On Tuesday, Feb. 11, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, sparking projections that he is now the Democratic front-runner. Although former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar finished in second and third place respectively, closely behind Sanders, the senator from neighboring Vermont got the majority of New Hampshire's popular vote, following a similarly good showing in the controversial Iowa caucuses. Sanders' recent victories have further energized his progressive base, and these tweets about Bernie Sanders' New Hampshire win are all about challenging the status quo.
Sanders' strong performance in New Hampshire and Iowa led FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver to describe Sanders as the Democratic front-runner in the 2020 race. Silver also projected an increase in the likelihood of a contested convention, which is what happens when none of the candidates are able to accumulate the 1,990 delegates needed to clinch their party's nomination. It's still too early to make any projections with certainty, given that Super Tuesday — when more than a dozen states will hold their primaries — is still a few weeks away on March 3. Plus, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden are still in the race, having finished fourth and fifth in New Hampshire. However, Axios reported that with Buttigieg and Klobuchar splitting the moderate vote, Sanders could still have an edge after Super Tuesday.
For now, Sanders' progressive base is celebrating the Vermont senator's victory in New Hampshire. His supporters have taken to Twitter to assert that Sanders is indeed electable, and that narrow losses by Buttigieg and Klobuchar do not detract from Sanders' victory. Some Twitter users also suggested that Sanders' performance in New Hampshire made them more optimistic about his candidacy.
Sanders also did well in the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, despite a messy reporting system that left the final winner in doubt. While the Associated Press declined to call the race, only a slim margin separated Sanders and opponent Buttigieg, with both candidates credibly claiming victory.
Now that the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have wrapped up, the Democratic presidential candidates are turning their attention to Nevada, which will hold its caucuses on Saturday, Feb. 22. Given the organizational challenges of the Iowa caucuses, voters and party leaders alike are concerned about the integrity and security of the Nevada caucuses. But that hasn't stopped the Democratic candidates from reaching out to Nevada voters in a final push to gain their support. According to The New York Times, Nevada is typically the first time that presidential candidates come face to face with a diverse set of voters, as well as strong labor unions.