Chris Cillizza's winners and losers in the New Hampshire primary

Article Image

Sen. Bernie Sanders said his victory in New Hampshire was the beginning of the end for President Donald Trump, as fellow Democratic candidates Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet dropped out of the race.

Posted: Feb 12, 2020 10:50 AM
Updated: Feb 12, 2020 10:50 AM

The New Hampshire primary is now behind us -- and the 2020 field leaves the Granite State smaller than it entered, with Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet ending their campaigns on Tuesday night after polls closed.

Below the best (and worst) from the night that was.

WINNERS

* Bernie Sanders: The Vermont democratic socialist is the new front-runner for the Democratic nomination. That is the reality the Democratic Party will wake up to post-New Hampshire. Now, to be clear, neither Iowa nor New Hampshire are broadly indicative of the Democratic Party nationally -- which means that things can and will change once Nevada, South Carolina and the Super Tuesday states begin to vote. But as of today, there's simply no way to put anyone other than Sanders in the pole position. Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa (but lost the delegate count narrowly) and won a state everyone said he had to win in New Hampshire. He raised $25 million in January alone -- and there is no reason to believe his massive online fundraising base is going anywhere. And exit polling in New Hampshire shows that a clear majority of the state's primary voters support a government-run health care system and free tuition at public colleges -- two centerpieces of Sanders' campaign. Sanders, no matter what happens in the coming weeks and months, now seems as though he is going to be right there all the way through this nomination fight.

* Pete Buttigieg: Yes, I know about all of the former South Bend mayor's demonstrated struggles to date with minority voters. But trust me that Buttigieg and his team are absolutely thrilled to get to the point in this race where they have to start convincing voters in Nevada, South Carolina, Super Tuesday and beyond that his candidacy can speak to and for them. A former mayor of a town of 100,000 people has now finished first or second in the first two votes of the 2020 primary race. That's stunning. In their wildest dreams, the Buttigieg folks couldn't have imagined a much better first eight days of voting. If past is prologue, Buttigieg should get some momentum boost in Nevada and South Carolina. The real question is how big that bump is -- and whether Buttigieg can build on it over the next 11 days.

* Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator got the moment she has been waiting for since the start of the race on Tuesday night in New Hampshire. Not only did she finish in the top three, which was something of a surprise, but she was far closer to the top two than fourth and fifth. How? Because she closed extremely strongly with an electorate in which half -- HALF -- of the people said they made up their mind in the "last few days," according to exit polls. As important: Klobuchar found a message -- a return to empathy -- in her closing argument in last Friday's debate that has the real potential to continue to fuel her rise.

* Debates: For all of the people who scoff at debates (There's too many of them! They don't matter! Etc.), well, here's a number for you: 50%. That's the total, according to exits, of people who said the debate last Friday night in New Hampshire was either "the most important factor" (15%) or "an important factor" (36%) in deciding which candidate to vote for. Which means you better circle February 19 and February 25 on your calendars. That's when the ninth debate in Las Vegas and the 10th debate in Charleston are scheduled.

* New Hampshire: Good job, Granite State. The votes came in at a reasonable pace. There were no major issues with the vote tallies. Is that a relatively low bar? You bet it is! And New Hampshire can thank Iowa for that incredibly low bar.

* Donald Trump: The President's dream scenario is a drawn-out, nasty fight that goes all the way to the national convention this summer. And that scenario got more likely on Tuesday night -- with the field of candidates likely to stay in the race for weeks or months to come growing (Klobuchar is now in the mix, along with Sanders, Buttigieg, Biden, Warren and Michael Bloomberg). Trump, meanwhile, continues to run largely unopposed for the GOP nod -- collecting huge sums of cash and voter data along the way.

* Andrew Yang: How can I name a guy who ended his campaign Tuesday night a winner? Because Yang went from absolutely nowhere to a relevant player in the race even if he could never break into the first or second tier. How did he do it? By running a forward-looking, positive campaign on his own terms. No one in the race had more fun. No one was more him (or her)self. And my strong sense is that Yang isn't done with this politics thing.

LOSERS

* Joe Biden: When the former vice president left New Hampshire prior to the polls closing in the state on Tuesday, you knew things were going to be bad. But it's hard to imagine even the most pessimistic Biden backers could have envisioned what happened -- what looks like a fifth-place finish (and a total of zero delegates out of the state). That reality, coupled with Biden's fourth place in Iowa last week, is a stunning rejection of the race's longtime front-runner and the man who stood side-by-side with Barack Obama for eight years. It also means that Biden has run for president three times (1988, 2008 and 2020) and still has never won a single primary or caucus. Biden has insisted he will go on to Nevada's caucuses on February 22 and the South Carolina primary on February 29, where the electorate is much more diverse than in Iowa and New Hampshire. Sure. But momentum matters. And money follows momentum. Biden is absolutely dead in the water on both fronts.

* Elizabeth Warren: Don't forget that when the 2020 campaign began to form, Sanders and Warren were seen as the two front-runners in New Hampshire due to their regional connection to the state. It's a pretty long fall from there to where Warren finished on Tuesday night -- solidly in fourth place and with zero delegates. The Massachusetts senator spoke very early in the night, sensing that she needed to put this race behind her as soon as possible. But unlike even Biden, who can still cling to polling -- conducted before New Hampshire and Iowa -- that suggests he is very much in the mix in Nevada and South Carolina, Warren was depending heavily on a strong performance in these first two states. She didn't get even one. Warren pledged Tuesday night to continue on in the race. But the path is tough.

* Iowa: New Hampshire's competence makes the Iowa caucus debacle last week look even worse -- if that was even possible. While four years is a very long time, it's getting harder and harder for me to imagine that Iowa a) will have a caucus or b) will keep its coveted first-vote status come 2024.

* Twitter: Journalists and political types are on Twitter all the time. Given that, it's easy for those groups to believe the conversation on Twitter is the conversation. It is not. Just 1 in 10 New Hampshire primary voters said they were regular Twitter users -- numbers consistent with what we had in the Iowa exit poll. Just for kicks, Sanders was the clear favorite (31%) of regular Twitter users, followed by Buttigieg (19%) and Warren (15%).

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32078

Reported Deaths: 2004
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9268539
Lake3320168
Cass15826
Allen130966
St. Joseph120534
Hendricks113067
Hamilton111592
Johnson1086104
Elkhart105728
Madison58258
Porter49021
Bartholomew48133
Clark46138
LaPorte41522
Tippecanoe3753
Jackson3671
Howard36519
Delaware35735
Hancock32127
Shelby31521
Floyd31438
Boone28835
Morgan26224
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery23117
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19121
Noble18921
Harrison18721
Dubois1852
Greene16724
Warrick16426
Dearborn16421
Henry1619
Monroe16011
Vigo1477
Lawrence14423
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Kosciusko941
Carroll922
Daviess8216
Steuben802
Marshall761
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne715
Fayette684
LaGrange602
Jasper581
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay440
Randolph433
Jefferson411
Whitley402
Pulaski390
Clay391
Owen341
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
DeKalb311
Perry260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton251
Benton250
Wells240
Crawford230
Blackford211
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Spencer171
Posey170
Parke170
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0154

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 113195

Reported Deaths: 4923
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook738193354
Lake7767250
DuPage7290340
Kane5866153
Will5238258
Winnebago199351
McHenry145268
St. Clair101773
Kankakee80242
Kendall72719
Rock Island63922
Champaign5697
Madison54056
Boone40716
Sangamon33226
DeKalb3313
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21210
Stephenson1952
Ogle1922
Macon18819
Peoria1858
Clinton17816
Out of IL1771
Union1417
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13310
Iroquois1314
Unassigned1200
Coles1159
Warren1140
Jefferson10116
Knox950
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee761
Tazewell683
Cass670
Henry670
Williamson541
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin421
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas280
Jo Daviess270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Mercer150
Carroll132
Franklin120
Piatt120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Rockville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 65°
Casey
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Brazil
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Few Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 69°
No Major Changes
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events