New Hampshire Primary 2020: Sanders Declares Victory

Bernie Sanders New Hampshire Primary
Photo credit Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images
By WCBS Newsradio 880

CONCORD, N.H. (WCBS 880) — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won the New Hampshire primary.

After a tight race, Sanders came out on top with over 69,000 votes in the first-in-the-nation Democratic primary. In second place was former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg followed by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

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Shortly after a number of outlets began to call the race, Sanders took to Twitter to declare his victory. 

"We are going to unite together and defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country," he told a cheering crowd of supporters in Manchester. "The reason I believe we are going to win is that we have an unprecedented grassroots movement from coast to coast of millions of people. The reason that we are going to win is that we are putting together an unprecedented multi-generational, multi-racial political movement. And this is a movement from coast to coast, which is demanding that we finally have an economy and a government that works for all of us, not wealthy campaign contributors."

CBS News estimates Sanders and Buttigieg will each win nine of the 24 delegates up for grabs.

A total of eight candidates had been vying for votes: Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer and former tech executive Andrew Yang — who decided to drop out of the race as polls closed.

Michael Bennet, a 55-year-old senator from Colorado who entered the race in late April, also dropped out during the evening, after failing to stand out in the crowded Democratic field.

Despite falling short, Klobuchar sounded confident when she addressed supporters as results continued to come in.

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

She firmly stated that she would be the person to defeat President Donald Trump in the general election.

Meanwhile, Warren vowed to continue her efforts in other states.

“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," Warren said.

At his election night event, Buttigieg didn't seem too upset by the loss and said he "admired" Sanders as a teenager.

"I respect him greatly to this day, and I congratulate him on his strong showing tonight," Buttigieg said.

Meanwhile, the night proved to be slightly disappointing for Biden, who did not attend any events in New Hampshire. Instead, the 77-year-old had gone to South Carolina to get a head start on campaigning in the state before it holds the second primary in a number of days.

“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 said.

Klobuchar surged in the race following a strong showing in the most recent debate.

"This is a state that Bernie Sanders won last time over Hillary Clinton," Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, said. "What we're seeing is people like Peter Buttigieg and tonight Amy Klobuchar as clearly gotten into the top tier she's broken away from the pack where Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are dropping almost out of sight."

The first votes in the race were cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, where residents often take part in a tradition of casting their votes at midnight. There was one confirmed vote for Buttigieg, one vote for Sanders and two write-in votes for Mike Bloomberg, who received an extra vote from a Republican, even though he does not appear in the New Hampshire ballot.

A new Quinnipiac University national poll had Bloomberg just a couple of points behind Biden, whose support among Democrats and independents has plummeted in the past two weeks.

Earlier, exit polling from CBS News found almost half of Democratic primary voters decided on the candidate in the last few days, with many saying the most recent debate was an important factor in making their choice.

Meanwhile, there seemed to be division among New Hampshire voters as to what kind of policies they want to adopt. About 40% say they want to return to Barack Obama’s policies, while 38% want to change to more liberal policies.

The most unifying factor seemed to be the desire to vote President Donald Trump out of office. More than 9 in 10 voters in the New Hampshire Democrats primary said they were unhappy with the Trump administration – including 81% who are angry. 

Many also said they prefer a nominee who can beat Trump, a sentiment that was often observed by WCBS 880’s Steve Burns on the road in the state. 

Voters in New Hampshire say the most important issue is health care, followed by climate change, income inequality and foreign policy.

President Donald Trump also made a stop in the Granite State on Monday night to rally supporters, and possibly sway some undecided Democrats to vote red.

During the rally, the president focused on his goals should he be elected again in 2020 and took time to criticize House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ripping up her copy of the State of the Union speech last week.

The crowd responded with chants of “Lock her up.”

Trump easily won New Hampshire's Republican primary against minimal opposition.