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New Hampshire primary 2020: Recap and results

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, with Pete Buttigieg not far behind and an unexpectedly strong Amy Klobuchar in third. Follow analysis from Los Angeles Times journalists in New Hampshire.

After millions of dollars and thousands of hours spent on the campaign trail, the Democratic presidential race hit its first primary election — New Hampshire, the state that has launched the careers of several presidents and dashed the hopes of many also-rans.

Sen. Bernie Sanders won the primary Tuesday night, with former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg not far behind and an unexpectedly strong Sen. Amy Klobuchar in third. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden finished a distant fourth and fifth, respectively. And two candidates’ campaigns didn’t survive the night.

Read the news of the day and the analysis of what the results mean, from Times reporters Mark Z. Barabak, Caroline S. Engelmayer, Evan Halper, Janet Hook and Melanie Mason in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire primary results

Polls are closed in New Hampshire, the second test for the Democratic candidates competing to challenge President Trump. Follow along here to get the latest results as the come in.

Get updated results here >>>

Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary, narrowly beating Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Bernie Sanders eked out a narrow victory Tuesday in the New Hampshire primary, besting a pair of more moderate Midwestern rivals who together out-polled the champion of progressive Democrats on his New England home turf.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., finished just a few thousand votes shy of the senator from neighboring Vermont and ahead of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose strong showing was the biggest surprise of the night.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden were in single digits in fourth and fifth place, respectively, a weak showing that imperiled both their campaigns. Each vowed to fight on.

Well before the votes were counted, businessman Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet announced they were dropping out. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was expected to follow suit on Wednesday.

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Amy Klobuchar on her strong finish

My heart is full tonight.... we have beaten the odds every step of the way.

Amy Klobuchar on her strong third-place finish in the New Hampshire primary

Pete Buttigieg thanks supporters after his second-place finish

You asserted that famous independent streak, and thanks to you, a campaign that some said shouldn’t be here at all has shown that we are here to stay.

Pete Buttigieg after his second-place finish in the New Hampshire primary

Trump wins New Hampshire GOP primary, but long-shot William Weld gets 9% of the vote

President Trump speaks at a rally in Manchester, N.H., on Monday.
President Trump speaks at a rally in Manchester, N.H., on Monday.
(Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Trump overwhelmingly won New Hampshire’s GOP primary, but more than 12,000 votes went to a long-shot challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld.

With most of the vote in, Trump already had amassed more votes in the New Hampshire primary than any incumbent president in history.

Trump’s vote share was approaching the modern historical high for an incumbent president, 86.43% set by Ronald Reagan in 1984. Weld received about 9% of the vote of New Hampshire Republicans.

The outcome was a reflection of Trump’s strong support among Republicans and his campaign’s nearly 18-month effort to diminish any significant threats to his renomination.

Trump appeared in the state Monday evening ahead of the vote to energize Republicans and to inject some chaos into the Democratic race.

“The Fake News Media is looking hard for the Big Democrat Story, but there is nothing too fabulous,” Trump tweeted late Tuesday. “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!”

‘It ain’t over, man,’ Biden says in South Carolina after his disappointing New Hampshire finish

Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses supporters in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday. Biden skipped a primary night event in New Hampshire, where returns showed him heading for a disappointing finish.
(Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Vice President Joe Biden fled an election defeat in New Hampshire on Tuesday, returning to South Carolina hours before polls closed with a message for the experts and cable TV pundits who said his struggling campaign is finished.

“It ain’t over, man,” Biden said at his “launch party” near downtown Columbia as poll results showed him coming in fifth in the Granite State after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. With less than 10% of the vote, Biden was not on pace to win any delegates.

As primary results flooded in from the Granite State, Biden stood in front of South Carolina’s flag in a room decorated with signs saying “Fired Up Ready 4 Joe” and “Battle for the Soul of the Nation.”

“Tonight, I’ve just heard from the first two states, not all the nation,” he said. “Not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation. Not 10%. All right, that’s the opening bell. Not the closing bell. … Up till now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic Party — the African American community.”

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Deval Patrick says he will ‘reflect’ on poor showing

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick says he will “reflect” on his lackluster showing in the New Hampshire primary and will soon “make some decisions” on the future of his Democratic presidential campaign.

Patrick, who entered the race in November, had said that a strong showing in New Hampshire was needed to have a credible shot at winning the nomination. But he trailed far behind the leading contenders in early election returns.

Patrick said Tuesday night: “We needed the winds from New Hampshire at our back to carry us on in this campaign.”

Although the final results are not in, Patrick said he would consult with his wife and “make some decisions” Wednesday morning.

He also lamented media coverage of his campaign, which he said cemented the idea in the minds of potential supporters that he jumped in too late.

Despite being one of the latest Democrats to enter the race, Patrick disputed that he did so too late. But he said “the weight” of skeptical coverage “was in the way.”

Elizabeth Warren warns against factionalization

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was looking at a disappointing fourth-place finish in the New Hampshire primary, but tried to buoy her supporters at a party Tuesday night. And she warned that factionalism would hurt the Democratic Party.

“Rev. Jesse Jackson once said, ‘It takes two wings to fly.’ I think he’s right. Our campaign is best positioned to beat Donald Trump in November because we can unite our party.”

Elizabeth Warren

How did they pick? Recently undecided voters explain their choices

During the final days of campaigning in New Hampshire, the attendees at political events sorted into a few distinct groups: die-hard supporters of the featured candidate, political tourists from other states gawking at the spectacle, and undecided voters who were sincerely shopping around as the primary election neared.

Abby Shepherd, 22, was in the latter category. She checked out a Pete Buttigieg rally in Keene, where she lives, on Saturday, feeling torn between the former South Bend, Ind., mayor and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

At this point, I’m just hoping that when I get to the booth, the candidate will choose me. It’s like Ollivander’s wand — it chooses me,” she said at the time, referencing the wandmaker in the Harry Potter series.

Just before 6 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, she reported back her pick. It was Warren.

“Immediately after I filled out the bubble, I thought about the other candidates,” Shepherd wrote in a text message. “Not that I regret voting for her, but that I feel confident with her, Sanders, Buttigieg, even Klobuchar. I guess it’s nice to know that no matter which Democrat we pick, it’s going to be a good choice for the country’s future.”

Then she texted a follow-up: “Other than Biden lol.”

Alison and Scott Cummings also were on the fence when they attended a Buttigieg rally in Milford on Monday evening, after seeing Klobuchar the day before.

“We’ve lived here for 30 years, and this is the first time we took part in the whole process,” said Alison, a 60-year-old physical therapist, explaining that the couple were politically activated in response to President Trump.

She and her husband, who live in Bedford, said they debated on the best strategy for how to cast their vote. “Do we vote for who we think is surging or do we vote for who is ahead?” Alison asked.

The consensus was to pick “whoever is close to the top and surging,” said Scott, a 60-year-old prosthetist.

On Tuesday, Alison reported back their choices.

“Well, we split the vote — I voted for Amy, and Scott voted for Pete — we’d be happy with either,” Alison wrote in an email. “I’m hoping Pete gets a close second behind Bernie and Amy can take 3rd place which would give her a boost!”

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet quits Democratic presidential race

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet ended his presidential big on Tuesday
(David Zalubowski / AP)

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, who entered the Democratic presidential race as a long shot and never rose beyond also-ran status, ended his campaign Tuesday after the New Hampshire primary.

Bennet, 55, joined the contest relatively late, in May 2019, and offered little politically to stand apart in the sprawling field of contestants. There were nearly 20 other candidates in the race by the time he announced his bid, six of them fellow members of the U.S. Senate, and several staking themselves alongside Bennet on the right-hand side of the left-leaning field.

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Andrew Yang drops out of the presidential race

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, whose quixotic presidential campaign revolved around giving every adult U.S. citizen $1,000 per month, ended his bid for the White House on Tuesday after failing to garner much support in the New Hampshire primary.

The ability of the 45-year-old who has never held elected office to make it this far — outlasting far better-known politicians — was one of the surprises of the 2020 presidential campaign.

The lawyer turned businessman decided in late 2017 to run for president because he believes the government is not taking seriously how automation is going to disrupt the economy and eliminate millions of jobs. He proposed a form of universal basic income — the monthly stipend — to partly compensate for the job losses.

His views on automation, shared in February 2019 on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, YouTube and social media, started to attract a following and more exposure on television and the internet. His presentation — part data-driven descriptions of a dystopian future, part dry Gen-X-style witticisms, part optimistic earnestness — struck a chord among disaffected voters as well as former supporters of President Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Yang was clearly not a politician, and his supporters relished that. He signed bongs. He refused to wear a tie to debates. (Democratic rival and fellow Phillips Exeter Academy alum Tom Steyer gave him one for Christmas.) And Yang frequently joked about his Taiwanese heritage, saying that he was the opposite of Trump: “An Asian man who likes math.” The line drew laughs from supporters but cringes from some Asian Americans.

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Pete Buttigieg hits multiple polling places, ‘building a community’

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg greets supporters outside a polling station in Nashua, N.H., one of several voting sites he visited Tuesday.
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

After hitting polling places at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning, Pete Buttigieg was back at it for the post-work rush, stopping by a Bedford high school voting site.

He thanked a large contingent of campaign volunteers who had maintained a steady presence at this large polling site, positioned across an equally large collection of Trump supporters.

“We’re building a community here,” Buttigieg told his supporters as they chanted, “President Pete!” and “I believe that Pete will win!”

Tom and Deborah Hoople, Bedford residents and Buttigieg supporters, coordinated their stop at the polling place to catch a glimpse of, and score a handshake with, their favorite candidate.

“It’s been surreal, obviously, the last 3 1/2 years, and I think he would be the best candidate to go up against Trump,” said Deborah, 51.

Attention turns to turnout at polling places

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The turnout in Iowa, the first Democratic contest of 2020, was a letdown for many in the party — just a smidge above the 2016 turnout and far short of the record-breaking wave in 2008.

That makes the turnout figures in New Hampshire even more paramount, as Democrats try to assess if Iowa’s showing was simply a quirk of the caucuses or a symptom of a worrisome enthusiasm gap.

Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter projected confidence that the Granite State turnout wouldn’t disappoint. “New Hampshire is showing up,” said Shea-Porter, a Joe Biden supporter, at an event for the former vice president on Sunday.

“They know what’s at stake, and if they don’t, their friends and neighbors are telling them what’s at stake,” she said.

Still, longtime New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner revised down his estimate of projected turnout several days before the election.

A very anecdotal sample of polling places in New Hampshire showed high interest in the election, if not long lines.

At Memorial High School in Manchester, the after-work wave of voters came in a steady but orderly clip. Just under 2,700 ballots had been cast there by 5:20 p.m. Eastern — about half the number of registered voters in that ward of the city.

“The weather this morning may have kept some people away, because it was freezing drizzle,” said Bruce Hardy, the moderator of the polling place. “Now, it’s a last chance thing. If they don’t get out of their house and vote now, they won’t be able to.”

Crossing state lines to support their candidates

Zachary Kessin, a 46-year-old software developer, traveled to Manchester, N.H., from Massachusetts to support Pete Buttigieg.
(Caroline S. Engelmayer / For The Times)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — For months, presidential hopefuls have tried to win over New Hampshire voters, traveling throughout the state to try to attract new supporters.

But locals aren’t the only ones who have flocked to polling sites.

The election has also drawn residents of nearby states, who see the nation’s first primary as an opportunity to boost support for their candidates. Some traveled here in the hope of swaying local voters with last-minute hesitations.

Zachary Kessin, a 46-year-old software developer who lives in Framingham, Mass., stood outside the Parker-Varney School in Manchester hoisting a blue and yellow “Pete 2020" sign as voters cast their ballots.

He said he hoped to help the former South Bend, Ind., mayor’s chances by showing his support.

“I had today available,” he said. “I figured, you know, I could help by coming up to New Hampshire and holding a sign.”

Some members of the Local 103 IBEW, based in Boston, also traveled to New Hampshire to advocate for their candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden. They handed voters treats and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts as they made the case that Biden could defeat Trump in the general election.

“He’s had a long track record of supporting workers and families across the country,” said Joe Kelly, 39, an electrician. “This happens to be a very strong labor hold, and labor’s gonna come out for Biden, I think, in the New England region.”

This Republican is betting on Amy Klobuchar

Amy Muir is supporting Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
(Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

BEDFORD, N.H. — Amy Muir described her vote for a fellow Amy, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, as “strategic.”

“She has a better chance” than the other moderates she prefers, said Muir, 48. She said she was influenced by Klobuchar’s building buzz after her strong Friday night debate performance. After casting her vote, the stay-at-home mom picked up a case of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, on sale for charity at her Bedford polling place, for her boys at home.

Muir is an independent and is leaning toward voting Republican in November, but she said she could “definitely” be up for grabs with the right Democrat.

Voter voices: This Republican thought about voting in the Democratic primary, but Trump got his vote

Brian Burke says he likes "everything Donald Trump has actually done for us."
(Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

BEDFORD, N.H. — Brian Burke, a Republican from Bedford, briefly considered crossing party lines on Tuesday for his primary vote.

“I was going to vote for a Democrat because it seems like a more important race at this point,” said Burke, 51, “but I am a Republican and I do like everything Donald Trump has actually done for us.”

“I don’t like him as a person,” he hastened to add. Burke, who works in finance, said he cast his primary vote for Trump because he’s happy with how the economy is going. He said he’s been following the presidential campaign less this time around, partly because of all the partisan rancor.

“There’s just too much division on the Democratic side,” Burke said. “I actually don’t even like what’s been going on with the impeachment. I believe in the United States. So the reality is, I don’t really like what the Democrats are trying to do as far as just getting him out.”

Warren campaign cites rivals’ flaws in memo that lays out her path forward

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign released a memo Tuesday citing the flaws of her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination and laying out her path forward through the Super Tuesday states.

The memo comes after a third-place finish in Iowa and as the campaign prepares for a potential disappointing performance in the New Hampshire primary.

“No candidate has come close yet to receiving majority support among the Democratic primary electorate, and there is no candidate that has yet shown the ability to consolidate support,” campaign manager Roger Lau wrote in a memo sent to the news media. “We’ve built an organization to match what we expect to be a drawn-out contest to accumulate delegates everywhere.”

Although the candidate has largely avoided criticizing her rivals on the trail, Warren’s campaign picks apart each of the other major Democrats vying to be president.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a “ceiling” and is winning far less support than he did in his 2016 run, it says. Former Vice President Joe Biden is plummeting even among his staunchest supporters, and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg will have problems competing in diverse states, the memo argues.

Lau writes that former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will soon have to answer questions on the debate stage and has failed to do adequate district-level organizing for Super Tuesday, and that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar lacks the campaign infrastructure for a protracted bid.

The campaign manager wrote that if the early states deliver mixed results, ultimately only Biden, Sanders and Warren would be viable candidates come Super Tuesday, the March 3 voting date for more than a dozen states, including California.

“In that three-way race, Elizabeth Warren is the candidate with the highest potential ceiling of support and the one best positioned to unite the party and lead the Democratic ticket to defeat Donald Trump,” he wrote.

Voter voices: What about a Sanders-Klobuchar ticket?

New Hampshire voters
Registered nonpartisan voters Maurine and Sylvester Noveline cast their ballots for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.
(Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times)

HUDSON, N.H. — Bernie Sanders supporters tend to be wary of the party establishment.

But not 75-year-old Sylvester Novelline of Hudson. He wants to see Sanders lead the ticket and choose as his running mate the establishment-friendly politician who is one of the Vermonter’s fiercest rivals in the field.

“He’s the best candidate for the Democratic Party, and I would hope he would take someone like Amy Klobuchar as his vice president because she has a very good drawing,” said the Hudson resident.

“She’s coming up with the polls,” he said of the Minnesota senator. “I think she’d be a very good vice president; I think that ticket could beat Trump.”

He’s not concerned Sanders is too far to the left to unite the country?

“Everyone says he is a socialist, and he is next to communism,” Noveline said. “I look at Trump, and the entire Republican Congress voted to have sanctions on Russia and he vetoed it. He is closer to communism than Bernie is.”

Maurine Noveline, 74, who is an independent like her husband, also took a Democratic ballot to vote Sanders, even though she is skeptical that he could move his agenda through Congress.

“I like that he is forceful,” she said. “And he won’t take Social Security away.”

Polling stations and pancakes

Democratic candidates spread out across New Hampshire on Tuesday, the day of the first-in-the-nation primary, to greet voters at polling places and take part in media events.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visited a polling place in Manchester, shaking hands and posing for selfies.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet flipped flapjacks at the Red Arrow diner during an event put on by Sirius XM.

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang made a morning visit to a polling station in Keene. He thanked supporters standing out in the cold with his campaign signs.

Voter voices: Longtime fans of Pete Buttigieg explain, ‘A mayor has to produce’

MILFORD, N.H. — Many New Hampshire voters were agonizing over their vote until the last minute, but not John and Melissa Hall. They had been on the Pete Buttigieg bandwagon for most of this prolonged campaign season.

“I liked him from the start,” said Melissa, 47, who works in healthcare.

“I like his views. I like his momentum.”

The couple attended a Buttigieg rally in their hometown of Milford on Monday night, along with hundreds who packed a covered tennis court complex to see him speak.

“The momentum that’s been building over the last couple of months was really pretty amazing,” said John, a 49-year-old teacher.

“And then the showing in Iowa has been really something fun to watch.”

John rattled off a list of reasons why he’s supporting Buttigieg:

“He has that charismatic personality. He’s a veteran. He understands world affairs. He’s been a mayor, and not necessarily on the national scene. But there’s a lot of people who hide in the Senate and the House for their entire career. So at least a mayor has to produce.”

Politicians of all ideologies land in the same place: the Airport Diner

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The two families can hardly find a nice word to say about each other. Their politics clash. Their styles are incompatible. They each argue the other represents the worst of America.

But the Sanderses and the Trumps may have found one thing in common: They keep landing at the Airport Diner. The bustling, slightly kitchsy eatery styled like a ‘50s prop plane terminal is just down the road from the runway in Manchester; it has a menu that seems to run miles long and a list of dignitaries flowing through that may be even longer.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has hit the place three times already on this swing. It is where he stole off to after he stepped away from the debate stage late Friday night. He’s breakfasted there twice. One local who spotted Sanders in the morning remarked he is, indeed, as gruff as you’ve heard.

But luckily he was out on the campaign trail when the next celebrities cycled through on Monday night. President Trump’s eldest daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump, detoured into the joint on her way to her father’s big rally. Joining her were Vice President Mike Pence and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. That surely would have given the progressive Vermont senator heartburn.

It was a return trip for Ivanka Trump too.

“She and her family sat in a booth with our diner hats on and taken a picture and Instagrammed it four years ago,” said Erica Murphy, the communications director for the Common Man company, which owns the diner. (Could there be a better name to appeal to politicians running as populists?) “It was great that she remembered us. I assume that she was part of why they stopped in yesterday.”

By Tuesday afternoon, the political mood in the place had tilted back to the left, as progressive firebrand and activist Cornel West patiently waited in line to grab a table during the frenetic lunch rush.

What are the politics of the diner staff? They’d rather not say.

“Coffee Is Bipartisan,” reads the front of the T-shirt waitress Jen Folsom was wearing Tuesday. A ballot is emblazoned on the back of the shirt. Neither Republican nor Democrat is chosen. The check mark is alongside the choice: “Sweet Potato Fries.”

Voter voices: Trump ‘doing what he said he would do’

Jim Roebuck, 77, of Hudson, N.H.
Jim Roebuck, 77, of Hudson, N.H.
(Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times)

HUDSON, N.H. — President Trump had only token opposition on the ballot here in New Hampshire on Tuesday. But that didn’t stop Jim Roebuck from coming out to support him.

“He’s doing what he said he would do,” said Roebuck, a Hudson resident and registered Republican.

The 77-year-old retired silicon industry technician added, “I like what he has done with the economy.”

Voter voices: In Steyer vs. Yang, she picked Andrew Yang

Voter Dani Weng, 34, of Bedford, N.H.
(Mark Barabak /Los Angeles Times)

Dani Weng, 34, a bank employee in Bedford, N.H., had narrowed down her choice to entrepreneur Andrew Yang and billionaire political activist Tom Steyer. She settled on Yang.

He seems really smart. He knows what he’s talking about. He caught my attention when he said, ‘Not left, not right but forward.’ We get so caught up in politics, but what we have to do is move the country forward.

Dani Weng, 34

Thousands of New Hampshire doors are getting knocks today — what happens when voters answer?

NASHUA, N.H. — Nobody in New Hampshire knocks on more doors than the Bernie Sanders campaign. The thousands of volunteers made it to 150,000 homes on Saturday alone.

That is 1 of every 5 Democratic voters in New Hampshire getting a visit. In a single day.

Sanders script
The script that Sanders volunteers are using in trying to nudge voters to the polling station today.
(Evan Halper / Los Angeles Times)

On Tuesday, the canvassers were out in force for the last time here. Many of the volunteers come from New Hampshire, but Sanders enthusiasts also pour in by the busload from out of state.

They even come from far-flung places that can’t be reached by bus. There was a canvasser from Iceland in southern New Hampshire a few days ago, for example.

The door-knockers for the Vermont senator get a brief training but are mostly flying blind. An app points them to the homes the campaign is targeting, and enables them to record data from their voter exchanges that gets beamed back to central command.

And then there is the script designed to keep things on task.

The script Sanders volunteers trying to get out the vote today is focused on nudging voters out their house and to the polling station. No ride? No problem; the campaign will get you one.

Bernie Sanders greets supporters, says he’s hoping for a win

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Bernie Sanders hugged and shook hands with supporters outside a Manchester polling place as he awaited the results of the New Hampshire primary.

Sanders wouldn’t speculate as to whether he expected a “resounding” victory in Tuesday’s primary but said he was hoping for a win. He didn’t comment on former Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to essentially cede New Hampshire and travel to South Carolina later Tuesday.

Sanders said he was proud “that we have spoken to tens of thousands of people in New Hampshire.”

Supporters outside the polling place wished Sanders luck. One of those voters was Linda Bouldin, 63, who moved to New Hampshire last year.

She voted for Sanders in the 2016 Texas primary, she said.

“I never stopped loving him.”

The Sanders campaign? It’s like a Rembrandt painting, Cornel West says

Cornel West, Bernie Sanders' campaign co-chair and longtime racial justice scholar, made an appearance at a Nashua, N.H.-area field office where some 50 volunteers were preparing to go knock on doors.
Cornel West, Bernie Sanders’ campaign co-chair and longtime racial justice scholar, made an appearance at a Nashua, N.H.-area field office where some 50 volunteers were preparing to go knock on doors.
(Evan Halper/Los Angeles Times)

NASHUA, N.H. — Cornel West didn’t bring a script. He never does.

The Bernie Sanders campaign co-chair and longtime racial justice scholar and activist showed up at the Nashua-area Sanders field office where some 50 volunteers were preparing to go knock on doors. He launched into a riff that zagged from motivational to angry to defiant in the space of 12 minutes. It was the first of several such stops he would make Tuesday.

West compared the Sanders campaign to a Rembrandt painting.

“It’s hard to find more humanity on the canvas than Rembrandt. ‘The Jewish Bride.’ You all know ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son.’ All those great paintings. It’s very much about what this campaign is about: the deep human connection and wanting to be a force for good.”

West offered a bleak forecast for party harmony: “You know, we got the establishment of the Democratic Party that’s not treating my dear brother Bernie Sanders very well. We are going to have a serious battle along the way. And when we get to Milwaukee — whooo! The Holy Ghost is going to have to hold my reins. I might be a Christian, but I am not a pacifist.”

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Voter voices: Couple sick of political strife back Amy Klobuchar

Retirees and political independents Greg and Marilyn Swick took a Democratic ballot in Hudson, in the Boston suburbs. They both voted for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
(Evan Halper/Los Angeles Times)

HUDSON, N.H. — Greg and Marilyn Swick are tired of the political strife.

The retirees and political nonpartisans took a Democratic ballot in Hudson, which is in the Boston suburbs. They both voted for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Like Many New Hampshire voters, Marilyn Swick, 72, did not make up her mind until the moment she walked into her polling place, in this case a bustling community center.

“I just decided definitely today when I came in,” she said. “It was between Amy and Pete [Buttigieg]. She was a woman. I just decided that out of the two, she might be better nationwide.”

Greg Swick, 69, concurred.

“She’s a reasonable human being,” he said. “She’s got reasonable positions, and she can actually get something done. She’ll work with people as opposed to just creating more strife.”

Voter voices: This retiree liked Pete Buttigieg at first sight

Diane Bragdon
Diane Bragdon, a 69-year-old retiree in Goffstown, liked Mayor Pete Buttigieg from the moment she first saw him months ago.
(Mark Barabak/Los Angeles Times)

I like his fresh approach and his optimism. He’s positive — until recently — he doesn’t criticize other candidates’ views. He says, ‘Let me tell you what I’m going to do.’ I like that.

Retiree Diane Bragdon, 69, says of Pete Buttigieg

Voter voices: This Republican finds it impossible to back any Democratic candidates

Bill Handschumaker cast his primary vote for President Trump.
(Melanie Mason/Los Angeles Times)

Bill Handschumaker of Bedford cast his primary vote for President Trump — “a crazy Republican businessman who’s making the country better, he really is,” he said.

Handschumaker, a 68-year-old small-business man, said it was impossible to see any of the Democratic contenders getting his vote in November. His wife, though, is a Democrat.

“This morning, on the way to work, I said, ‘Honey, who can you possibly vote for?’ And she went, ‘I have no freakin’ clue,’” he said.

Klobuchar aims to defy expectations, and she hopes the cold will help

MANCHESTER, N.H. — As New Hampshire voters began casting their ballots this morning, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar visited a local polling place to address more than a dozen supporters.

The senator, whose popularity has steadily risen since a well-regarded debate performance on Friday, thanked them and urged them to convince others to back her.

Although two recent polls have her in third place, it remains unlikely that Klobuchar, who trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, will break into the top two spots, and it’s unclear whether she can secure a third-place finish.

Asked what she would consider a victory in New Hampshire, she said she hopes that “we have, based on where we were a week ago, defied expectations.”

Standing outside Webster Elementary School, the Klobuchar faithful — including supporters who had waited for hours in the 31-degree cold in a snow-covered landscape — sported green “Amy for America” signs and chanted, “I believe that she will win,” as the senator fielded questions from the press.

Amy Klobuchar has risen sharply in final polls in New Hampshire. After a disappointing finish in Iowa, she’s hoping for a comeback in New Hampshire.

For Roger Bleau and Joan Reische, both of Manchester, braving the cold to see Klobuchar was an easy choice.

“I think she’s the most electable,” Bleau said. “I just think she’s a really good person, very qualified.”

Reische agreed.

“She is so solid. She has a sense of humor about herself and the rest of us, which helps in this political climate. I just think she’s extremely bright. She’s quiet, steady,” Reische said. “And she’s accomplished stuff. It’s not just words.”

Still, Klobuchar’s get-out-the-vote operation — which is smaller than the efforts of the Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns — could pose a challenge as she tries to turn her recent momentum into a surprising primary showing.

But the Minnesotan — who first announced her presidential candidacy in the middle of a snowstorm — joked that today’s weather might work to her advantage.

“Our voters love the snow,” she said.

Engelmayer is a special correspondent.

Bloomberg, in 2015 audio, advocates police targeting minority neighborhoods

Michael Bloomberg talks to supporters in Detroit on Feb. 4.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — Michael R. Bloomberg is under fire for resurfaced comments in which he says the way to bring down homicide rates is to “put a lot of cops” in minority neighborhoods because that’s where “all the crime is.”

The billionaire and former New York mayor made the comments at a 2015 appearance at the Aspen Institute as part of an overall defense of his support for the controversial “stop and frisk” policing tactic that has been found to disproportionately affect minorities.

Bloomberg launched his Democratic presidential bid late last year with an apology for his support for the policy, and on Tuesday, after the comments resurfaced, he reiterated his apology and said his 2015 remarks did not “reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity.”

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Biden will head to friendlier South Carolina before New Hampshire’s votes are counted

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Faced with the prospect of a weak showing here, Joe Biden is bidding farewell to New Hampshire and jumping to what he considers much friendlier territory: South Carolina.

His campaign has announced that the former vice president and his wife, Jill, will appear at a South Carolina campaign launch Tuesday night, probably before New Hampshire’s votes are fully counted.

Biden and his supporters have long discounted the damage inflicted by back-to-back poor showings in the Iowa caucuses and, presumably, the New Hampshire primary, saying that he will rebound in the next two contests in states with more racially and ethnically diverse populations — Nevada’s caucuses Feb. 22 and South Carolina’s primary Feb. 29.

South Carolina is considered especially important to Biden’s viability as a candidate because more than 60% of the primary electorate is African American, and polls show Biden is a solid favorite among black voters. At least for now.

Biden and his wife will appear with Rep. Cedric Richmond, an African American Democrat from Louisiana who is co-chair of the Biden campaign. In lieu of attending an election watch party with their New Hampshire supporters, Joe and Jill Biden will address the Granite State crowd via livestream.

Hamlets kick off New Hampshire primary; Bloomberg wins five-resident town

Three remote hamlets in New Hampshire kicked off the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary just after midnight Tuesday, with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar winning the most Democratic votes so far and Michael R. Bloomberg winning a five-person hamlet even though he wasn’t on the ballot.

Klobuchar won eight votes, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont each won four votes. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang got three votes. Former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg each won two votes.

Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who entered the race after the deadline to qualify for the ballot, won three as a write-in candidate. One of the write-in votes was from a GOP voter, and all were from the five-person hamlet of Dixville Notch.

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Is New Hampshire Elizabeth Warren’s last stand?

Elizabeth Warren campaigns in New Hampshire.
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

CONCORD, N.H. — It was not supposed to be this way for Elizabeth Warren, slogging through the snow and bitter cold as she struggles to salvage her once-soaring campaign.

She had policy plans — tons of them — a strong political operation that had her atop polls, and the advantage of hailing from New Hampshire’s next-door neighbor, where the U.S. senator from Massachusetts won two statewide campaigns.

She was known and well-liked among Democrats in New Hampshire, where many commute south to jobs across the state line, get their news from Boston media and voters historically prefer presidential candidates who are their New England kin.

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Amy Klobuchar, rising in New Hampshire polls, hopes for a surprise ending

Sen. Amy Klobuchar visits a New Hampshire polling location.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar visits a New Hampshire polling location.
(Scott Eisen / Getty Images)

EXETER, N.H. — For months, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota touted herself as the candidate of the Midwest, hoping voters in Iowa would favor her — a senator from next door — over rivals who mostly come from the East.

That plan failed. Now, in one of the unexpected twists of the 2020 campaign, Klobuchar suddenly has reason to hope that her presidential bid might be rescued by voters in New England.

The Democratic senator, who has traveled through New Hampshire rallies at a frenetic pace in recent days, aims to build on momentum that began after a much-praised debate performance on Friday. After hoping for months for a breakout moment, she’s working to convince voters — and maybe herself — that she’s hit one.

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With hours to go, New Hampshire primary voters just can’t make up their minds

Yard signs for Democratic presidential candidates in Manchester, N.H.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LEBANON, N.H. — They’ve been pummeled by millions of dollars in TV ads, had repeated chances to see the major candidates up close, sometimes in neighbors’ living rooms, and they’ve watched debates play out on television. Now, they’re about to cast ballots — but for whom?

“I don’t know yet,” said Sarah Glass, a high school teacher from Hanover, N.H. “I’m super-undecided.”

Standing a few feet away, in a Lebanon high school gymnasium where Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was due to speak, Doreen Somers of Grantham acknowledged similar indecision.

“It’s tough. It’s exciting. But it’s tough.”

New Hampshire’s voters are, of course, notoriously picky — spoiled, some would say — as a result of the attention they get every four years. But this year’s indecision appears to go deeper, with many voters appearing almost paralyzed, not just by the breadth of choices they face, but by the weight of the stakes as they struggle to find a candidate they believe can beat President Trump.

“I had a stress dream the other night where Bernie Sanders was there,” said Anne Johnakin, a first-year student at Dartmouth College who turns 18 on primary day. Even in her dream she couldn’t make up her mind.

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What you need to know about the 2020 New Hampshire primary

Tuesday night marks 100 years of New Hampshire being the first-in-the-nation primary state. It will also, hopefully, be the same night the state announces who won its Democratic primary.

The Democratic field didn’t narrow after the Iowa caucuses, which were marred by technical issues and delayed results. The question is whether New Hampshire will provide more clarity. Sen. Bernie Sanders appears to have solidified support among liberals, but the moderate vote is still up for grabs.

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