|February 11, 2020: The New Hampshire Democratic and Republican presidential primaries take place Tuesday. Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday.
“Iowa, for all its problems counting its caucus results, also failed in its traditional role of winnowing the presidential field. For the first time since 2004, nobody dropped out after Iowa, sending the full field of Democratic candidates from that state on to New Hampshire. Now Granite State voters will be left with the responsibility of informing candidates which of them won’t go on — if only they’ll listen.”
– Reid J. Epstein and Adriana Ramic, The New York Times
New Hampshire Primary
New Hampshire celebrates its centennial anniversary of holding the first-in-the-nation presidential primary this year. Fifty Democratic and Republican candidates are on the ballot in the primary election on Tuesday. In the Democratic primary, 24 pledged delegates are at stake. On the Republican side, 22 delegates are available.
Three small towns continued the tradition of opening polls at midnight on Tuesday. The earliest of early returns: Michael Bloomberg won Dixville Notch with two write-in votes, and Amy Klobuchar won Hart’s Location with six votes and Millsfield with two votes.
Special guest analysis
Jim Ellis is a 35-year political veteran who now analyzes election data for major corporations, associations, and legislative advocacy firms. He is president of EllisInsight, LLC. We invited him to share analysis on the state of Texas in the 2020 election.
While Hawkeye State voters attended meetings in 1,765 precincts and submitted their first- and second-round ballots as instructed, the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) organizers experienced a major reporting system breakdown that delayed counting and verification for a period of days. At the end of the week, the IDP was able to release vote totals even though Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez was publicly calling for them to recount every ballot because of what he claimed were potential tabulation errors.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is being credited with the win because he scored a razor-thin 26.2 to 26.1% edge in State Delegate Equivalents even though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recorded 6,103 more votes than Buttigieg on the first ballot and 2,568 more on the second, or vote alignment, round. The quirk in the rules—which, much like the Electoral College, weighs larger population areas with a greater delegate composition—allowed the media to crown Buttigieg the winner, but it is Sanders who actually attracted the greater number of votes.
In the Iowa system, the caucus attendees vote for president, but in doing so they elect delegates to the Iowa Democratic Convention, which will be held June 13. At that time, the elected delegates will assign the state’s 41 Democratic National Convention delegates. The initial projection suggests that Buttigieg will receive 14 national delegates, Sanders 12, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) 8, former Vice President Joe Biden 6, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) one.
What we do know is that the five candidates advancing into New Hampshire with Iowa delegates are very much alive to compete for the nomination. On the outside, former New York City Michael Bloomberg appears as the sixth candidate with the financial ability to compete to the end, but it’s unclear as to whether he can amass anything close to a majority within the state delegate counts.
Perhaps the luckiest candidate in the Iowa field is Mr. Biden. His fourth-place finish with half the votes Sanders garnered was highly disappointing and well below expectations. With the Iowa vote now lacking credibility, however, he can escape, to a degree, from what would otherwise have been a potentially major momentum setback. A rebound in New Hampshire and then Nevada is now a must for his campaign.
The Iowa result, after more than a year of campaigning for these candidates, is anticlimactic and now endangers the state from continuing to have a prominent nomination position in future elections. Tonight’s New Hampshire primary could produce an equally tight finish. Considering the Iowa debacle, it looks like the campaign will now begin in earnest in the Granite State.
What We’re Reading
Flashback: February 11, 2016
The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Click here to learn more.