Sanders narrowly edges out Buttigieg in New Hampshire, cements Dem front-runners

Sanders claims victory in New Hampshire primary

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire’s presidential primary election Tuesday night, narrowly edging moderate rival Pete Buttigieg and scoring the first clear victory in the Democratic Party’s chaotic 2020 nomination fight.

In his win, the 78-year-old Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, beat back a strong challenger from the 38-year-old former Midwestern mayor -- two men representing different generations and wings of their party.

“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders declared.

Votes were still being tabulated when the Vermont senator addressed supporters Tuesday night. Early returns showed him with a narrow lead over Buttigieg.

Sanders, a democratic socialist, said his supporters form a coast-to-coast movement. He predicted he could usher in a new era of American politics that would demand that “we finally have an economy and a government that works for all of us, not wealthy campaign contributors.”

Buttigieg says he is ready to take his Democratic presidential campaign to the rest of the nation after a strong finish in New Hampshire.

“Now our campaign moves on to Nevada and South Carolina and across the country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step,” the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told a crowd of supporters.

Buttigieg vowed to “end the era of Donald Trump,” while keeping up pressure on Sanders, who he said was taking a “my-way-or-the-highway approach.” He also tweaked the surging Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who finished in third place.

Elizabeth Warren finished a distant fourth, while Joe Biden came in fifth. They were on track to finish with zero delegates from the state.

The significance of Sanders’ win was matched only perhaps by the struggle of Biden, who spent most of the last year as the Democratic national front-runner but fled New Hampshire hours before polls closed, anticipating a bad finish.

Andrew Yang suspends presidential campaign

Looking past New Hampshire, Joe Biden is telling voters not to count him out because minority voters haven't yet weighed in on the race.

Biden said Tuesday in South Carolina: “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 has had lackluster showings in the first two voting states and is now hinging his campaign on his support among minority voters in the next two primary states, Nevada and South Carolina.

"You can't be the Democratic nominee, you can't win a general election as a Democrat, unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters," Biden said.

The former vice president left New Hampshire before voting wrapped up Tuesday to head to South Carolina, While it's the fourth state to vote in the Democratic primary contest, it's the first where black voters make up a majority of the electorate, and it's seen as Biden's to lose.

On Tuesday night, Biden said to the black community that Democrats “don’t listen enough,” but he added, “I’ve never not listened to you.”

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren addressed her New Hampshire supporters without waiting for results in the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.

The Massachusetts senator took the stage at her party near the airport in Manchester barely 20 minutes after polls closed in some areas Tuesday. She spoke for 15 minutes, then had attendees line up for her famous “selfie” line.

Warren said that both Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg had “strong nights” and congratulated her “friend and colleague” Amy Klobuchar for how wrong political pundits are “when they count us out.”

She says Sanders and Buttigieg are “both great candidates.” She says, “I respect them both, but the fight between factions in our party has taken a sharp turn in recent weeks."

Warren calls herself the best candidate to unite the Democratic Party, adding, “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.”

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar says she has redefined the word “grit” and beaten the odds once again in New Hampshire.

Speaking to supporters in Concord on Tuesday night, the Minnesota senator thanked New Hampshire voters before turning her focus to a broader audience. “Hello, America, I’m Amy Klobuchar, and I will beat Donald Trump,” she said.

After lagging in the polls for much of the year and finishing fifth in Iowa, Klobuchar gained momentum in the days before the New Hampshire primary in part because of a strong debate performance Friday night.

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

The results were culling the Democratic field. Andrew Yang has dropped out, and so has Michael Bennet.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won the votes of a tiny New Hampshire community - five registered voters - that barely hung onto its tradition of being among the first to cast ballots in the presidential primary.

Dixville Notch residents cast their ballots just after the stroke of midnight. Bloomberg received three write-in votes, one in the Republican primary and two from Democrats. The remaining votes went to former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The small community has been in the spotlight for nearly 60 years for casting votes just after midnight in the country’s first presidential primary and in November general elections. Two other areas, Hart’s Location and Millsfield, offer midnight voting in New Hampshire.

Late-nighters or early risers in two other locations gave Sen. Amy Klobuchar an early lead, with a total of eight votes. She got six from the community of Hart’s Location, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with four, Andrew Yang with three and Sanders with two.

Steyer, Biden and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard each got one vote.

Klobuchar picked up two more votes in Millsfield, followed by one each for Sanders, Biden and Buttigieg.

President Donald Trump easily won the Republican primary against token opposition and will take on the Democratic national winner in November.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. Gray Media Group, Inc. contributed to the report. All rights reserved.