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. Firefox
    I’m not sure Warren being Klobuchar’s running mate would hurt her when they are both senators.

    If I was to guess tickets
    Sanders / Gabbard
    Klobuchar / Warren or Warren / Klobuchar
    Buttigieg / Yang

    I don’t see Bloomberg getting the nominee instead playing the role of Clive Palmer flooding the airways with anti-Trump ads.

  2. Bellwether
    The one thing going for Bloomberg is we know he takes climate change seriously and wont be owned by donors since he paid for his own campaign.

  3. Let’s toss Bloomberg-Buttigieg into the mix if we are discussing potential tickets.

    A year ago I was suggesting Klobuchar-Brown as a good ticket to secure the purple states, pick up Ohio and lock down the rust belt. If Amy can actually go the distance in the primaries (and I still have my doubts) then this would still be a very good ticket IMO.

  4. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    A Buttigieg/Klobuchar ticket looks the best option
    Could be and would be difficult for Trump to attack.

  5. Given that the Democratic party primaries are, unlike the Presidential election, not winner take all, but proportionate, and given that only roughly (from memory) 10% of ‘Super delegates’ voted for Bernie Sanders in 2016, wouldn’t he need to do far better than he has so far, to win on the first convention vote and secure the nomination?

  6. Bernie is the most popular second choice among Biden voters and Warren voters. Most voters don’t see the race as a contest between a progressive wing and a centrist wing. They are voting primarily on what they see as the relevant personal attributes of the candidates. So just because a voter’s first choice is a centrist, doesn’t mean their second choice will be a different centrist. Just because a voter’s first choice is a “progressive”, doesn’t mean their second choice will be a different “progressive”. Bernie will have no trouble picking up a lot of extra votes as centrists drop out.

    This general agreement is reflected in how voters rank candidates. Despite all the talk about the moderate-progressive split, for instance, the most popular second choice of Biden voters is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — followed by Warren. Many supporters of the “progressives” also rank a moderate as a second choice.

    More specifically, in surveys from Oct. 17 to Nov. 13, 35 percent of Biden supporters list Sanders as their No. 2 choice, and 29 percent list Warren. Only 9 percent list Buttigieg. Meanwhile, Sanders supporters are nearly evenly divided in their second-choice candidate: 36 percent say Warren, while 32 percent say Biden.

    Warren supporters also show considerable willingness to embrace a “moderate”: 32 percent of them say Sanders is their second choice, 26 percent say Biden and 15 percent say Buttigieg. And to whom would Buttigieg supporters turn as a fallback? Thirty percent say Biden, and 28 percent say Warren.

    Furthermore, there is a widespread misconception that if no candidate goes into the convention with a majority of pledged delegates, the convention will nominate someone who did worse than the most successful candidate. While the delegates do have the power to do that, in practice they will be constrained by this fact: that such an outcome would be seen by most Democratic voters as profoundly illegitimate. Back in the 1960s, performance in primaries and caucuses was only a minor input in the selection process. But since the 1970s, how well the candidates do with voters in the primaries and caucuses is THE determinant of who emerges as a legitimate winner. I know Poll Bludger centrists are fantasizing that if Bernie leads in the pledged delegate count but falls short of a majority, the convention will instead choose a centrist who fell short by an even larger margin. But in today’s voter-driven nomination process, that kind of ratfu**ery will not be tolerated by the voters, and it would lead to Democrats getting wiped out in the general election – not just for the presidency, but for the House, Senate, and state races as well.

    Unless the Democratic party delegates want to blow up their party, they will choose the candidate who has performed the best with voters as reflected in the the pledged delegate count.

  7. “I’m not sure Warren being Klobuchar’s running mate would hurt her when they are both senators.”


    What does both being senators have to do with it?

  8. There are no super delegates anymore Fargo.

    With a floor of about 25% and a ceiling of less than 30% in the national polls, Bernie needs to pick up 80%+ of Warren’s people and also Yang and Gabbard’s vote … and THEN he needs to start picking up at least 30% of the centrists support when they start to fall by the wayside. Possible – if one looks at the Trump experience in 2016, but I think very remote. Super Tuesday will be the real litmus test I think.

  9. Thanks for that explanation Nicholas. However, the number of pledged delegates that Warren and Biden are presently getting at the moment is rather minuscule. So who these pledged delegates ultimately jump to at the convention may be moot. If they drop out without actually having a large haul, then it will be up to their remaining supporters to decide for themselves where to place their vote in the upcoming primaries in their states. I also note that the ‘second choice surveys’ you refer to are months old. I actually reckon Warren will drop out soon and Biden will drop out after Super Tuesday. There will be over 60% of remaining delegates still to be pledged after Super Tuesday.

    So a pledged delegate fandango at the convention may not happen. It depends. But brother, if you think that then pledged delegates for losing and withdrawn centrists should simply roll over for someone who is WAY below 50% of the pledged delegate count and cant muster more than 30% of the popular vote then you are truly the left wing authoritarian commissar that you project yourself on this blog to be. I’m sure that’s what the Bernie boosters in the States will expect, but I also expect pledged delegates for centrist-moderate candidates to push back against that entitled arrogance pretty hard.

    It is also noted that you are already Setting up an ‘it is rigged’ catch cry to justify Bernie running as an independent in the General when he loses the nomination. It’s a typical hardline left wing spoiling thing to do, after all.

  10. If a centrist Democrat wins this year, they are at risk of being defeated by Trump in 2024 (if he is still alive), because they almost certainly won`t undertake enough reform to fix the underlying issues that lead to Trumps election.

    One example: The USA need pro-union measures taken, centrist Democrats (including Carter) have a history of not taking pro-Union measures. Pro-Union measures would help tens of millions and increase the Democratic vote.

  11. “Bernie will have no trouble picking up a lot of extra votes as centrists drop out.”


    Absolutely. As it becomes clearer to the establishment that he’s their best bet more and more will come over to him. CNN’s exit poll also found that some self identified progressives are voting for voting for candidates other than Sanders, so it would be wrong to think that Sanders voters are the only progressives in the race. That was the case in 2016, it isn’t the case now. That is largely due to Bernie dragging the entire party further left. If Bloomberg makes a big impact on the establishment candidates and Pete and Amy drop out, I think you’ll see many of their supporters switch to Sanders rather than Bloomberg. If Bloomberg only wounds Pete and Amy without forcing them out, he could split the establishment vote, which again likely helps Sanders.

    So don’t you fret, Oprah and others, there’s plenty of room for Sanders to grow.

  12. “They are both part of the establishment.”


    Uhh Sanders is a senator too. Being a senator doesn’t make you establishment, your values and policies do.

    Warren hates the establishment. Check out her policies and you’ll see she’s closer to Sanders than the others. Big on ending the corruption in Washington and taxing the rich etc…

  13. I’m on the Pete/Amy ticket. Pete has got momentum out of both Iowa and NH – he has served in the military and has already been in public service.

    If Sanders gets the nomination (which I hope he doesn’t) he will be 79 by the time of the inauguration- for god sakes, the bloke had a heart attack late last year. Sorry but that just creates all sorts of negative adds let alone his agenda. He wins it will guarantee a second term for Trump.

  14. Straw man arguments there Firefox. Warren voters seem to be going to Buttigieg and now Klobuchar. Ditto Biden. The bump to Bernie IS there, but it’s is smaller. I can well see ‘traditional liberal democrats’ jumping one lane into Bernie’s radical insurgent lane, but I really question how many of sleepy joe’s supporters are going to feel the Bern, let alone the supporters of who ever loses out from the other moderate-centrist lane. Remember this: Bernie, Warren and Biden started this race with huge name recognition advantages over the others. Warren and Biden have lost that advantage and Bernies numbers have only just crept into the 25-30% range … Bernie should be very worried about that. Whereas Pete and Amy have gone from low single digits to being right up Bernie’s arse in just over a week. Meanwhile Bloomberg has gone from zero to third in the national polls from the sidelines …

    In 2016 – in a 2 horse race admittedly – he won about 175000 votes in New Hampshire. He is occupying the same lane this year. There are half a dozen candidates who now occupy Hillary’s centrist lane. 3 ‘liberal’ candidates. Yet Bernie’s vote will end up being less than 125000. Way less. He’s lost 50000 votes to wannabe Hillarys. He’s the populist insurgent who isn’t so popular second time around. Just like Corbin. Soufflés do not tend to rise twice.

  15. “If Sanders gets the nomination (which I hope he doesn’t) he will be 79 by the time of the inauguration”


    Bloomberg would be less than a month away from turning 79 on the day of the inauguration lol. But no mention of that cos establishment billionaire.

  16. Possibly the most damning indicator of Sanders’ elecatbility is his apparent popularity with so many of the same people who have demonstrated unwavering devotion to the Australian Greens and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK. Those types for whom being seen to be standing up for what matters is substantially more important than getting elected and being able to do something about what matters.

    I’m also unsure of why receiving susbtantially less than half of the votes he got in 2016 in the state next door to his home is such an apparent positive sign.

  17. “I like how your flexible definition lets you bin someone who’s never served in Congress, like Mayor Pete, as “establishment”, while giving someone who’s been there since 1991 a pass as some sort of outsider.”


    Spoken like someone who hasn’t a clue what they’re on about. Are you even aware of the platform Sanders is running on? To suggest he’s establishment is ludicrous.

    Pete is establishment because he wants to protect the broken system that Bernie wants to fix. I couldn’t give a toss if someone is a senator or a mayor or whatever, it’s their policies that matter to me.

  18. “Possibly the most damning indicator of Sanders’ elecatbility is his apparent popularity with so many of the same people who have demonstrated unwavering devotion to the Australian Greens and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.”


    Meanwhile, the Oprah and Biden backers are the same geniuses who delivered us PM Shorten…

  19. “Bloomberg would be less than a month away from turning 79 on the day of the inauguration lol. But no mention of that cos establishment billionaire.”

    This concerns me as well, but Mike didn’t have a heart attack recently. Anyhoo, I’m happy he is spending his money on excellent attack ads. Long May he get under Trumpy’s skin. If he wins the show, ok – he’ll be an effective CEO and C-in-C and do pretty well on some key policy issues. The trumpocylpse would be over and we could all rejoice.

    Nicholas and his Bernie boosters might then even be able go out and find a 40 something MMT enthusiast that could run a relatable and sellable ‘jobs guarantee’ campaign next decade. …

    There are five septuagenarians still in the race for the presidency. Trump is actually the second youngest. A mere spring chicken at 73.

  20. “ Meanwhile, the Oprah and Biden backers are the same geniuses who delivered us PM Shorten…”

    Yep. It was all me. …

    Fun fact: I established the ‘Centre Unity for Albo’ Facebook page back in 2013 …

  21. Firefox,

    I wouldn’t vote for Bloomberg either given his age and same goes for Biden.

    I’m 58 and in my view is anyone over 65 shouldn’t be allowed to run for the highest office (PM/President etc) but they can continue to be a politician but no way should they be leading a country. The future belongs to the younger generations not the older ones who in a lot of cases won’t be around to see the impact of their decisions.

    All aboard the Pete/Amy joint ticket.

  22. Interesting discussion, however we should all fall into the ABT lane – anyone but trump.

    I like meher baba’s ‘feel good candidate’ description earlier on, for Buttigieg. If Macron, Blair, Trudeau and our very own Ruddster can win against the conservative establishment by being that nice guy in a suit, saying feel good platitudes – well bring it on.

  23. Bloomberg’s massive advertising campaign is enough to get him double digit support that prevents other centrists from winning primaries and caucuses. But it won’t be enough to put himself in a winning position. Most Democrats will be uncomfortable about a candidate who brazenly buys the nomination. Most Democrats don’t agree with Bloomberg’s conservative record on law and order and the Iraq war. Most Democrats are concerned about extreme inequality of wealth and don’t want an embodiment of that problem to be their nominee.

    As Bernie continues to rack up wins in state after state, it is likely that voters will see him as the strongest candidate and jump on board. And even if he goes into the convention with a plurality rather than a majority of pledged delegates, he will win the nomination because any other outcome would not be accepted as legitimate by Democratic voters. How do you think voters would react to a convention that says, “Bernie fell short of a majority of pledged delegates in the first round, so instead we have nominated someone who fell short by an even bigger margin.” ? In what universe is that a legitimate outcome? Voters will expect the convention to nominate the candidate who got more voter support than anyone else. To do otherwise would depress Democratic turn-out in the general and cause the party to go backwards in the House, Senate, and state elections, in addition to losing the presidential election.

  24. Also, Buttegieg is not from the swamp – all the Senators + Biden and now Dotard himself – are the problem in Washington.

    Gridlock. Congress arguments. Owned by lobbyists. We need an outsider and a fresh face.

    Articulate. Tick.
    Veteran. Tick.
    Christian. Tick.
    Billionaire funded PACs. Tick.
    Gay. Meh.

    And I like that Pete is running ads in Nevada where he speaks in fluent Spanish. And his full court press applied in Iowa and NH is about to hit South Carolina

  25. Bernie or bust. Damn the consequences.

    If Bernie goes into the convention with – for arguments sake – say 30-35% of the pledged delegates, but two others each have 25-30% of the Pledges delegates with the remaining 15-20% Pledged to zombie candidates who have dropped out, then why would it be ‘illegimate’ for the two remaking candidates to combine to win? Why would it be ‘illegimate’ for the delegates for the zombie candidates to fall in line with someone other than Bernie? Especially if he’s not polling anywhere near 50% support from democrat voters as a whole. Particularly since at the end of the day, he ain’t a democrat. …

    You make little sense Nicholas, except to demonstrate again and again your intolerance and your authoritarian commissar streak.

  26. “Fun fact: I established the ‘Centre Unity for Albo’ Facebook page back in 2013 …”


    Ahh yes, Centre Unity, NSW Labor’s right faction. Sounds about right lol.

    Receiving your support and that of Eddie Obeid’s old faction must be why Albo claimed the Labor leadership in 2013.

  27. kirky:

    The idea of someone who is nearly 80 taking on one of the most stressful, demanding, and consequential jobs in the world should give anyone pause. I don’t know how we got to to the point where there Democratic race features not one, but *three* credible candidates who are that old. Trump’s already the oldest President in history, and he looks like a spring chicken in comparison to the retirement home trio.

    Jimmy Carter, who would know better than most just how demanding the presidency is, has said he thinks there should be an age limit:

    Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

    Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected.

    Biden is 76. Sanders is 78.

    “I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said with a laugh as he answered audience questions on Tuesday during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.”

  28. You know its cute when the people who couldn’t even win the Batman byelection get all high and mighty about electoral success.

    I am very much in the anyone but Trump lane, but I am also legitimately concerned that candidates like Bernie (Corbyn, the Greens etc) and with similar (dogmatic, insufferable) supporter bases to his, have been such extraordinary failures. I cant recall many recent wins for the firebrands. But perhaps he can buck the trend.

  29. “ The rest was fine, but this point doesn’t really wash. Trump ain’t a Republican, either. Didn’t stop him.”

    This point was only raised in relation to the scenario where Bernie only had a plurality of pledged delegates going into the convention.

    At the Republican convention, Trump stood astride the party as a colossus. A pissing colossus, but one that everybody bend the knee got … because he HAD the numbers. It would have been a different ballgame if he only turned up with say 30% of pledged delegates and say Cruz and Bush III still both in the hunt …

  30. Why the hell does Sanders bother to keep winning when he must know beyond any shadow of doubt he can’t possibly win? (According to to those here that own those new 4k UltraHD crystal balls anyway).

  31. Why are we wasting our time talking about all these pretenders in the Dem race? Winfrey and Obied are the leadership team America needs!

    Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!

  32. An interesting tidbit for all the Klobuchar Klan:

    But getting to know Klobuchar means learning unsavory things about her time as a prosecutor, such as the possible railroading job she and the police did on the probably innocent 16-year-old Myon Burrell, accused of murder. She faced harsh questions about that case on The View, and she handled it awkwardly and inelegantly, trying to deflect blame on to “structural racism”. So as much fun as it has been to watch her rain righteous hellfire on Pete Buttigieg with the purest form of hatred I’ve ever seen in a campaign, this story is not going away, nor should it. But if Klobuchar can’t even acknowledge let alone explain past abuses of power, nor show humility or candor when asked about the issue, surely that helps us to get to know her a bit better, too.

    She has some fairly serious skeletons in her closet that will not appeal to African American voters.

  33. Bellwether
    “According to to those here that own those new 4k UltraHD crystal balls anyway”

    I don’t own a crystal ball. But I have read a history book. Sanders 2020 would be McGovern 1972 all over again.

  34. This is a worry. Generally speaking young people don’t turn out to vote like the older people do. I saw a graph recently of the vote turnout stratified by age group going back to the days of Reagan, and the high water mark for youth turnout was Obama in 2008, followed by (I think) Bush Snr in 1988. So far turnout isn’t indicating anything like the Obama election in 2008, so there’s no reason with the results from Iowa and NH to think voter turnout for the Democrats is going to be similar this time around.

    Sanders was projected as the winner, but the margin of his victory was modest (less than 2 percent). As in Iowa, he did not juice the turnout with an influx of new voters as he promised. The youngest voters made up 12 percent on Tuesday compared with 19 percent in 2016. The Democratic establishment has panicked at the prospect of a Sanders win, but he now looks like a vulnerable front-runner, with well over half of his support coming from voters 18 to 29 and more than half coming from “very liberal” voters. If he was looking to expand beyond his traditional base, he did not do it. He actually got a larger share of repeat voters than first-time voters.

    With the electorate heavily skewed in favor of electability (60 percent) rather than agreement on the issues, and about half the voters finding Sanders too liberal, there is reason to believe voters have become wary of Sanders as the standard bearer in a must-win election. His base of support seems not to have grown significantly from the start of the race.

    But some promising-ish news:

    Among the most striking aspects of the contest, the vote-share of the moderate candidates’ (Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar) came in at more than 50 percent, swamping that of progressives Sanders and Warren, who together accounted for less than 40 percent of the vote. Here is yet another sign that Democrats are giving careful consideration to winning an election, not merely making a statement. That might be the best news of all for Americans angst-ridden about a possible second Trump term.

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