New Hampshire polls close
It is 8 pm ET, so all of the polling places across New Hampshire have officially closed.
So far, Bernie Sanders leads Pete Buttigieg by several points, but the biggest surprise yet has been the strength of Amy Klobuchar, who is on Buttigieg’s heels in third place.
Perhaps the second-bigggest surprise of the night so far is the poor performances of both Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, who are distantly trailing in fourth and fifth place.
Warren and Biden will need their numbers to improve with later results, or they face the risk of ending in single digits.
Meanwhile, over at Joe Biden’s New Hampshire primary night party, which will not include an appearance by the former vice president, a couple of his supporters enjoyed a drink in an otherwise empty ballroom.
Results are starting to trickle in, and even though the overwhelming majority of precincts still need to report results, it is currently looking like it could be a tough evening for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
Tulsi Gabbard, another Democratic presidential candidate who needs a standout performance tonight, is visiting voters in Nashua, where polls will remain open for another half hour.
Gabbard effectively skipped campaigning in the first voting state of Iowa to focus her efforts on New Hampshire, so a poor showing tonight could force her to drop out of the race.
First New Hampshire results indicate Klobuchar momentum
A precinct from the New Hampshire capital of Concord has started reporting results, and they indicate that recent signs of momentum for Amy Klobuchar could be confirmed tonight.
During the Friday debate, Klobuchar presented herself as a younger moderate with the experience that Pete Buttigieg lacks, and that strategy could now be paying dividends.
Biden leaves New Hampshire as his team lowers expectations
As the top presidential candidates prepare for their primary night rallies in New Hampshire, Joe Biden is conspicuously missing in action.
Biden, who has spent the week since the Iowa caucuses downplaying expectations for his performance in New Hampshire, instead traveled to South Carolina for a campaign event.
Biden has said the next two voting states, Nevada and South Carolina, will be the launching pad for his candidacy, but national polls already indicate he has taken a hit from his poor showing in Iowa.
If he trails other moderates like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar tonight, Biden will face fresh questions about whether he is actually the most “electable” candidate, as he has claimed.
at 7.24pm EST
Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who has signaled in recent days that the future of his candidacy depends on the results in New Hampshire, thanked his supporters as most of the state’s polls closed.
Yang hit only 1% in the Iowa caucuses, and he is depending on the New Hampshire primary to make it to the later voting states, but recent polls have shown his support to be in the low single digits.
Most New Hampshire polls close
It is 7 pm ET, so most New Hampshire polls have now closed, although a few polling locations will remain open for another hour.
Depending on the results, it could be a relatively early night — especially in comparison to the days-long debacle that was the reporting of results for the Iowa caucuses.
In 2016, when Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points, the AP declared him to be the winner of the New Hampshire primary at 8 pm ET.
Given the high number of New Hampshire primary voters who said they made up their minds in the past few days and factored Friday’s debate into their decision, Amy Klobuchar could be poised to exceed expectations tonight.
After the debate, Klobuchar won widespread praise for presenting herself as a middle lane between a longtime Washington insider like Joe Biden and a “political newcomer” like Pete Buttigieg for more moderate Democrats.
Many polling places across New Hampshire will close in about 20 minutes, but a few small towns across the Granite State have already had their ballots counted.
Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location and Millsfield have a tradition of midnight voting for the New Hampshire primary, and this year’s results from those three towns raised some eyebrows.
Among Democratic voters in Dixville Notch, Michael Bloomberg, who is not actually on the New Hampshire ballot, won the most support after two of the town’s residents wrote in the billionaire candidate’s name. (A Republican voter in the town also wrote in Bloomberg’s name.)
In the other two towns, Minnesota senatorAmy Klobuchar won the most support, collecting six votes from Hart’s Location and two from Millsfield. Needless to say, it will likely be difficult for Klobuchar to maintain that early lead once more results start coming in.
Sanders faces high expectations of a New Hampshire victory
Bernie Sanders is considered the clear favorite to win tonight’s New Hampshire primary, as most polls show the senator of neighboring Vermont leading the field.
According to the RealClearPolitics average, Sanders stands at 28.7% with New Hampshire’s likely primary voters, compared to Pete Buttigieg’s 21.3%. Amy Klobuchar trails at 11.7%, although the most recent polls have shown her support increasing after her Friday debate performance, and Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are slightly trailing at 11%.
If Sanders wins tonight, it will solidify his position as the frontrunner in the race after his impressive finish in Iowa, where he fought Buttigieg to a near-tie. National polls released since the Iowa caucuses have shown Sanders surpassing Biden, who has consistently led in those surveys since entering the race.
But Sanders is also facing high expectations going into tonight, which could backfire. In 2016, he defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary by more than 20 points. It’s extremely unlikely he will enjoy a similar margin tonight, considering the high number of candidates, and the margin of his potential victory will be closely scrutinized for signs of how strong his support is.
However, there’s no question that a win in New Hampshire will fortify Sanders’ standing among Democrats who are desperate to find a candidate capable of defeating Trump.
Here are some more numbers from the NBC News exit poll in New Hampshire:
- More than 60% of Democratic voters said they would rather have a nominee who can defeat Trump than one who agrees with them on the issues.
- Less than a quarter of Democratic voters believe Trump’s impeachment has hurt his chances at reelection.
- Nearly two-thirds of Republican voters said Trump’s impeachment has helped his reelection chances.
Although polls indicate Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are the ones to beat in New Hampshire, the results tonight could still surprise us. According to early exit polls, about half of primary voters said they made their decision in the past few days.
New Hampshire primary offers 2020 Democrats a clean slate after Iowa debacle
Greetings from Nashua, live blog readers!
New Hampshire Democrats have been casting ballots all day to determine who they want to have face off against Donald Trump in November, giving presidential candidates their first chance to secure a victory since the disastrous Iowa caucuses last week.
Because New Hampshire holds a primary rather than caucuses, it is much less likely that the state will suffer a days-long delay in releasing results, as Iowa did. In 2016, for instance, Trump and Bernie Sanders were declared the winners of the New Hampshire primary shortly after polls closed.
Heading into today’s primary, Sanders, a senator from neighboring Vermont, is once again the favorite to win, with Pete Buttigieg trailing him by several points in most polls.
Amy Klobuchar seems to be picking up more New Hampshire support since her widely praised debate performance on Friday, while Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are hoping for a surprise tonight as their polling numbers have slumped in recent days.
The New Hampshire polls close at 7 pm ET or 8 pm ET, depending on the municipality, so we will soon see where the chips fell. Stay tuned.
at 5.40pm EST