, Sydney Ember, Reid J. Epstein, Katie Glueck, Astead W. Herndon, Thomas Kaplan, Jonathan Martin and Matt Stevens from New Hampshire, Maggie Astor and Trip Gabriel from New York, and Stephanie Saul from Columbia, S.C.
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