Current Affairs

Sanders steals the show in New Hampshire as former front-runners stumble

Bernie Sanders looks set to win the New Hampshire primary after 97% of votes were counted in the Granite state. Sanders edged out Pete Buttigieg to claim victory, whilst Amy Klobuchar beat former front-runners Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden to third place.

Sanders, a Senator from Vermont since 2007, received 25.9% of the votes counted. He beat Buttigieg to claim top spot, but the pair both solidified their status as the leaders in the nomination race. The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, secured 24.4% of the vote. Klobuchar, a Senator from Minnesota, converted a strong debate performance in the state to help her finish third on 19.8%, whilst Warren and Biden both failed to top 10% of the votes, meaning they both failed to cross the 15% threshold required to win delegates in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, other candidates dropped out to narrow the race. Andrew Yang had gained notoriety as a prominent Asian American in the race and with his innovative “Freedom Dividend”, a UBI policy to give $12,000 per annum to every American adult. Yang and Michael Bennet, a Senator from Colorado, dropped out on Tuesday.

Joe Biden abandoned a New Hampshire rally to fly to South Carolina, where his campaign hopes African-American voters will reinvigorate his candidacy in the primary on February 29th. Polling from FiveThirtyEight places Biden in a clear lead in South Carolina. Bernie Sanders is predicted to come second, whilst billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg will make late entries into the race; Steyer is polled third and Bloomberg fifth, behind Warren but ahead of Buttigieg polling last. Both Biden and Elizabeth Warren had a disappointing result in New Hampshire, but the Warren campaign was quick to point out that still 98% of delegates are up for grabs.

As Mr Biden told supporters in South Carolina, “The fight to end Donald Trump’s presidency is just beginning.” The Nevada caucus is on February 22nd and the South Carolina primary is on February 29th.