Good morning and welcome to the Guardian live blog while New Hampshire voters go to the polls in the second primary competition of the 2020 elections.
The results are already arriving, with three tiny towns: Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location and Millsfield, voting, as they traditionally do, just after midnight.
Those results – showing Amy Klobuchar leading the Democratic group with a total of eight votes, it may not be a good prediction of the final bill, although it is true that the Minnesota centrist senator was praised for her performance in the debate Friday night.
In fact, the race for first place tonight is widely considered among the left senator Bernie Sanders and the former centrist mayor Pete Buttigieg. The latest election averages show Sanders with a comfortable advantage over his young rival, after the two essentially tied for first place amid the chaotic caucuses in Iowa last week.
“For two people in the same party, Buttigieg and Bernie are opposite poles in many ways,” Monica Klein, a progressive Democratic strategist, told my colleague Daniel Strauss. “They represent the two wings of the Democratic party, which makes Buttigieg a great contrast candidate for Bernie.”
Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, which borders her home state of Vermont, by more than 22 percentage points in 2016, and if she loses to Buttigieg tonight after her frustrating night in Iowa, she may indicate that her campaign is stalling .
Buttigieg, meanwhile, needs a victory to maintain his momentum after his unexpectedly strong performance last week (a victory for AP results gurus has not yet been formally declared) and an increase in his survey scores in New Hampshire and ( slightly) nationwide. .
From here, the contest enters a much harder territory for him. Nevada on February 22 looks like a close fight between Sanders and Joe biden, and former vice president of Barack Obama is still way ahead in South Carolina.
Biden has seen his favorite status more or less disappear from his fourth place in Iowa. Sanders is now side by side with him nationally, and a similarly weak performance in New Hampshire tonight can see him lose more centrist support to Buttigieg and the former mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg, the dark horse that joins the “Super Tuesday” race on March 3, when numerous states like California, Texas and Massachusetts vote. Adam Gabbatt examines the Biden campaign in New Hampshire here.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren – The main rival of Sanders on the left – you can also start to see that your campaign fades if you fail to impact tonight.
Republicans also hold a primary today, although there is only one serious candidate. Donald Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, last night that aimed more rattle his Democratic opponents have relatively small fry running against him in his own game.
As Lauren Gambino reports, Trump attacked “the scandalous partisan partisan deception,” he delighted with the confusing result of the Iowa Democrats and raised the possibility that his supporters influence the Democratic outcome in New Hampshire by voting for the candidate they believe Trump I would have the best chance to defeat. The New Hampshire election laws allow independents to cast votes for Democrats or Republicans.
“My only problem is that I am trying to find out who is the weakest candidate,” the president said. “I think everyone is weak.”
We will cover all this and more here today, as well as the news in Washington while Republican House leadership and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer hold press conferences.