By PAULA TRACY,
MANCHESTER – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders was declared the winner of a long, hard-fought first-in-the-nation primary race Tuesday night with Pete Buttigieg coming in a close second and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota taking a surprising third place.
A jubilant Sanders, I-Vt., promised his cheering supporters that a new day is dawning shortly after 11 p.m.
“Let me say tonight that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders said, calling him “the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.”
Speaking at the Southern New Hampshire University field house, Sanders thanked New Hampshire and his grassroots supporters, “people from coast to coast – millions of people.” He promised a multi-generational, multi-racial political movement to build a government that works for everybody.
“Health-care is a human right not a privilege,” he said as he often has on the campaign trail. “The wealthy and powerful will start paying their fair share of taxes. We will make public colleges and universities tuition free and cancel student debt.”
He promised to tell the fossil fuel industry that short-term profits are not worth the future of the planet and that women, not the government, will control their lives.
“We are going to end the racist and broken criminal justice system and pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanders said. The American people, not the NRA, will determine gun safety policies.
“it’s about transforming the country,” Sanders said.
It was an easy victory for President Donald Trump who held a big rally in Manchester the night before winning about 86 percent of the Republican vote and former Mass. Gov. William Weld with only 9 percent.
With 86 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanders had 26 percent of the vote, Buttigieg had 24.4 percent and Klobuchar had 19.8 percent. Elizabeth Warren had 9.4 percent and former Vice President Joe Biden had a dismal 8.4 percent. Andrew Yang with about 3 percent and Colorado Sen. Mike Bennet with less than 1 percent both dropped out of the race Tuesday night. Tom Steyer and Tulsi Gabbard both had just over 3 percent each.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg was speaking at Nashua Community College to his supporters claiming victory of sorts with second place as his supporters chanted “President Pete. President Pete” just before 11 p.m.
“Thank you, New Hampshire,” Buttigieg said. He noted the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto. “You’ve made up your own minds,” he said, “and show that we are here to stay.”
As his campaign moves on to Nevada and South Carolina, “We will welcome new allies to our movement at every step.”
It is an inclusive campaign, not one that insists on being their way or the highway, Buttigieg said. “We must get this right,” Buttigieg said. “We are clear-eyed about the challenge.”
It’s time to get Washington working “like our best-run cities and towns, rather than the other way around.”
“We will win the White House,” he said. “It’s a coalition of addition, not subtraction,” Buttigieg said.
Sen. Klobuchar took to the stage at the Grappone Center in Concord earlier saying she surpassed her goals for New Hampshire and now it is on to Nevada, South Carolina, and other states in an effort to take the White House from Donald Trump next November.
Klobuchar focused on her continued message as one of empathy
With her husband, John D. Bessler, and daughter, Abigail Klobuchar Bessler by her side, Klobuchar extended thanks to her New Hampshire volunteers and the many people who listened to her message of hope, her experience passing bipartisan legislation in Washington and her ability to work across political lines.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, presiding over the 100th first-in-the-nation primary, said in a telephone interview that the day went smoothly across the state with “practically no issues.”
He said he visited Durham which saw over 900 same-day voter registrants which was not a record but a pretty significant jump that went very smoothly.
Across the state, Gardner said, the estimates he had for turnout were holding steady and he did not expect there to be a record broken.