Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. New Hampshire Primaries by the Numbers

 

With about 97% precincts are reporting on the New Hampshire primaries, Sanders is the winner, with Buttigieg a close second, and Klobuchar a surprisingly strong third. Here is my quick analysis of the numbers on the Democratic side. I’ll include an approximate projection of total votes, where relevant, assuming no surprises among the roughly 3% of precincts that have not yet reported.

1. Turnout is up

Democratic turnout is up about 20% in 2020 in NH, compared to 2016, from about 253,000 to about 300,000 (projected; about 290,000 so far). This may indicate increased enthusiasm among Democrats, though it may also be the result of a larger field. Clinton and Sanders were the only two major candidates in 2016, as Martin O’Malley, never a serious contender in any event, had already dropped out.

2. Bernie is way down

Sanders won NH in 2020, with 25.7% of the vote, but this masks his poor performance. I project his vote total to be 78,000 (75,733 thus far). Sanders won NH in 2016 with about 152,000 votes (about 60%).

Thus, Sanders lost about 74,000 votes among NH Democrats. This is doubtless the result of the larger field, but it indicates weak support.

Sanders was second in Iowa also, with 26.1%, almost the same percentage of the vote that he received in NH. (Note: earlier results indicated that Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa, but the latest results indicate that Buttigieg narrowly won.)

This suggests, to me, that Sanders is close to his ceiling of support in the 25-30% range. This seems counterintuitive because he did much better than this in 2016, but I suspect that many Democrats were casting protest votes against the uniquely unattractive Hillary Clinton in 2016. This year, they have more favorable alternatives.

3. Biden and Warren are in trouble

Warren is in fourth with 9.2%, and Biden is heading to a dreadful fifth-place finish with 8.4%. Warren was long expected to do relatively well in NH, as she is from neighboring Massachusetts, so I would have thought that she would appeal to New England Democrats. She did not. Biden’s poor performance may be catastrophic.

4. Klobuchar did extremely well

Klobuchar is heading for a strong third-place finish in NH, with 19.8% of the vote. She received only 12.3% in Iowa, which borders her home state of Minnesota and in which I would have expected her Midwestern appeal to have played well.

The obvious explanation is the collapse of the Biden campaign, which leaves centrist Democrats looking for an alternative.

5. Buttigieg did not surge

Buttigieg is in second in NH, with 24.4%. I mention him last because I think that this is the indication that he has reached his ceiling of popularity. He won Iowa, with 26.2% of the vote.

I find Buttigieg to be quite a chameleon. He has a Midwestern charm, is an excellent speaker, and I think that he has effectively disguised his radicalism. He comes across as a moderate at first glance, but I do not believe that this perception withstands scrutiny of his positions. Also, of course, he was a minor factor until his unexpectedly good performance in Iowa, so he has not been the target of negative ads by other candidates. We’ve already seen this changing since Iowa.

If Buttigieg was going to pick up votes from Biden, I would have expected him to have done so in NH. He did not.

There’s also the homosexuality factor, which has been strangely downplayed by the media. I think that this is going to hurt Buttigieg, especially among black voters. My expectation is that he will do very poorly in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday.

6. Comparisons to the pre-election polls

There were major shifts in the pre-election polls in NH. Here is the comparison between the RCP average of polls one month ago, the final pre-election average of polls, and the reported results — listed in order of who was leading on January 12:

Biden — 23.3% on Jan. 12 — 11.0% final pre-election — 8.4% actual result
Sanders — 22.3% on Jan. 12 — 28.7% final pre-election — 25.7% actual result
Warren — 17.0% on Jan. 12 — 11.0% final pre-election — 9.2% actual result
Buttigieg — 13.3% on Jan. 12 — 21.3% final pre-election — 24.4% actual result
Klobuchar — 5.0% on Jan. 12 — 11.7% final pre-election — 19.8% actual result

Klobuchar is the surging candidate, having roughly quadrupled her percentage over the last month. Buttigieg is second, almost doubling his percentage. Biden and Warren tanked, losing about 2/3 and 1/2 of their support, respectively. Sanders was roughly even.

7. Mini-Mike’s dilemma

Bloomberg was not on the ballot in NH or Iowa, and will not be on any ballot until Super Tuesday. He is surging in the national polls, which currently show (per RCP):

Sanders 23.6%
Biden 19.2%
Bloomberg 14.2%
Warren 12.4%
Buttigieg 10.6%
Klobuchar 4.6%

Bloomberg is up from just 6.0% a month ago (Jan. 12). Sanders and Klobuchar are flat in the national polls over the past 30 days, with Biden down sharply, Warren down somewhat, and Buttigieg up moderately.

Mini-Mike now faces a dilemma. I think that he’s going to go forward, and will likely split the moderate vote with Klobuchar (and with Buttigieg to a lesser extent), preventing the emergence of a clear alternative to Sanders.

8. Bernie will have a great summer and a terrible fall

I’m going to risk a prognostication, though obviously much may change. I think that Sanders is well-positioned to win the Democratic nomination. My prediction is that he will continue to get around 25-30% support in most primaries, perhaps rising a bit to the 30-35% range when additional candidates drop out.

At the moment, I think that Warren will withdraw pretty soon, and that Biden and Buttigieg will stay in through Super Tuesday and do poorly. Klobuchar and Bloomberg will split the moderate vote, allowing Sanders to accumulate the most delegates.

So I expect Bernie to have a terrific summer, accepting the Democratic nomination in mid-July. I then expect him to be shellacked by President Trump, in a landslide. Bernie may have a great fall, but only in the Humpty-Dumpty sense.

I do think that either Bloomberg or Klobuchar would do better, though I don’t think that either would beat the President.

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There are 17 comments.

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  1. JennaStocker Member

    Great data analysis. I hope you’re as accurate in your soothsaying “Bernie may have a great fall, but only in the Humpty-Dumpty sense.”

    • #1
    • February 12, 2020, at 10:56 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    I’ve got a feeling Buttigieg is going to be the VP nominee.

    • #2
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:00 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Stina Member

    Those polling results only solidify in my mind that early polling is propaganda and it starts representing reality closer to election day to maintain credibility.

    • #3
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:55 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    I’ve got a feeling Buttigieg is going to be the VP nominee.

    I doubt it. I think that the homosexuality thing is a real problem for him. My guess is that it will seriously alienate 25-30% of Democrat voters, and no one will want to take that chance.

    I previously predicted – a year ago – that Biden would be the nominee, and would pick Kamala Harris. I’m not sure who Sanders would pick. Warren or Klobuchar would be good possibilities for him.

    • #4
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:55 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. LibertyDefender Member

    I’m curious to learn if anyone will ever point out that the Iowa results are entirely unreliable. The process was opaque. I like the theory that despite the Iowa Dem Party chairman’s claim to the contrary, there is no paper trail. No complete one, at least: many locations relied entirely on the app and entered the vote totals directly. Then the app failed catastrophically so that no data was retained. The Iowa results ought to be regarded as unreliable.

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    I’ve got a feeling Buttigieg is going to be the VP nominee.

    I can’t imagine the Dem Party being so suicidal. It was after all a loyal Iowa Dem caucus attendee who objected after she learned that Buttigieg has a husband. Put them together as husband and husband on stage at the DNConvention hugging, kissing, even holding hands, I think will not play well to the voting public. At least not to those over say, 55 years old, an active voting demographic.

    • #5
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:56 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Thanks for the analysis. Buttigieg is a difficult one to figure. He’s Obama Lite – the nice young man who is clean and articulate, sounds moderate but whose actual policies are really Left (much more so than Obama in 2008) but he’s not quite as sharp as Obama or as good a politician. In conventional media analysis I often see him lumped in with Biden and Klobuchar as a moderate in contrast to Sanders/Warren on the far Left but his policies are closer to the latter. On the other hand, the far Left seems to intensely dislike him. Hard to see what his path is going forward.

    • #6
    • February 12, 2020, at 11:59 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. EODmom Coolidge

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    I’ve got a feeling Buttigieg is going to be the VP nominee.

    Unless it’s a woman. 

    • #7
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:18 PM PST
    • Like
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    If he makes it I will vote Bernie this year, there is no way that I will vote Bloomberg. The establishment hate Bernie and that is good enough for me.

    • #8
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:28 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    I’ve got a feeling Buttigieg is going to be the VP nominee.

    What would he add to the ticket as #2?

    • #9
    • February 12, 2020, at 12:59 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Hoyacon Member

    I’m not sure NH voters knew enough about Klobuchar to regard her as centrist, but they probably knew enough about her (i.e. her last name) to know she wasn’t any of the others. Her “success” is not a good sign for the Democrats since “none of the above” candidates reveal the hollow core of those who are “the above.”

    • #10
    • February 12, 2020, at 4:26 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Good analysis. I still think a brokered convention is as likely as a Bernie nomination. The Democrats are close to conceding the election. Sort of like Goldwater in 1964. They will try to save down ballot candidates but they have failed to create much in the way of a farm team. Obama devastated the down ballot and state elections. Nixon was criticized for ignoring the down ballot contests and I think this hurt him badly in 1974. Trump will not make that mistake. I suspect he will be campaigning in every district with a Democrat from 2018.

    • #11
    • February 12, 2020, at 4:43 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Amy raised her hand at the debate when asked if she had a problem with a socialist candidate, and was the only one to do so who wasn’t named Bernie or Liz. That one move likely got her a bunch of Hillary 2016 voters, who are still irate at Sanders and still want to play the gender card, but think Warren is too Bernie-like to fully back if there’s another option.

    But Klobuchar is probably the most charisma-challenged candidate left in the race, in a year when the Democrats seem to want a candidate with a fanatical hatred for Trump and/or his policies. Her lack of flash means going into Super Tuesday she’s really going to have to play up the gender identity politics thing to maintain traction, as more people focus on her persona if she’s now on the list of viable nominees.

    • #12
    • February 12, 2020, at 7:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. LibertyDefender Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    . . . Hillary 2016 voters, who are still irate at Sanders . . .

    This is an example of how I cannot understand Dem voters. By what rational basis is any Hillary supporter upset with Sanders?

    There is ample and irrefutable evidence that Hillary and the DNC conspired against Bernie, outside of the monolithic institutional support for Hillary by the superdelegates, who effectively held a controlling share of votes. Donna Brazile – at one point the DNC chairman, fed debate questions to Hillary. Podesta’s emails revealed more Hillary-favoring skullduggery. The DNC was insolvent, so Hillary underwrote them, with veto power over spending.

    And Bernie surrendered in advance! He announced on the debate stage that he was tired of the “damned emails.”

    He remained committed to his surrender by refusing to join as plaintiff any of the dozen or so federal lawsuits brought against the fraudulent conspiring DNC.

    What on earth would make Hillary supporters mad at Bernie? Is it just that he dared to run at all?

    • #13
    • February 13, 2020, at 5:12 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    . . . Hillary 2016 voters, who are still irate at Sanders . . .

    This is an example of how I cannot understand Dem voters. By what rational basis is any Hillary supporter upset with Sanders?

    There is ample and irrefutable evidence that Hillary and the DNC conspired against Bernie, outside of the monolithic institutional support for Hillary by the superdelegates, who effectively held a controlling share of votes. Donna Brazile – at one point the DNC chairman, fed debate questions to Hillary. Podesta’s emails revealed more Hillary-favoring skullduggery. The DNC was insolvent, so Hillary underwrote them, with veto power over spending.

    And Bernie surrendered in advance! He announced on the debate stage that he was tired of the “damned emails.”

    He remained committed to his surrender by refusing to join as plaintiff any of the dozen or so federal lawsuits brought against the fraudulent conspiring DNC.

    What on earth would make Hillary supporters mad at Bernie? Is it just that he dared to run at all?

    In the mind of Hillary and her supporters, you don’t challenge the Queen, who was by birthright entitled to be the Most Powerful Woman in the World, because she was the Smartest Woman in the Universe (why, even The New York Times said her brain was the size of a planet….)

    • #14
    • February 13, 2020, at 5:42 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    . . . Hillary 2016 voters, who are still irate at Sanders . . .

    This is an example of how I cannot understand Dem voters. By what rational basis is any Hillary supporter upset with Sanders?

    There is ample and irrefutable evidence that Hillary and the DNC conspired against Bernie, outside of the monolithic institutional support for Hillary by the superdelegates, who effectively held a controlling share of votes. Donna Brazile – at one point the DNC chairman, fed debate questions to Hillary. Podesta’s emails revealed more Hillary-favoring skullduggery. The DNC was insolvent, so Hillary underwrote them, with veto power over spending.

    And Bernie surrendered in advance! He announced on the debate stage that he was tired of the “damned emails.”

    He remained committed to his surrender by refusing to join as plaintiff any of the dozen or so federal lawsuits brought against the fraudulent conspiring DNC.

    What on earth would make Hillary supporters mad at Bernie? Is it just that he dared to run at all?

    This is such a strange argument. The Democratic Party is a voluntary association. The idea that the leadership of such an association can have no opinion, and no preference, as to the party’s choice of Presidential candidate is, to me, a very strange idea. The idea that the leadership of a political party, faced with a prospective candidate that they thing would lose disastrously, must be utterly neutral as to the choice of candidate is, to me, a very strange idea.

    It seems to be an example of the democratization of everything, a bad idea that our Founders rejected at the governmental level.

    • #15
    • February 13, 2020, at 5:55 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    LibertyDefender (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    . . . Hillary 2016 voters, who are still irate at Sanders . . .

     

    What on earth would make Hillary supporters mad at Bernie? Is it just that he dared to run at all?

    Yep, that’s it. Remember Hillary and her supporters don’t think people should be allowed to show movies critical of her during an election campaign.

    • #16
    • February 13, 2020, at 7:46 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. LibertyDefender Member

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    This is such a strange argument. The Democratic Party is a voluntary association. The idea that the leadership of such an association can have no opinion, and no preference, as to the party’s choice of Presidential candidate is, to me, a very strange idea. The idea that the leadership of a political party, faced with a prospective candidate that they thing would lose disastrously, must be utterly neutral as to the choice of candidate is, to me, a very strange idea.

    It seems to be an example of the democratization of everything, a bad idea that our Founders rejected at the governmental level.

    “This?”

    “It?”

    I don’t see anyone in this thread arguing anything like what you wrote.

    What do you mean by “this?” What is “it?”

    • #17
    • February 13, 2020, at 7:46 AM PST
    • Like