Sen. Bernie Sanders wins first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire

Sen. Bernie Sanders wins first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., smiles while speaking to supporters at a primary night election rally in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Senator Bernie Sanders is the projected winner of the New Hampshire Democratic primary, with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar not far behind. Soon after the polls closed Tuesday, two Democratic candidates, Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet, ended their 2020 bids.

Updates from the primary:

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11:45 p.m.

Progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders has won New Hampshire’s presidential primary election.

On Tuesday, the Vermont senator seized the first clear victory in the Democratic Party’s chaotic nomination fight despite a late charge from moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg, who finished second, and Amy Klobuchar, who finished third.

Elizabeth Warren finished a distant fourth, while Joe Biden came in fifth. They were on track to finish with zero delegates from the state.

The significance of Sanders’ win was matched only perhaps by the struggle of Biden, who spent most of the last year as the Democratic national front-runner but fled New Hampshire hours before polls closed, anticipating a bad finish.

Addressing supporters Tuesday night, Sanders claimed victory in New Hampshire and pledged that if he becomes the Democratic nominee, he will unite a fractured party to defeat President Donald Trump.

Biden's disappointment offered new opportunity for dueling Midwestern moderates, Klobuchar and Buttigieg.

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11:40 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is claiming victory in the New Hampshire presidential primary and pledging that if he becomes the Democratic nominee, he will unite a fractured party to defeat President Donald Trump.

Votes were still being tabulated when the Vermont senator addressed supporters Tuesday night. Early returns showed him with a narrow lead over rival Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The Associated Press has not called the race.

Sanders, a democratic socialist, said his supporters form a coast-to-coast movement. He predicted he could usher in a new era of American politics that would demand that “we finally have an economy and a government that works for all of us, not wealthy campaign contributors.”

Before Sanders took the stage, his supporters jeered Buttigieg with a chant, calling him “Wall Street Pete.” That’s a reference to some of Buttigieg’s wealthy patrons. Sanders' campaign, in contrast, is almost entirely funded by grassroots contributors who give small amounts online.

Sanders struck a conciliatory tone, lauding his rivals in the Democratic contest and vowing that “no matter who wins we are going to unite together and defeat the most dangerous president” in recent history.

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11:35 p.m.

A triumphant Pete Buttigieg says he is ready to take his Democratic presidential campaign to the rest of the nation after a strong finish in New Hampshire.

The audience in the gymnasium in Nashua was electric Tuesday as supporters chanted, “Boot-edge-edge, Boot-edge-edge!” — the familiar phonetic of the candidate's unusual name.

“Now our campaign moves on to Nevada and South Carolina and across the country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step,” the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told a crowd of supporters.

Buttigieg vowed to “end the era of Donald Trump,” while keeping up pressure on his top rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who he said was taking a “my-way-or-the-highway approach.” He also tweaked the surging Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who looked to finish in third place.

Klobuchar has been a sharp critic of Buttigieg’s, noting that he's served two terms as the mayor of a city of about 103,000, while she’s been elected statewide three times in Minnesota.

“I know that if you talk this way, you might be dismissed as a naive newcomer,” Buttigieg said. "But a fresh outlook is what makes new beginnings possible.”

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11 p.m.

The Trump campaign released a statement on the New Hampshire Democrat primary:

“The Democrat story in New Hampshire is the continued dominance of big government socialist policies and the success of their standard-bearer, Bernie Sanders. No matter which Democrat eventually emerges from their months-long dumpster fire of a primary process, we know the contrast will be President Trump’s record of accomplishment and optimistic view of the future versus Democrats and their socialist, job-killing agenda.”
Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager

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10:35 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is holding a narrow lead over Pete Buttigieg in early returns in the New Hampshire Democratic primary.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar was trailing in third place in Tuesday's results. It was an unexpectedly strong showing for Klobuchar, who surged following a standout debate performance on Friday.

With votes still coming in, the race was too early to call. But the night was disappointing for two prominent White House hopefuls. Former Vice President Joe Biden was competing with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for fourth place. Neither was on track to receive any delegates.

Two other Democratic candidates dropped out after polls closed in New Hampshire. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet ended their White House runs after disappointing finishes Tuesday.

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10:25 p.m.

Looking past New Hampshire, Joe Biden is telling voters not to count him out because minority voters haven't yet weighed in on the race.

Biden said Tuesday in South Carolina: “We just heard from the first two of the states ... where I come from, that's just the opening bell, not the closing bell."

Biden has had lackluster showings in the first two voting states and is now hinging his campaign on his support among minority voters in the next two primary states, Nevada and South Carolina.

"You can't be the Democratic nominee, you can't win a general election as a Democrat, unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters," Biden said.

The former vice president left New Hampshire before voting wrapped up Tuesday to head to South Carolina, While it's the fourth state to vote in the Democratic primary contest, it's the first where black voters make up a majority of the electorate, and it's seen as Biden's to lose.

On Tuesday night, Biden said to the black community that Democrats "don't listen enough," but he added, “I've never not listened to you.”

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10:15 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar says she has redefined the word “grit” and beaten the odds once again in New Hampshire.

Speaking to supporters in Concord on Tuesday night, the Minnesota senator thanked New Hampshire voters before turning her focus to a broader audience. “Hello, America, I’m Amy Klobuchar, and I will beat Donald Trump,” she said.

After lagging in the polls for much of the year and finishing fifth in Iowa, Klobuchar gained momentum in the days before the New Hampshire primary in part because of a strong debate performance Friday night.

“I came back and we delivered,” she said. “America deserves a president who is as resilient as her people.”

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10 p.m.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he will “reflect” on his lackluster showing in the New Hampshire primary and will soon “make some decisions” on the future of his Democratic presidential campaign.

Patrick, who entered the race in November, had said that a strong showing in New Hampshire was needed to have a credible shot at winning the nomination. But he trailed far behind the leading contenders in early election returns.

Patrick said Tuesday night: “We needed the winds from New Hampshire at our back to carry us on in this campaign.”

Although the final results are not in, Patrick said he would consult with his wife and “make some decisions” Wednesday morning.

He also lamented media coverage of his campaign, which he said cemented the idea in the minds of potential supporters that he jumped in too late.

Despite being one of the latest Democrats to enter the race, Patrick disputed that he entered too late. But he said “the weight” of skeptical coverage “was in the way.”

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9:40 p.m.

After dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary race, Andrew Yang says that he felt his message resonated but that voters wanted someone with a “different profile that they had felt a higher degree of familiarity with and security with.”

Speaking to reporters Tuesday night, Yang insisted his central campaign promise of universal basic income that would give every American adult $1,000 per month would continue on.

Yang declined to endorse any specific Democratic candidate, saying he would get behind anyone who came out in support of the universal basic income and made it a top priority in their administration.

Yang says he hopes his campaign’s legacy is that he “focused on the problems that got Donald Trump elected rather than Trump’s actions day to day” and talked to voters about the “problems they see around them on the ground and not in terms of political talking points.”

“The fact is that Americans feel that many politicians haven’t been up to the challenge of addressing the problems we see around us,” he said. “They were hungry for a different type of conversation, a different set of solutions, a different form of leadership.”

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9:30 p.m.

A pair of Joe Biden surrogates tried their best to mask a disappointing night for the absent Democratic presidential candidate at his campaign’s New Hampshire watch party.

Biden originally planned to attend, but his campaign announced late Tuesday morning that that he would instead hold an event in South Carolina.

That left former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, to take his place.

Biden Owens said this was "the very beginning of a long marathon to the nomination. And we're ready to go the distance."

"While the results don't seem to be what we hoped, we're going to take our campaign to every corner of this country," Biden Owens said.

Appearing to the audience via live stream, Biden vowed to return to defeat President Donald Trump in November’s general election.

"I do love New Hampshire," Biden said. “And I mean it.”

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8:50 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has addressed her New Hampshire supporters without waiting for results in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.

The Massachusetts senator took the stage at her party near the airport in Manchester barely 20 minutes after polls closed in some areas Tuesday. She spoke for 15 minutes, then had attendees line up for her famous “selfie” line.

Warren said that both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg had “strong nights” and congratulated her “friend and colleague” Amy Klobuchar for how wrong political pundits are “when they count us out.”

She says Sanders and Buttigieg are “both great candidates.” She says, “I respect them both, but the fight between factions in our party has taken a sharp turn in recent weeks."

Warren calls herself the best candidate to unite the Democratic Party, adding, “The fight we’re in, the fight to save our democracy, is an uphill battle, but our campaign is built for the long haul and we’re just getting started.”

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8:40 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet have dropped out of the 2020 race after disappointing finishes in New Hampshire.

The two made their announcements separately Tuesday night shortly after polls closed in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Yang is an entrepreneur who created buzz for his presidential campaign by championing a universal basic income that would give every American adult $1,000 per month. Bennet is a Colorado senator who staked his bid largely on trying to win New Hampshire but failed to gain traction.

The Democratic field has now dropped to single digits. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg finished in a near tie for the lead in Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses last week.

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8 p.m.

President Donald Trump has easily won New Hampshire’s Republican primary against minimal opposition.

Trump was declared the winner as polls in the state closed Tuesday night.

Four years ago, the state offered Trump his first primary victory and helped catapult him to the White House. But Trump narrowly lost New Hampshire to Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November general election.

Trump has benefited from strong support from the Republican Party since then, and his campaign has worked to seize control of the nominating process to turn August’s GOP convention into a “four-day infomercial” for his campaign.

The president held a rally in Manchester on Monday night and deployed surrogates throughout the state Tuesday. It was an effort both to energize supporters and to do a test-run of the campaign’s organizing efforts for November. New Hampshire is viewed as the most likely Clinton state to swing toward Trump.

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7 p.m.

Polls have begun closing in New Hampshire for the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Bernie Sanders is fighting for Democratic front-runner status Tuesday. The party is hoping the primary will bring some clarity to a presidential nomination fight that has so far been marred by dysfunction and doubt.

Polls started closing at 7 p.m. in some areas of the state and will close at 8 p.m. in other parts.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is hoping to seize the backing of his party’s establishment with a strong finish, while former Vice President Joe Biden looks to avert political disaster. He left the state for South Carolina before polls closed.

By night’s end, New Hampshire could begin culling the Democrats’ unwieldy 2020 class, which still features nearly a dozen candidates.

Vice President Joe Biden announced that he will be leaving New Hampshire on Tuesday to go to South Carolina in advance of the state’s primary election on February 29. The former VP said in a press release that he plans to address supporters in the Granite State via livestream at some point Tuesday evening.

“I have enjoyed traveling across New Hampshire, speaking to countless Granite Staters who understand we are in a battle for the soul of this nation and I have relished fighting for each and every one of their votes. I am looking forward to traveling to South Carolina this evening and Nevada later this week to carry our campaign forward and hear from the diverse voters whose voices must be heard in this process to select the Democratic nominee who will unite this country to defeat Donald Trump.”
Joe Biden

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, despite not being on New Hampshire’s ballot won the votes of Dixville Notch, a small community in northern New Hampshire that is traditionally among the first towns in the state to cast their ballots in the presidential primary.

Out of five potential votes in the town, Bloomberg received three via write-in. The other two went to Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The primary comes just over a week after the Iowa caucuses, which were marred in controversy after technical issues with a new app meant to help with the vote count and reporting inconsistencies that led to a call for recanvassing from multiple candidates.

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