New Hampshire Democratic primary live commentary

Live commentary on today’s New Hampshire primary. Also: Sinn Féin upsets the conservative duopoly at Saturday’s Irish election. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont

4:05pm Thursday With all precincts reporting, there were almost 297,000 votes in this year’s Democratic primary, up from just over 253,000 in 2016.  So Democratic turnout in New Hampshire was well up on 2016, but this is partly explained by having an uncontested Republican race.

The final outcome is Sanders 25.7%, Buttigieg 24.4%, Klobuchar 19.8%, Warren 9.2% and Biden 8.4%.

8:18pm Conversation article up.  I argue that Klobuchar has a good case for being electable.  She won her three Minnesota Senate races by at least 20 points, far exceeding the presidential lean of Minnesota.  She’s 59, so she doesn’t fall into the 70+ category.

Also, the FiveThirtyEight forecast has the chance that nobody wins a pledged delegate majority up to 33% (one in three).  We could be heading for the first contested convention since 1952.  The next two contests are the Feb 22 Nevada caucus and Feb 29 South Carolina primary.  Then it’s Super Tuesday on March 3.

3:05pm Two US TV networks have CALLED the New Hampshire primary for Bernie Sanders.

2:50pm With 82% in, Sanders’ lead over Buttigieg down to 1.7%.  The NY Times Needle gives him a 68% chance to win.  Hardly a convincing victory in a state where he crushed Clinton 60-38 in 2016.

2:22pm Sanders’ lead over Buttigieg down to 2.1% with 69% in.  The NY Times Needle gives Sanders a 59% chance to win.

2:07pm Took a break for lunch, but didn’t miss much.  Sanders 2.5% ahead of Buttigieg with 64% in (26.4% to 23.9%).  Klobuchar has 20.1%, and both Biden and Warren have less than 10%, and will both miss the 15% threshold to win any NH delegates.

1:02pm CNN has Sanders still ahead in NH by 4.4% over Buttigieg with 41% in.

1pm The NY Times needle is now giving Sanders just a 53% chance to win, with 33% for Buttigieg and 14% Klobuchar.  However, Wasserman on Twitter is projecting Klobuchar will finish third.

12:47pm The NY Times needle is giving Sanders a 59% chance of winning, with Buttigieg a 33% chance and Klobuchar 8%.  But for some reason, CNN’s results are more up to date than the NY Times.

12:37pm With 32% in in the Dem primary, 27.8% Sanders, 23.5% Buttigieg, 20.0% Klobuchar.  Gap opening up between Buttigieg and Klobuchar for 2nd place.  Warren and Biden still at less than 10%.

12:35pm In the Republican primary, Trump has 85%.

12:25pm Dave Wasserman on Twitter

12:17pm 28% Sanders, 23% Buttigieg, 21% Klobuchar with 20% in on the CNN results.

12:12pm 28% Sanders, 22.5% Buttigieg, 20.5% Klobuchar, less than 10% for both Warren and Biden in CNN results with 17% in.

12:05pm CNN is back ahead of the NY Times, and has 28% Sanders, 22% Buttigieg, 20% Klobuchar, 9% Warren, 9% Biden with 14% in.

12pm With 7% in, 28% Sanders, 22% Buttigieg, 20% Klobuchar, 12% Warren, 7.5% Biden.  US election analysts on Twitter are saying Sanders should win.

11:50am With 5% reporting, the NY Times has 30% Sanders, 22% Buttigieg, 18% Klobuchar, 12% Warren and just 7% Biden.

11:40am The CNN New Hampshire results give Sanders 27%, Klobuchar 22%, Buttigieg 21%, Warren just 11% and Biden 8%.  That’s with an estimated 3% in.  So Klobuchar has had a massive surge in New Hampshire.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is an honorary associate at the University of Melbourne. His work on electoral matters for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The final RealClearPolitics poll average for today’s New Hampshire Democratic primary gives Bernie Sanders 28.7%, Pete Buttigieg 21.3%, Amy Klobuchar 11.7%, and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren both 11.0%. Most polls close at 11am AEDT, with some staying open until 12pm. Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire is a primary, not a caucus. Primaries are administered by the state’s election authorities, not by a party. Counting is slow in New Hampshire.

 Sinn Féin comes first in Irish election

 Irish politics has been dominated by two conservative parties: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. But at Saturday’s election, the far-left Sinn Féin upset this order by coming first on first preferences with 24.5% (up a massive 10.7% since the 2016 election). Fianna Fáil was second with 22.2% (down 2.1%) and the governing Fine Gael third with 20.9% (down 4.7%). The Greens won 7.1% (up 4.4%). Irish Labour has never been a strong party, and won just 4.4% (down 2.2%).

While Sinn Féin advocates a united Ireland, its success at this election appears to be the result of a campaign focused on homelessness and hospital waiting lists.

Despite winning the popular vote, Sinn Féin was second in lower house seats with 37 of the 160 (up 14). Fianna Fáil won 38 (down six), Fine Gael 35 (down 14), the Greens 12 (up ten), other left-wing parties 17 (up one) and independents 19 (steady). There were two more total seats than in 2016. A Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael grand coalition would have 73 seats, short of the 81 needed for a majority. Government formation is likely to be difficult.

In Tasmania’s Hare-Clark system, which is used in Ireland, leakage from within parties has occasionally cost seats. In Ireland, leakage is a bigger problem, as the ballot paper lists candidates alphabetically, not by party grouping (see Antony Green). To reduce leakage, Sinn Féin only nominated 42 candidates, and were unable to benefit as much as they should have from their late campaign surge.

Previous Irish elections have been held during the working week, but this one was on Saturday. Turnout was expected to increase, but it actually fell 2.2% to 62.9%.

610 comments on “New Hampshire Democratic primary live commentary”

  1. Not only did the criminal outfit Sinn Fein run hard on housing costs and health care, they also promised to be tough on crime and employ lots more police.

    The Irish have always had a certain touch of comedic genius!

    This result is akin to Corbyn’s in 2017 and the current surge for Sanders. Many people in Western countries, especially Millenials, seem to be thinking “I don’t feel happy with the world right now, let’s check out the boring professional pollies and give the maddies a go.”

    Thankfully (from my perspective, others might not agree), the maddies haven’t won anywhere yet, but the Ireland result is such a mess that Sinn Fein might actually get into government pretty soon. And get access to the Irish Government’s police and security files, in which case god help some people on both sides of the border.

  2. The above is one of the worst bullshit posts in recent memory. Yeah lets have more of the the Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee affect. P.S, I bet you are fine with the current regime in Israel.

  3. “(from my perspective, others might not agree)”


    As a duel citizen of the mighty Republic of Ireland, I certainly do disagree with you. It’s great to see the left, particularly the Greens and SF, surging in Ireland. So proud of my Irish brothers and sisters.

  4. Very interesting Ireland result, the first time I’ve followed the count process closely over there

    I reckon Sinn Fein could have got 41 candidates up had they run an extra candidate here and there, mainly in some of the Dublin seats

    SF will be in a bind if there are new elections soon if no coalition can be thrashed out – do they risk running more candidates hoping their support holds up?

    I have friends in Tipperary and was sad to see a fine left-wing Independent lose re-election there this time 🙁

    BTW a fair number of the ‘Independents’ elected are ex-FF or FG hacks who either jumped or were pushed out, often with a rort or two in the background

    As a long standing advocate of voting reform here in the UK I have to say though I don’t care for the Irish system – I much prefer the German/NZ MMP system, with a constituency and a list vote

  5. ‘Throw Them Against The Wall And Frisk Them’: Bloomberg’s 2015 Race Talk Stirs Debate

    Michael Bloomberg is distancing himself from a 2015 speech in which the former New York City mayor defended aggressive police tactics in minority neighborhoods.

    Audio of the talk began recirculating online, generating fresh debate over stop and frisk, one of Bloomberg’s signature policies as mayor, forcing him to back away from the remarks.

    Bloomberg, in a statement, noted how he had apologized for championing stop and frisk before kicking off his presidential bid.

    “I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities,” Bloomberg said in the statement. “This issue and my comments about it do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity.”

    Bloomberg made the remarks at the Aspen Institute on Feb. 5, 2015. In the audio, he can be heard saying: “95% of your murders and murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description and Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities 15 to 25.”

    He continues: “That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city in America. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed.”

    Bloomberg’s idea of a solution? Flooding minority neighborhoods with law enforcement.

    “People say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana who are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why’d we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you should get the guns out of the kids’ hands is throw them against the wall and frisk them,” Bloomberg says.

  6. Firefox, I’m classing Sinn Fein as far-left because that’s the European faction they belong to. See this old Europe Elects tweet.

    Ireland, national parliament election:

    141/160 seats declared:

    SF-LEFT: 37
    FG-EPP: 32
    FF-RE: 29
    IND-*: 17
    GREEN-G/EFA: 10
    LAB-S&D: 5
    S-PBP-LEFT: 5
    SD-S&D: 4
    I4C-LEFT: 1
    AONTÚ-*: 1

    6:25 am · 11 Feb 2020

  7. Just going over some of the health care positions…

    Biden and Buttigieg want a government healthcare package to be inserted into the existing marketplace. The idea behind it is that the new ‘competitor’ will drive healthcare costs down, especially since the government has the leverage to force their costs to be lower. User still has to pay for their health insurance, but it should be a lot cheaper.

    This was originally Biden’s policy. Interestingly, after advocating a Sanders-like single payer system, Buttigieg pretty blatantly stole Biden’s policy heading into the Iowa caucus. This is thought to be a major reason why Buttigieg overtook Biden in Iowa – and also leading in NH.

    As for Bloomberg, he seems to be proposing to restore Obama’s affordable healthcare act – so called “Obama-care”. While not knowing the details, my sense at the time was this was pretty hopeless, but better than nothing.

    Sanders and Warren are the single-payer champions, though Warren seems less clear on her policy (eg saying she wouldn’t implement it until her 3rd year in office).

  8. 1.I think it is wrong to say Irish Labour has never been strong. As recently as 2011 they got 20% of the vote and 37 seats and they have been in government 26 years in the last century in coalitions with both sides. They are likely a victim of pasokification, their identification with the establishment has resulted in the left vote deserting them for more populist options; SF, People before Profits and the Social Democrats.

    2.The talk of SF having too few candidates ignores FF and FG loosing seats by having too many. In the end Hare-Clark delivered almost a proportionate result. The 3 majors each got 20-25% of both votes and seats.

    3.There is some argument about who got the most seats. The FF number was boosted by the automatic election of Seán Ó Fearghaíl the outgoing Ceann Comhairle (speaker). If he is reclassified as neutral the numbers are 37 each for SF and FF

    4. I think from now on Mehe Baba should be known as Billy the Bigot. I don’t think I have heard such outdated and ill informed tosh this side of the Shankill Road

  9. “Firefox, I’m classing Sinn Fein as far-left because that’s the European faction they belong to. See this old Europe Elects tweet.”


    SF is pretty close to being centre-left. In fact, if you go off the Political Compass, they’re the closest party to the centre out of any Irish party. Just because they are part of a large grouping of parties in Europe that spans from the centre-left to the far-left doesn’t mean that SF itself is far-left. There are heaps of different parties in their faction which span the left.

    From Wiki:

    European United Left–Nordic Green Left

    The European United Left/Nordic Green Left is a political group of the European Parliament established in 1995,[17] and composed of left-wing[9] to far-left[13] members.

  10. Apparently Sin Fein only fielded 42 candidates or something – and they won 37 of them.

    Would they have won more if they stood more candidates?

    Perhaps we will soon see if this parliament doesn’t work out…

  11. The parochialism (literally) of rural Ireland is something of note and parties make use of it in selecting candidates.

    During the RTÉ call it was not uncommon for a panelist to say e.g. X has done extremely well in Longford-Westmeath. Despite being a Westmeath man he has got 30% of the vote in Longford

  12. The beautiful thing about the result in Ireland is that the surge of the political wing of the IRA will probably have the impact of making moderates, i.e people who aren’t staunchly Unionist or Republican, in Northern Ireland run a mile from any thoughts of unity any time soon. Of course, that’s not how the political wing of the IRA will interpret things, and they are already making demands of anyone they think might be listening, but in the real world the UK Government will decide if or when a border poll will take place, and even many who do support eventual unity shiver at the political wing of the IRA playing a part in that.

    On the NH primary, will we have to wait until all polls close to see any exit poll results/network projections?

  13. Early NH votes from the tiny towns of Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location and Millsfield sees Klobuchar with an early lead, with 8 votes, ahead of Sanders and Warren (4 each), Yang (3), and Buttigieg & Biden (2 each). Bloomberg has picked up two write-in votes, while Gabbard and Steyer have one vote each.

    Probably safe to assume that these positions won’t hold!

  14. “Don’t you feel your IQ fall 20 points every time they throw to the commercials?”


    lol indeed. It is interesting to see some US commercials though. I’ve been noticing tonnes of Bloomberg campaign ads over the last few days. None from any of the other campaigns yet.

  15. My guess (like most people) is that Sanders will win the New Hampshire primary, by a reasonably convincing margin, but not by nearly as much as he won over Clinton four years ago. There has to be a suspicion that, while Sanders’ floor is quite high, around 25%, his ceiling is quite low, about 30%. That might yet cause problems for him as voting moves into the larger states in March. I expect him to do well in Nevada (another caucus state, and he and Buttigieg seem the best at gaming those types of votes), and less well in South Carolina (still a big question mark over his appeal to black voters).

    Klobuchar could yet be the surprise packet on this primary and later on. She is clearly trying to position herself as the more appealing candidate between Biden (too old and establishment) and Buttigieg (too inexperienced), though it remains to be seen whether she has left her run a bit late. Warren seems to be fading, and I don’t rate any of the others as having a chance, apart from Bloomberg, though the tape that has emerged of him discussing “stop & frisk” in 2015 might yet sink him with black voters.

  16. The horror of Sinn Féin being in power will drive moderate Irishmen mad!
    Of course they have already been in power in Northern Ireland for the last 20 years without setting up murder gangs.
    All Southern politicians, reflecting the views of the public, will say with hand on heart that unity is their greatest desire but FF and FG have done bugger all about it since De Valera was last Taoiseach (1958)

  17. Hugoaugogo says:
    Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 11:04 am
    My guess (like most people) is that Sanders will win the New Hampshire primary, by a reasonably convincing margin, but not by nearly as much as he won over Clinton four years ago.
    The difference is the size of the field this year. Last time you had only 2 choices, Clinton or Sanders by that point…

  18. More early results going Klobuchar’s way.

    First Concord, NH precinct to report (state capital):

    Klobuchar 477
    Buttigieg 378
    Sanders 238
    Warren 205
    Biden 118

  19. Alpha Zero, to some extent that is true. It’s also the case that in 2016 in NH, Sanders was less of a known quality, notwithstanding that he is a long-serving Senator of a neighbouring state. But results this year suggest that at least some who voted for him four years ago are looking for someone else to vote for in 2020.

  20. Any poster who doesn’t appreciate the past criminality – and madness – of Sinn Fein needs to consult some history books.

    And, of course, the Protty paramilitaries were just as evil and just as mad (perhaps even a bit madder), albeit on a somewhat smaller scale.

    As for whether or not SF should be considered far left, I can’t say for certain. Because of their Catholic associations, they used to be quite socially conservative, but that all seems to have changed.

    My sense is that they aren’t quite as socialist as Bernie and Jeremy. But they seem to be appealing to the Irish counterparts of the Bernie and Corbin fans.

    And, yes, I make no apologies for considering the policies of Bernie and Corbyn to be pretty crazy. Lots and lots of additional government spending/revenue foregone with vague and ineffective plans for funding it all.

  21. Hugoagogo
    “My guess (like most people) is that Sanders will win the New Hampshire primary, by a reasonably convincing margin, but not by nearly as much as he won over Clinton four years ago. There has to be a suspicion that, while Sanders’ floor is quite high, around 25%, his ceiling is quite low, about 30%. ”

    That’s my suspicion as well. Sanders may pick up some Warren voters, when she drops out (hopefully soon). But moderate/establishment/Anyone-But-Bernie voters will coalesce around another candidate.

  22. About 2.3% reporting now, and results are starting to look a little more as expected:

    Sanders 32.3%
    Buttigieg 20.6%
    Klobuchar 17.5%
    Warren 11.8%
    Biden 7.5%

    Sanders about where expected, Buttigieg at the lower end of where might have expected, Klobuchar surging, Warren and Biden tanking. That’s not a bad outcome to Klobuchar, as Biden supporters will probably gravitate towards her (on policy), while Warren fans might head to her as the only other woman left in the fight.

    We might end up, by March, with a three-way race of Sanders v Buttigieg v Klobuchar (with Bloomberg in the wings). My guess in that scenario is that Klobuchar (or maybe Bloomberg) gets the anyone-but-Bernie” vote.

  23. So, Billy the Bigot, parties that started as revolutionary can never become constitutional and be a part of government. If i made a list of parties and countries where this is not true it would be a very long list indeed.

    Not least in the Irish republic where both Finn Gael and Fianna Fail were offshoots of the original Sinn Fein who tore each others guts out during a totally unnecessary civil war. The antecedents of Finn Gael are notorious for tying prisoners of war, four at a time, to land mines which they then exploded. Fianna Fail TDs took a Bren gun into the Dail during the first change of government to ensure that Dev became Taoiseach.

    The last week of campaigning was dominated by FF and FG saying they could never form government with SF (FF said this with a nudge and a wink) and by the press bringing up a murder from 2007 which may have been IRA related. It had no effect on SF’s performance and the exit poll showed that 50% of the voters saw no reason why SF should be excluded from any coalition discussions. It also showed SF’s support was in the mid 30s in the under 35 demographic and mid teens in the >65s. As one commentator said this election is the last hurrah of the pensioners and those who heard civil war stories from their grandparents.

  24. And with 10% counted, the gap between the top three continues to narrow. Sanders probably now at a level lower than he would like, and it’s looking like a break-out night for Klobuchar. Meanwhile, it’s looking grim for Warren and Biden. Hard to see how they can recover after two sub-par performances, and Nevada and South Carolina look as their last-chance saloons.

    Sanders: 7,975 (28%)
    Buttigieg: 6,386 (22%)
    Klobuchar: 5,957 (21%)
    Warren: 2,745 (10%)
    Biden: 2,525 (9%)

  25. If these numbers hold up, I think Biden is pretty fucked. To credibly stay in the race, he won’t just need to win in South Carolina, but win big. Losing to Sanders is one thing, but to come so far behind the two other moderates is a disaster.

  26. “But moderate/establishment/Anyone-But-Bernie voters will coalesce around another candidate.”

    Thats what all the pundits were saying about Trump and his opponents in the 2016 primaries.

  27. I think Warren’s basically done for too. If she can’t mnage a respectable result in a state like New Hampshire, I’m not seeing much of a path forward for her.

    Klobucher would be thrilled with tonight’s results. I think winning the nomination is still going to be difficult for her, but she’s definitely looking a much stronger contender now.

    Yang and Gabbard will surely have to drop out. Steyer’s probably going to hold out until Nevada, where’s he’s been campaigning hard and polling fairly respectably, but I think he’s basically a dead man walking.

  28. Well, Oakeshott the Fenian

    I was a strong supporter of the Good Friday Agreement, and tip my hat to what I will politely describe as the Sinn Fein leadership – especially the late Martin McGuinness – for agreeing to lay down their arms and move into the world of democratic politics (albeit as a result of something of an ultimatum from the US).

    Of course Sinn Fein need to be part of the Northern Ireland political scene. But it’s a different matter for voters in the peace-loving south to suddenly choose to embrace them. To me, it demonstrates a lack of awareness on the part of younger voters of events of the not at all distant past. Why on earth would they want to go there?

    Of course there are answers to this question. One is the general lousiness of both FG and FF.

    Another, perhaps more interesting answer is that – after long being among the strongest supporters of (and big winners from ) membership of the EC – younger Irish voters are re-engaging with a bit of nationalist/cultural feeling a la the Brexit cause. Which is partly understandable, but which I don’t see as a particularly good development either.

  29. Hopefully Warren will withdraw soon and, in spite of their recent issues, throw her support behind Sanders. I suspect whether she does or not, a good chunk of her supporters will.

    Firefox re Northern Ireland

    Yes, Sinn Fein are a large party in Northern Ireland because they are supported by hard line Republicans, just as the DUP are supported by hard line Unionists. We know where DUP and SF supporters fall when it comes to the question of a united Ireland. What I am suggesting is that there are supporters of other parties, Alliance for example, who could swing behind unity but have little time for SF.

  30. Matt31
    Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 – 12:12 pm
    Comment #46
    Hopefully Warren will withdraw soon and, in spite of their recent issues, throw her support behind Sanders. I suspect whether she does or not, a good chunk of her supporters will.

    I don’t think so. Or only if they don’t care what Sanders and his fanatical followers did to Elizabeth Warren:

    But Sanders has further marginalized himself electorally by helping divide the party’s left. And in doing so, he has lowered his own ceiling, a misstep he could ill afford.

    His hitherto friendly rival, Elizabeth Warren, hoped to consolidate progressives and reach out to moderates with a broad-based appeal. In response, Sanders resorted to self-righteous political narrowcasting rooted in doctrinal rigidity and and demographic divisiveness—forcing Warren to the ideological frontiers in her attempt to win over ardent progressives.

    First, he chided her for deviating from his ferocious embrace of single-payer, however unpopular it is among voters as a whole. Second, his campaign cast her as the candidate of “highly-educated, more affluent people,” as if those votes are less desirable than those of Sanders-style class warriors. As electoral politics, this calculated myopia breeds an inflexibility which kills coalitions and exacerbates disunity. But as a short-term tactic, it weakened Warren on the left and prevented her from becoming a more inclusive candidate. Sanders has ever had a taste for Pyrrhic purism.

    From there, the conflict became even less edifying. Sanders’ online supporters inundated Warren with ridicule; Warren claimed that Sanders told her that a woman could not win the presidency. When he denied this charge on the debate stage, Warren declined to shake his hand after the event concluded – following which, intemperate Sanders devotees assailed her with snake emojis. Sanders’ people accused Warren of mischaracterizing a private conversation; hers accused Sanders with misogyny. The hope that either could unify the party abruptly evanesced.

  31. “Sinn Fein are a large party in Northern Ireland because they are supported by hard line Republicans”


    Which is a very good thing. The English occupation of the North needs to end. Thanks to Brexit, that’s now closer than ever.

  32. You know, with Biden crashing and burning, I’m starting to feel rather more optimistic about November. Sanders, Buttigeig, and Klobucher all have some serious blind spots as candidates, but I think all three are capable of winning the general, provided the Democratic machine unites behind the candidate and they run a strong, smart, non-complacent campaign.

    Sanders strikes me as the riskiest bet, particularly given his age and his healthcare plan (the “medicare for all” part is fine, its the “private insurance for noone” part that I fear will be a killer), but I don’t buy the “he can’t win” narrative either – what he’s really going to need, though, is a good running mate who can appeal to moderates without turning off his base. Yang could be a good pick – he has a real talent for making (relatively) radical proposals seem totally reasonable.

    Of course, there’s still the Bloomberg factor, but I’m fairly confident that, despite the vast sums of money he’s throwing into the race, the other frontrunners will have sucked up all his oxygen by the time Super Tuesday rolls around.

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