Sanders WINS New Hampshire, But by Less Than 2016

( – Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has won the New Hampshire primary, but former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was hot on his heels. After winning a majority of votes in the botched Iowa caucus (but receiving fewer delegates than Buttigieg!), Sanders has come back with a vengeance and taken his first official victory.

However, at 80% of reporting, Buttigieg was only behind the veteran socialist by under two percentage points.

While it’s a sign that Sanders is likely to win the plurality of delegates, it could mean that he doesn’t meet the threshold required to officially become the Democratic candidate. Compared to his 2016 numbers, things are looking a little difficult for the presidential hopeful.

In 2016, Sanders trumped former First Lady Hillary Clinton by double digits. Sanders received over 152,000 votes and Hillary Clinton didn’t even get to 100,000. It was a decisive victory and one that fuelled his supporters in their quest for vengeance when Clinton ultimately won the primaries.

NBC News exit polls show that it might not all be down to candidate preference, but could be a result of voter disinterest. Their poll found that there was “no jump in independents or first-time voters in Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democratic primary.”

“There was an expectation that the number of independents participating in this year’s Democratic primary might be higher than previous years, since the republican contest is not competitive” it continued.  That does not seem to have happened: 43 percent of primary voters report being registered as undeclared on the voter rolls, which is in line with prior Democratic contests when there were also hotly contested Republican races.”

Turnout overall was lower across New Hampshire, with the biggest reduction in young and new voters. It found that just 11% of New Hampshire voters were under the age of 29. In 2016, it was 19%.

There are different ways Sanders could look at the news. At the end of the day, it’s a win, but other candidates are eating into his once-sizeable majorities to the extent that it might make achieving the nomination difficult.

What’s more, the same poll from NBC News found that roughly 50% of New Hampshire voters believed his platform was too liberal. Only 40% of New Hampshire voters believed his views were ideal.