Sen. Bernie Sanders will win the New Hampshire primary, according to projections from several news organizations, positioning him to claim frontrunner status for the Democratic nomination.
With more than 90% of the ballots counted, Sanders held a 1.6-point lead over Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The two candidates topped the Democratic field for the second time in eight days.
In a speech to supporters, Sanders thanked the crowd for a “great victory.”
“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders said. “We’re going to Nevada, we’re going to South Carolina. We’re going to win those states as well.”
Drawing an implicit contrast with Sanders, Buttigieg told his supporters that he is uniquely capable of picking up new allies as the primary goes on.
“It is a coalition of addition, not subtraction,” Buttigieg said.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who had finished fifth in Iowa, surged to a strong third-place showing on Tuesday, fueled by a message of electability. In her speech, Klobuchar took the opportunity to introduce herself to the country, saying her campaign had been defined by “grit.”
“Hello, America, I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump,” she said. “While there are still ballots to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way.”
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who hails from neighboring Massachusetts, trailed in a distant fourth. In a speech to her supporters earlier in the evening, Warren criticized the “sharp turn” the campaign has taken in the last couple of weeks, and pitched herself as the unity candidate.
“We cannot afford to fall into factions,” Warren said. “We can’t afford to squander our collective power. We win when we come together.”
Former vice president Joe Biden, who was considered the frontrunner for most of 2019, is running a disappointing fifth. Biden had already left the state for South Carolina, where he told supporters that black and Latino voters have yet to have a chance to weigh in.
“When you hear all these pundits and experts and cable TV talkers talk about the race, tell them, ‘It ain’t over man. We’re just getting started. Our votes count too,'” Biden said. “You can’t be the Democratic nominee and you can’t win a general election as a Democrat unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters.”
Andrew Yang, a businessman who championed a universal basic income, announced Tuesday that he was dropping out of the race, as did Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.