Democrats wrestle through 2020 mystery: who’s the frontrunner now?

The digital tie in between Bernie and Buttigieg and also the upcoming calendar have actually all the optimal candidates thinking they have a shot.


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Former southern Bend, Indiana, market Pete Buttigieg speaks in Nashua, new Hampshire. | Andrew Harnik/AP photograph


New Hampshire has actually a cherished call for gift a clarifying presidential contest, yet Tuesday night’s first-in-the-nation primary made one point clear: over there is no clean frontrunner.

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That method all the optimal candidates — and at least one lower-polling contender — still believe they have a route to victory.


“This gyeongju is vast open,” said Heather Hargreaves, Tom Steyer’s campaign manager, who included that the project is “preparing for a brand new contest v a diverse electorate” as the race shifts come Nevada and also South Carolina.


Sen. Bernie Sanders’ slim win in new Hampshire gives him the an initial official win of the 2020 bike — and also it comes on the heels that three nationwide polls reflecting him leapfrogging previous Vice chairman Joe Biden for the top spot.

But Pete Buttigieg, that finished a close second in brand-new Hampshire, leader the delegate count. The previous mayor of southern Bend, Ind., left Iowa through the many delegates, despite the caucuses stay too close to call and also both projects have requested a recanvass.

Sanders and Buttigieg each won nine delegates Tuesday in new Hampshire. The third-place finisher, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, won 6 delegates, when Biden and also Sen. Elizabeth Warren left the state v none.

“Pete Buttigieg is one of the two frontrunners, and Amy Klobuchar has just shocked the establishment,” Howard Dean, the previous Vermont governor and also ex-Democratic nationwide Committee chairman, said on CNN. “You have to say Bernie is a frontrunner because he’s gained a much far better organization and more money, however Buttigieg actually has more delegates best now. Therefore in terms of numbers, he’s in reality technically the frontrunner.”


With 96 percent that precincts reporting in brand-new Hampshire, Sanders has virtually 26 percent of the vote, a far cry indigenous the 60 percent he claimed in a one-on-one contest versus Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Buttigieg is in ~ 24 percent, followed by Klobuchar at almost 20 percent. Warren and also Biden space at 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, and Andrew Yang, Sen. Michael Bennet and formerGov. Deval Patrick the Massachusetts ended their projects after disappointing finishes.

Brian Fallon, Clinton’s former press secretary and executive manager of need Justice, said that Sanders can not repeat his 2016 numbers with such a huge field. “That doesnt diminish the meaningfulness of the winning NH,” that tweeted. “Stop in search of reasons to neglect his frontrunner status.”

Jesse Lehrich, a democratic strategist and also former Clinton international policy spokesman, additionally declared the “Bernie is now the frontrunner.” The data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight agreed: its morning headline read, in part, “Sanders Is The Front-Runner After new Hampshire.”

“The anointed frontrunner, who had the biggest share that votes on lock because that a year, is unexpectedly on his last legs,” Adam Jentleson, a former Harry Reid aide and also Democratic strategist that is close come Warren’s campaign, tweeted of Biden. “Bernie is the new frontrunner, but has not cracked his ceiling. Amy and Pete, who"ve got the many favorable media attention, have no path to the nomination.”

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib that Washington acknowledged that over there are plenty of media narratives the end there. But what’s most important, he insisted, is that Buttigieg “has much more delegates than any kind of other candidate.” Delegates, after ~ all, will identify who wins the nomination.

Even Rufus Gifford, former President Barack Obama’s finance director, who is backing Biden, said Buttigieg is “of course” a frontrunner.

Bracing for negative results in new Hampshire ~ predicting on last week’s controversy stage that he would “probably take a hit” there, Biden retreated on Tuesday night to south Carolina, where he told supporters the the overwhelmingly majority of afri American and also Latino voters had yet to cast ballots.

“It ain’t over, man,” Biden said. “We’re just acquiring started.”


Biden will campaign Friday through Sunday in Nevada, whereby Sanders could run into resistance.

“We’re excited that the race is moving right into the place where varied voters, world who room the base of the democratic Party, will gain to have their say,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and also communications director, claimed in an interview top top MSNBC. “That’s southern Carolina. That’s also Nevada. That’s Super Tuesday and beyond.”

Though polling has actually been scarce and also it’s difficult to inspection Nevada’s caucuses, Sanders trails Biden by 3.5 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics median of current polls. However a brand-new flier indigenous the an effective Culinary employees Union warns that Sanders would “end cook Healthcare,” i m sorry covers 130,000 workers and family members.

And Sanders will certainly face additional headwinds in Nevada beyond the cooking union: The supervisor PAC the ran an attack ad against him in Iowa is planning to perform the same in Nevada. Follow to Mediaite, Democratic bulk For Israel is developing an advertisement to make the case in Nevada that Sanders is unelectable.

Sanders is dispatching surrogates to north Carolina ~ above Thursday and South Carolina on Saturday. The will project himself in north Carolina and Texas on Friday, Nevada ~ above Saturday and Sunday, Colorado top top Sunday and also Nevada again next Tuesday and Friday.


Buttigieg will hold fundraisers this mainly in Indiana, California and Washington state, with project stops in las Vegas, Sacramento and Turlock, Calif. His campaign announced Wednesday the it will dual its arranging team in Nevada to nearly 100 staffers and ramp up its invest in TV and digital ads.

And he rolled the end the proof of south Carolina state Rep. JA Moore, that was California Sen. Kamala Harris’ project co-chair in the state. Moore claimed Buttigieg “has proven he’s the only viable candidate to build a overcome racial, rural, urban and also suburban coalition to victory in November.”

New Hampshire Rep. Annie McLane Kuster said CNN she’s not worried “in the slightest” about Buttigieg improving his standing v minority voters. A Quinnipiac college poll this week had Buttigieg at just 4 percent through black voters.

“Nobody in brand-new Hampshire had ever heard that Pete Buttigieg, either. And so come look at national polls is frankly irrelevant,” she said.

The cooking Union’s opposition to Sanders likewise “gives a big opening to Pete in Nevada,” she noted.

Klobuchar, who will host a fundraiser in brand-new York on Wednesday night, started running a seven-figure advertisement buy Wednesday in the ras Vegas and Reno markets. The spots will certainly run ~ above cable, broadcast and also digital, and Klobuchar will campaign in las Vegas ~ above Thursday.


“Amy Klobuchar had a stellar controversy performance this week, she deserved a bounce this week, and also she got one,” Progressive change Campaign Committee co-founders Stephanie Taylor and also Adam environment-friendly said. The group, which has actually endorsed Warren, provided that both women have actually finished ahead of Biden.

Warren, who has actually canceled an ext than $500,000 in advertisement reservations in southern Carolina and around $60,000 in Nevada, will campaign in Virginia top top Thursday and Nevada ~ above Saturday, Sunday, Monday and next Friday. In a fundraising email Wednesday, Warren"s team told supporters that Tuesday night “didn’t walk the way we want it to go,” but, “Elizabeth has actually only taken the an initial steps the a marathon.”

In a Tuesday afternoon memo, Warren campaign manager roger Lau make the situation that the gyeongju was tho “wide open” heading into new Hampshire.

“No candidate has come close however to receiving majority support among the democratic primary electorate, and also there is no candidate that has actually yet presented the ability to consolidate support,” he wrote.

Though Warren has branded herself together the unity candidate, Lau took a “quick, sober look at the see of” she rivals’ challenges. He claimed Sanders’ ceiling is “significantly lower” 보다 in 2016, Biden is fading, Buttigieg’s “most significant difficulty is yet to come” together he faces a varied electorate because that the first time, and also Klobuchar lacks facilities “for the long haul” and also “is playing capture up on a an extremely short timeline.”

The Quinnipiac poll proved Biden’s once-massive lead with black voters down to simply 5 percent points end former new York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced endorsements Wednesday from Reps. Lucy McBath that Georgia and Gregory Meeks of brand-new York and U.S. Virgin islands Del. Stacey Plaskett.

But Bloomberg’s longtime support for the controversial plan of stop and also frisk, i beg your pardon disproportionately affected minorities, to be thrust into the spotlight again Tuesday as soon as President Donald Trump and his aides circulated leaked audio of what showed up to be dull remarks from Bloomberg in 2015.

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As the fallout metastasized, Bloomberg blamed Trump because that being divisive and said his comment “do no reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity.”

In southern Carolina polls, Steyer has surged to second place and performed well through black voters. Steyer hired south Carolina state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, the longest-serving member the the statehouse and also president that the nationwide Black Caucus the State Legislators, as a senior adviser on Wednesday.

“Steyer is structure the most racially diverse coalition of voters that look favor America as it is today,” Cobb-Hunter told The associated Press. “He is the only candidate who walks the walk and also talks the talk.”

The conversation about the autonomous frontrunner do its way beyond Twitter and cable news and also onto the Senate floor, where the No. 3 Senate Republican, man Barrasso the Wyoming, declared that “a socialist is now the frontrunner because that the Democrat nomination for president.”

It even gone into the Oval Office, whereby Trump to be asked to sweet in top top Wednesday afternoon.

“I would say Bernie looks prefer he’s doing really well,” Trump told reporters. “I think civilization like his message. He’s obtained energy. His world have energy. Yet they like his message, yet a lot of human being don’t favor that specific message, yet there is a team that more than likely agrees v it. And also whoever it is, we’ll take it them on, but it would absolutely seem that Bernie Sanders has the benefit right now.”