Amy Klobuchar is the surprise of the night in the New Hampshire primary. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg had a strong night.
From the day she announced her run for president, Feb. 10, 2019, in true Minnesotan fashion, Klobuchar has been an underrated candidate despite her bipartisan political record.
“Klobuchar will need to figure out how to transfer her bipartisan support in Minnesota and the Senate to bipartisan support across the country. Minnesota is a political microcosm of the United States, with the democratic majority living in the cities and the Republican minority spread across the heartland. Many Minnesotans see her as the candidate most likely to appeal to moderate Republicans. They hope she can bring back voters from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, key states in Trump’s 2016 victory.” wrote Kyla Glaraton of the Pavlovic Today
Emerging strong in New Hampshire, it looks like Klobuchar has figured out how to carve out her path through the 2020 Election.
“Hello America, I am Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump,” Klobuchar addressed supporters in New Hampshire. She was happy with her performance and she had every reason to be. New Hampshire’s performance is allowing her to take campaign to Nevada and South Carolina, a development that was not in the predictions of the pundits and analysts.
As the votes came in fairly quickly in comparison to a fiasco in Iowa last week, Bernie Sanders was in the narrow lead. The progressive contender, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, has been found good results both in Iowa and New Hampshire even though his party proclaimed the former VP Joe Biden the front runner.
Senator Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa and, with the win in New Hampshire, he is positioning himself for the DNC nomination. Still, the establishment and financiers will drag their feet to recognize Bernie’s victories toward nomination. The narrative that the establishment is pushing forward is that Iowa and New Hampshire do not matter, but they are only saying that because Biden did not meet their expectations in those states. Proclaiming victory from his campaign headquarters in Manchester, NH to loud cheers of his supporters, Bernie Sanders did not hide his joy and excitement. He thanked the volunteers and said that “this victory here is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump”. Sanders expressed appreciation for all other Democratic candidates and said that “ No matter who wins and we certainly hope it will be us, we will unite together and defeat the most dangerous president in this country.” Sanders’ main political idea is to create a system that works for everyone and he believes that he is going to win as his “agenda appeals to those in need.”
Pete Buttigieg came in second, signaling that centrist voters prefer a fresh talent in politics although the biggest concern with him is the lack of appeal with black and minority voters. Is that subject to change? Possibly. Buttigieg has a capability to persuade voters in the final days before the vote, and this ability can help him going forward. New Hampshire is the center-right state and it comes at no surprise that voters found Buttigieg appealing.
As the election campaign moves forward, Buttigieg will have more room to focus on different groups of voters and reach out to them. The same challenge with polling low with African Americans Klobuchar will have to find a way to resolve. So far, Klobuchar was able to take some portion of Buttigieg’s votes as the two of them compete for the same group of voters.
In New Hampshire, Buttigieg came up to the stage thanking everyone, including competitors and his husband. He congratulated Sanders on his “strong showing tonight.” In his speech, Buttigieg said that his campaign showed that “we are here to stay.” Former Mayor of a small town in Indiana, he said that Trump is demolishing the credibility of America and that “we cannot have the four more years of Trump”. He brought up again a binary choice between the political revolution ( i.e. Sanders) and status quo (i.e. Biden) pointing out how both are unsustainable.
The truth of the early primaries has been harsh on Biden, whose campaign is on its last legs. Impeachment damaged Biden’s prospect in electability. He is betting on South Carolina and Nevada to push him forward, but for someone who has been proclaimed the strongest candidate with a political record and name recognition, it’s still likely that even those who wanted to vote for him won’t as he did badly in the first two states, New Hampshire and Iowa. In New Hampshire, Biden did not even get enough votes to get one delegate and his campaign left already for South Carolina. There, they are hoping to do well with black American voters as a path to the nomination.
Addressing the audience from South Carolina during the New Hampshire primary, Joe Biden said that people in Nevada are watching too and he praised their diversity. “The fight to end Donald Trump’s presidency is just beginning”. Biden is focusing on Super Tuesday and the support from African American and Latino communities.
What is surprising in the first two states of the primaries is that Warren is underperforming. Her campaign manager, Roger Lau issued a memo on Tuesday evening on what's next for Warren after New Hampshire’s election. They are hoping that Warren will increase her prospects in “the two of the most diverse contests in the country: Nevada and South Carolina.”
Addressing the audience in New Hampshire, Warren said that she wanted to highlight how pundits can be wrong when they discount women. She rightly warned about the problem of infighting within the party. “The question for us, Democrats, is whether it will be a long, bitter rehash of the same old divides in our party, or whether we can find another way.”
She said that “Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg are both great people and either of them would be a far better president than Donald Trump.”
Warren made sure to point out the necessity of having a huge turnout within the Democratic party in November and a nominee who can create the broadest coalition. “We can’t afford to fall into factions. We can’t afford to squander our collective power” she said. “We will win when we come together,” Warren said.
Trump weighed in from his Twitter account stating that Warren’s call for unity is a signal that she is planning to step out of the race.
Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is having a really bad night. I think she is sending signals that she wants out. Calling for unity is her way of getting there, going home, and having a “nice cold beer” with her husband!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
In not so great night for one-digit Democratic candidates, Andrew Yang suspended his campaign. “I am so proud of this campaign. Thank you to everyone who got us here”, he said on Twitter. Yang’s campaign was a positive one, full of innovative policy ideas such as freedom dividend. He broke the ceiling for Asian Americans and with his departure, an absence of racial diversity in the presidential race will be felt.
On the Republican side, Donal Trump won the New Hampshire Republican primary. Opposition against him was minimal and he had a massive Keep America Great rally on the Eve of the New Hampshire primary. This strategy, he will likely apply to other states in order to show high turnout in arenas and in that way signal that he did not lose the support of the Republican party and his base.
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