Bernie Sanders solidifies his Democratic frontrunner status after New Hampshire primary win
Joe Biden, the former Vice President who was once the frontrunner in the Democratic race, limped to his second consecutive poor finish after placing fourth in Iowa.
Senator Bernie Sanders, the septuagenarian Jewish democratic socialist, has started to look like a serious contender to take on Donald Trump in 2020 as he won New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, dealing a setback to moderate rival Joe Biden, who appeared likely to finish a disappointing fifth.
Now the race for the White House moves to Nevada (February 22) and South Carolina (February 29) in the coming weeks.
Sanders, a progressive senator from neighboring Vermont, fended off attacks from rivals who warned his far-left views would lead the party to defeat in the November 3 election against Republican President Trump.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of New Hampshire for a great victory tonight,” Sanders told supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire.
"With victories behind us, popular vote in Iowa and victory here tonight, we’re going to Nevada, we’re going to South Carolina, we’re going to win those states," Sanders said. He was joined on stage by his extended family.
"Tonight I want to take my opportunity to express my appreciation and respect for all of the candidates we ran against, and what I can tell you, with absolute certainty and I know I speak for every one of the Democratic candidates is that no matter who wins… we are going to unite together and we are going to defeat the most dangerous President in modern history," he added.
Sanders’ campaign promises
He wants to remake the American health care system, end public college tuition and give workers partial ownership stakes in the companies they work for.
He also seeks to raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans; upping the minimum wage.
What Trump has said about Sanders?
"Bernie is crazy, but Bernie has got a lot more energy than (Joe) Biden, so you never know." The President posted a series of tweets about the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Take a look:
A lot of Democrat dropouts tonight, very low political I.Q. https://t.co/1fZmJOifLo— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Bootedgeedge (Buttigieg) is doing pretty well tonight. Giving Crazy Bernie a run for his money. Very interesting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to as Pocahontas, is having a really bad night. I think she is sending signals that she wants out. Calling for unity is her way of getting there, going home, and having a “nice cold beer” with her husband!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Trump again lashed out at "fake news media", saying:
The Fake News Media is looking hard for the Big Democrat Story, but there is nothing too fabulous. Wouldn’t a big story be that I got more New Hampshire Primary Votes than any incumbent president, in either party, in the history of that Great State? Not an insignificant fact!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2020
Moderate Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was in second place 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.
It was also a good night for Senator Amy Klobuchar, who rode a wave of momentum from a strong debate on Friday into an apparent third-place finish.
Biden, the former Vice President who was once the frontrunner 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.
"It ain't over, man. It's just getting started," Biden told supporters in South Carolina.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive ally of Sanders who was considered a favorite in New Hampshire three months ago, also had a bad night. She finished fourth, and also will face questions about her continued viability.
The results began to narrow the field of Democrats seeking the right to take on Trump, with businessman Andrew Yang and Senator Michael Bennet dropping out after it became clear they would finish well out of the running.