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. Matt31 – I’m not at all convinced that Warren’s supporters will automatically gravitate to Bernie in the event that Warren drops out (not that I think that will happen until after Super Tuesday). Sanders has his fan base, to be sure, but he’s a polarising figure in the Democratic Party, and so the supporters of other candidates are as likely to go to anyone but Bernie. Warren’s, for example, may gravitate to Klobuchar. I think identifying candidate is less about policy than it is about “the vibe”. Sanders holds a lot of views on policy that I broadly agree with, but his movement is exclusive and off-putting to those not in it.

  2. If I were Yang, I’d be looking into a House or Senate run in the 2022 mid-terms. He would be well-placed to be a serious contender in 2024 or 2028 (depending on how things go in November.)

  3. Matt much of what you say is outdated:

    A reputable poll in Northern Ireland last year has a slight majority for unification. I do not think that Brexit is the Unionists friend and the polls are likely to continue towards unity.
    Alliance started as a unionist party but for many years equivocal and will support the referendum arrangements in the Good Friday Agreement

    As SF got 28% in the last assembly election I guess that more than a quarter of the northern Irish are hard-line republicans

  4. Warren’s numbers in NH are particularly dismal, considering her home state is right next door, and the Boston suburbs/exurbs spill over into SE NH.

    It’s worth noting that in the last Senate election Warren underperformed in Massachusetts, given just how ‘blue’ the state is. Unlike Sanders, she’s not hugely popular in her home state.

  5. Meanwhile, Trump has – unsurprisingly – won New Hampshire in a landslide, albeit a more subdued one than in Iowa, getting around 85% to Bill Weld’s 9%.

  6. “Warren’s, for example, may gravitate to Klobuchar.”


    I doubt it, especially if Sanders names Warren as his VP running mate. Warren is a progressive and anti-establishment, Klobuchar is not.

    We need to also consider where the chunk of the vote from Steyer, Yang, and especially Gabbard goes. Individually they’re not polling much but their combined vote is a little more meaningful. None of them are traditional establishment candidates. Indeed, Gabbard is extremely close ideologically to Sanders.

  7. Over 15% counted now (a much smoother operation in NH than in Iowa!), and the vote count seems to be solidifying. Once again Sanders hits his ceiling, while the other candidates look to be coalescing to back whichever of them gets the break (“anyone-but-Bernie”).

    Sanders 29.2%
    Buttigieg 22.4%
    Klobuchar 19.4%
    Warren 11.7%
    Biden 7.8%

  8. Warren won’t be Sanders running-mate, I’m almost certain of it. You can’t have a ticket comprised of two 70+ white New England liberals. Sanders needs someone young, safe, and polished, preferably a woman and/or person of colour.

  9. “while the other candidates look to be coalescing to back whichever of them gets the break (“anyone-but-Bernie”).”


    Huh? I don’t see much coalescing going on at all yet. Pete and Amy are battling for 2nd and 3rd, waiting to have all their momentum sucked away by Bloomberg. The rest are in big trouble. And it’s up to 32% now.

  10. A lot of back-pedalling there Billy
    Your first post was that SF needed to be kept out of government because they will get their hands on the police files and set up murder gangs.
    Now it is that SF are OK in the North but why would anyone in the South have anything to do with them?

    The answer is that you see SF as a one dimensional party based on their pre 1986 program when they supported the armed struggle and refused to recognise the validity of the Republic. They were absentionist in all parliaments. Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness deserve praise for turning the party around despite the split that this caused.

    The question of unity played very little role in this campaign except for SFs insistence that a consensus on the type of unity and referendum be held in 5yrs. SFs success is due to their social program which concentrates on the 2 key issues for the electorate Housing and Hospitals. Areas which neither

  11. Firefox @ #63 Wednesday, February 12th, 2020 – 11:30 am

    “Warren’s, for example, may gravitate to Klobuchar.”


    I doubt it, especially if Sanders names Warren as his VP running mate. Warren is a progressive and anti-establishment, Klobuchar is not.

    You’re ignoring the possibility (I would say certainty) that a fair bit of Warren’s support is becasue she is a woman, and not necessarily becasue of policy positions. A lot of that could flow to Klobuchar.

  12. Firefox – there’s no way that Sanders will pick Warren as his running mate, and tactically she would be a terrible choice – two white, older New Englanders, appealing to the same wing of the Democratic Party. If Sanders gets the nomination, he’d be well-advised to pick a southern, female, moderate, person of colour. Gabbard fits the bill there (apart from not being a southerner) though I’m not so sure she’s a good choice either). As an aside, I don’t know where you got the idea that she is some sort of ideological soulmate to Sanders – she’s a bit of a hawk

    As Cat linked to earlier, there’s clearly no love lost between Warren and Sanders, and it was instructive that she congratulated the two runner-up moderates in NH (Buttigieg and Klobuchar) rather than the likely winner in Sanders. I think it’s more likely than not that her supporters will go elsewhere when the time comes. As for the also-rans, yes, together they add up to around 5%, but a lot of them (eg the Yang gang) will likely drop out of the process altogether, so I’m not so sure that they’ll end up being significant in the final wash-up.

  13. OC: I remain very concerned about SF getting their hands on the police/security files in the Republic. Nobody with any sense would see that as anything other than a significant risk.

    For a long, long time, SF was absolutely a one-dimensional party. They are running with a very different approach in the Republic, and have done well with it. But at heart they’re still SF: the pursuit of unification is their raison d’etre. Voting for SF purely on the basis of the housing and health policies and with no regard for their main purpose is like saying (until recently at least) that you only read Playboy for the articles.

    Re your comment that Brexit is not a friend of the Unionists: I totally agree.

  14. Firefox – Sorry, probably didn’t make myself clearer there. What I see from the votes in NH is Sanders with 30%, and everyone else with about 50%. Biden and Warren will presumably drop out sooner rather than later, with Klobuchar and Buttigieg to slug it out for the moderate banner. In the event that we get to a contested convention, I’d guess that their supporters will back the other over Sanders.

    There is obviously still a long way to go, but to my mind the “anyone-but-Bernie” forces have the better hand to play at this stage.

  15. “You’re ignoring the possibility (I would say certainty) that a fair bit of Warren’s support is becasue she is a woman, and not necessarily becasue of policy positions. A lot of that could flow to Klobuchar.”


    I’m not ignoring it at all, in fact it’s front of mind. I was talking about it the other day in the Iowa thread.

    The reason I suggest Sanders might pick Warren as his VP is that he himself said about a week ago that he was leaning towards a woman or person of colour, and that he wants someone who shares his goals. Warren fits that. Gabbard also fits that. AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) could be a a possibility too.

  16. Hugoaugogo: “There is obviously still a long way to go, but to my mind the “anyone-but-Bernie” forces have the better hand to play at this stage.”

    Perhaps the most important thing they will have (and I say this even though I’m not the remotest bit in favour of Bernie) is control over the convention/nomination processes. Unless Bernie wins a clear majority of delegates, which seems unlikely at this stage, he could face a similar situation to that of Eugene McCarthy in 1968.

  17. “and it was instructive that she congratulated the two runner-up moderates in NH (Buttigieg and Klobuchar) rather than the likely winner in Sanders.”


    Please don’t make up nonsense. They are currently replaying Warren’s speech on CNN. She specifically mentioned Sanders had a “strong night”.

  18. Firefox: “AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) could be a a possibility too.”

    Genuine question: does the minimum age limit for Presidents also apply to Veeps?

    Probably a moot point anyway. If Bernie does get the nomination (which will be a struggle), I reckon he’ll go for a more moderate woman or non-white as VP candidate: Harris or possibly even Klobuchar.

  19. AOC is not eligible to be nominee for VP – she doesn’t turn 35 until October, 2024.

    Actually, I’d say a better fit for Sanders would be a governor, someone like Gretchen Whitmer (MI) or Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM). The suggestion that he would try and seek out someone just like him does ring alarm bells for me – a Presidential ticket needs to have some balance, and that would be especially true for a candidate like Sanders.

  20. It’s been a big night for candidate drop-outs, Andrew Yang, Michael Bennett and Tom Steyer have all pulled the pin. Steyer’s decision is interesting, as by all accounts he was polling well in South Carolina, so his departure could be a lifeline for Biden.

  21. I’m pretty sure AOC is too young to be running mate – AFAIK, Vice Presidential candidates still need to meet all the requirements a Presidential candidate does, including being 35 or older.

    She’s definitely one to watch, though. In eight or twelve years time, she’d be a pretty formidable contender.

    Sanders is in a tricky position when it comes to a running mate. He can’t really do the typical balancing of the ticket with a moderate, since he’s very unlikely to be shifting to the centre come the general election (I don’t think he could even if he wanted to, due to how his base would react), so he needs someone who can credibly advocate and defend his plan. But another hardcore liberal would also make it difficult to appeal to centrists. He needs someone who’s neither strongly aligned to moderate or progressive factions and is able to appeal to (or at least not scare off) both.

  22. Nearly 30% counted now, and Bernie’s vote share continues to shrink, while Mayor Pete’s solidifies:

    Sanders 27.6%
    Buttigieg 23.2%
    Klobuchar 19.7%
    Warren 10.3%
    Biden 8.3%

  23. I don’t see AOC as a running mate, I can see Gabbard or Yang before AOC.

    Despite the image of Sanders being popular with the educated, he is strong among the less qualified which confirms where he was strong in 2016.

  24. “a Presidential ticket needs to have some balance, and that would be especially true for a candidate like Sanders.”


    So like Trump and Pence you mean? lol two far-right extremists. They didn’t look for a moderate or leftie. Obama and Biden? Two establishment moderates. Bush and Cheney? Both far-right extremists. See? No. Sanders doesn’t want an establishment/right wing Dem. It won’t work. They want to protect the broken system. Sanders wants to repair it.

  25. New Hampshire (over 48% in)

    Sanders 26.87%
    Buttigieg 23.22%
    Klobuchar 18.91%
    Warren 9.64%
    Biden 8.51%
    Steyer 3.54%
    Gabbard 3.21%
    Yang 2.83%


  26. If you look at the Political Compass I posted above, you’ll notice that Warren kind of bridges the gap between progressives and moderates. She’s the only candidate that does really. That’s why she could be a good choice as VP. She was the favourite to win the whole thing for awhile last year but has really dropped off since then.

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