Following a chaotic Iowa Democratic caucus filled with technical issues, frustrated voters, and conspiracy theories, many nominees quickly moved their efforts to New Hampshire to prepare for upcoming primary elections across the country. The incomplete results from Iowa currently show Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in a neck and neck race that is too close to call, with Elizabeth Warren behind the two in third place. Currently in fourth place is Joe Biden, whose campaign was disappointed with the weak showing, resulting in the dismissing of its Iowa field director once the outcome became apparent.
The question at the front of mind every Democrat voter this year has been, “Who can run against Trump?” Each candidate has been somewhat careful not to smear fellow party members in campaigning for the nomination, but as the race heats up, the gloves are starting to come off. Sanders and Buttigieg clearly have platforms that resonate with voters in Iowa based on the support they received during the caucus process, leaving Biden supporters and donors with questions whether or not he will be able to move forward confidently. Statistically, the winner of the Iowa caucus has usually continued to win the overall party nomination, so many have been intently waiting for results to be completed to galvanize support within their base.
Biden eventually admitted that the results were a “gut punch,” and took to aggressively campaigning his position as the best choice for the party. He distanced himself from Sanders, reminding voters that as a self-described democratic socialist, Sanders was too risky for more moderate Democrat voters that may view his policy stance as too extreme. He then went after Pete Buttigieg, pointing out that Buttigieg’s highest level of public office was as the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city of 100,000.
Buttigieg has campaigned on the premise that he is not part of the “old failed Washington,” and that he would be able to bring fresh energy to the race against Trump. Biden, the former Vice President under Barack Obama and a veteran campaigner, struck back, challenging Buttigieg to declare Obama’s administration a failure if that is really his position.
The New Hampshire primary election will be held on February 11, 2020, giving candidates more time to campaign. Party officials in the state are determined to ensure that their nomination process is much more efficient that what happened in Iowa.