Tuesday marks New Hampshire’s celebrated First-in-the-Nation presidential primary with both Democrats and Republican presidential candidates on the ballot.
Below are what the candidates hope (or need in some cases) to achieve within reason and what they need in terms of their rival candidates.
Bernie Sanders: After scoring a big win in 2016 over Hillary Clinton after a controversial Iowa finish (sound familiar?), the Democratic Socialist needs to once again finish first by a healthy margin. Polls indicate the Vermont senator is en route to second straight win in New Hampshire. Beyond a decisive win, a huge bonus would be a fourth or fifth place position for Liz Warren to marginalize the viability of her candidacy and thus free up a greater share of the college student and socialist vote.
Pete Buttigieg: The mayor of South Bend, Indiana has received a big bounce after a surprising first or second place finish in the Iowa caucuses. However Mayor Pete’s meteoric rise has arced a bit after drawing attention from his fellow Democrats. Buttigieg has a strong organization in New Hampshire that might be able to weather some of the brunt of the attacks. Second would further demonstrate that Mayor Pete is for real as he goes into states where he doesn’t have boots on the ground. Weak finishes for Biden and Klobuchar would also help him nail down his status as the last non-socialist alternative to the billionaires.
Joe Biden: The good news for the former vice-president is the worst is almost over after the staggering fourth place crash in Iowa and possibly lower finish in New Hampshire. Third would be huge but a diminished Mayor Pete would be a strategic victory going into friendlier turf where the ex-veep holds a lead. Biden needs to hit the 15% benchmark to finally win a delegate.
Elizabeth Warren: New Hampshire is a state she should have won with most of the state ‘s population within reach if Boston media. The Massachusetts US Senator needs Bernie to come down to earth (in votes) and really needs a likely out of reach second place showing to demonstrate continued viability. Third won’t help her much but below that would be politically fatal. At a minimum Warren needs to win a delegate and hit that 15% threshold.
Amy Klobuchar: The surprise story coming out of the Granite State is the Minnesota US Senator’s rebound after a disappointing fifth in her state’s southern neighbor. Third would put her candidacy on the map but second would be tantamount to winning for Klobuchar.
Andrew Yang: Mr. Excitement marched into a wood chipper by planting his flag in the two early states when Nevada was where the Yang Gang should’ve made their stand. Not that he has much of a chance at this point but losing to Mike Bloomberg as a write in would be a sign for Yang to furl his trademark scarf.
Tulsi Gabbard: Forget the election night percentages, Tulsi needs to show she performs well with independents in the exit polls to remain a part of the national conversation.
The Billionaire Bros: Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer need the chaos to continue. The latter shrewdly effectively pulled out of New Hampshire but an unearned write in vote that puts the former New York City mayor ahead of any declared active candidate (notably Yang) would get the media baron good press.
Bill Weld: The last remaining intraparty challenger to President Trump needs to hit 10% to get a delegate. The former governor of nearby Massachusetts ought to be able to achieve that.
Donald Trump: Keeping Weld under the ten percent threshold would be a big dividend to come from President Trump’s primary eve MAGA mega rally in Manchester.