Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders is accompanied by his wife Jane O’Meara Sanders as he arrives to speak at his New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, February 11, 2020. (Reuters)
MANCHESTER – Bernie Sanders narrowly won New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, solidifying his front-runner status in the White House race and dealing a setback to moderate rival Joe Biden, who finished in a disappointing fifth place.
Moderate Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, finished a close second after edging out Sanders in last week’s chaotic and disputed first nominating contest in Iowa. Both campaigns have asked for a partial recanvass of Iowa results.
Sanders, a progressive senator from neighbouring Vermont, prevailed after fending off attacks from rivals who warned his far-left views would lead the party to defeat in the November 3 election against Republican President Donald Trump.
“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders told supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Sanders’ supporters booed when Buttigieg’s post-primary speech was shown on screens, and chanted “Wall Street Pete”.
It was also a good night for Senator Amy Klobuchar, who rode a wave of momentum from a strong debate on Friday into a third-place finish.
Biden, the former vice president who was once the front-runner in the Democratic race, limped to his second consecutive poor finish after placing fourth in Iowa. He is certain to face growing questions about his campaign’s viability and his ability to consolidate moderate support against a surging Buttigieg and Klobuchar.
Biden fared poorly in two previous runs for president before winning election in 2008 as President Barack Obama’s No. 2. He hopes to stay afloat this time until the February 29 contest in South Carolina and a series of contests in other Southern states on Super Tuesday on March 3, where his support among African Americans will be a strength.
Without strong showings there, his race could be over. (Reuters)