Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s successful performance at last week’s presidential primary debate appears to have helped her in New Hampshire where she scored a third-place finish in the state’s primary.
The Minnesota Democrat came in third Tuesday after the nation’s first primary in the race to the White House, coming in behind former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who took second place to the night’s winner, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Thank you, New Hampshire! pic.twitter.com/xsmX8zDcv6
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 12, 2020
Klobuchar’s impressive score of 19.8% of the votes left Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Vice President Joe Biden in the dust as their dismal numbers raised speculations about the future of their campaigns and as former tech executive Andrew Yang announced he is dropping out of the race.
“Joe Biden Predicted He Would Win New Hampshire. He Just Got Beat Like a Drum—Again… A crazy socialist and a former small-town mayor just crushed the former VP,” President Trump’s re-election campaign wrote in an email to reporters, according to Fox News.
Senator Amy Klobuchar just gave what sounded like a victory speech tonight.
She told reporters after:
“I’m not bolted to my senate desk anymore and I was able to get out here in New Hampshire and it’s made a big difference” she adds, “Imagine what I’ll do in Nevada!” pic.twitter.com/cfwQS1MHax
— Rob DiRienzo (@RobDiRienzo) February 12, 2020
“We love you, New Hampshire,” Klobuchar said in her primary night speech. “Because of you, we are taking this campaign to Nevada. We are going to South Carolina. And we are taking this message of unity to the country.”
Klobuchar’s strong finish came on the heels of momentum she gained from her debate performance which gave her a boost in final tracking polls in the days before New Hampshire. The 2020 hopeful surged ahead after finishing in fifth place in last week’s Iowa caucuses.
“Man, were we at the debate in New Hampshire,” she said in her speech Tuesday.
“We are on the rise. This is just the beginning.,” she told reporters later. “Imagine what we’ll do in Nevada.”
Her headline-making finish may have been the result of voters looking for an alternative in a unifying and moderate candidate, according to exit polls, Fox News reported. And the pump of oxygen the results gave Klobuchar’s campaign has already manifested in television ads popping up in Nevada where the next caucuses are set to take place in less than two weeks.
“While most of the attention this week has been on Sanders and Buttigieg, the big story out of New Hampshire may just be Amy Klobuchar’s 3rd place finish,” Wayne Lesperance, vice president of academic affairs at New England College, told Fox News.
“With much less national attention, resources, ads, and celebrity endorsements, Klobuchar campaigned the way Granite Staters expect – lots of shoe leather and retail politics. And with that approach she’s beaten former front runners like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren,” the political scientist based in New Hampshire added. “It’s hard not to conclude, New Hampshire has a new comeback kid.”
But while Klobuchar currently finds the wind at her back, it seems the Warren and Biden campaigns have had the air sucked out of them.
Before the polls were even near to closing in New Hampshire, Biden had left for South Carolina, leaving those planning to attend a primary night party he was scheduled to attend without the guest of honor.
Biden abruptly cancels New Hampshire appearance, makes announcement about moving on https://t.co/xNKLTLNLYY
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 11, 2020
“We’ll be back, New Hampshire, we’ll be back in the general,” Biden told those in attendance at the party in a speech aired via satellite.
South Carolina, with its majority black electorate, is seen as the former vice president’s firewall in the Democratic presidential primary and, along with Nevada’s diverse electorate, are providing the focus for his campaign after his disappointing finishes in New Hampshire and Iowa.
“It is important that Iowa and Nevada have spoken, but, look, we need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday and beyond,” Biden told supporters in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday.
“Biden’s team has gone through the campaign motions in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the results have been devastating for Biden. His team is relying on Obama nostalgia to get him through the next phase and I don’t see it working,” Democratic strategist Michael Ceraso said.
The former New Hampshire state director for Buttigieg added that “a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire puts a huge crack through Biden’s electability argument, leading me to believe voters are going to ask, “who is the true alternative to Biden?”
Meanwhile, Warren told her supporters, after her fourth-place finish with 9.3% of the votes, that “our campaign is built for the long haul” and that “we are just getting started.”
Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale pointed to the New Hampshire results for Democrats as “the continued dominance of big government socialist policies and the success of their standard-bearer, Bernie Sanders.”
“The Democrat story in New Hampshire is the continued dominance of big government socialist policies and the success of their standard-bearer, Bernie Sanders.”
.@TeamTrump statement on New Hampshire Democrat primary:
“The Democrat story in New Hampshire is the continued dominance of big government socialist policies and the success of their standard bearer, Bernie Sanders.” pic.twitter.com/tiPwqAoJOL
— Sarah Matthews (@SarahAMatthews1) February 12, 2020
In his statement, Parscale contrasted Trump’s “record of accomplishment and optimistic view of the future” to the agenda of Democrats and whoever their nominee will be after their “months-long dumpster fire of a primary process.”
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