New Hampshire a 'must win' state for Sanders, Warren, says veteran political journalist

Veteran political reporter Paul Steinhauser is calling New Hampshire a must-win state for Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Trump defends Roger Stone move: He was target of 'Witch Hunt' Democrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins Puerto Rico primary In politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Biden wins Louisiana primary MORE (I-Vt.), saying the primary election in the early voting state could make or break their Democratic presidential campaigns.

“Nobody will ever say it’s a must-win state — no candidate will ever say that,” Steinhauser, a New Hampshire-based political reporter, told Hill.TV on Monday.

“But let’s be honest, it is a must-win state for the two neighbors — Bernie Sanders of Vermont,” he added. "It’s also a must win for Warren."

Steinhauser predicted that the vote would toss-up between the two progressive rivals, citing the large crowds during the two candidates' campaign stops on Labor Day weekend.

However, he added that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDavis: Supreme Court decision is bad news for Trump, good news for Vance Teachers face off against Trump on school reopenings Biden wins Puerto Rico primary MORE also boasts strong support in the Granite State, emphasizing that independents could play a decisive role in the state's primary. 

"Biden's campaign is pretty strong here as well, he said. "Remember, when we get down to the voting, this is one of the states where independents can vote in either a Democratic or Republican primary, so the primary electorate here in New Hampshire may be a little more moderate than the Democratic base that we see right now."

His comments come as the Democratic primary race heats up.

Sanders is neck-and-neck with Warren and Biden in New Hampshire based on three recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics. 

Overall, Biden still leads the field on a national level by a wide margin, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average. Warren and Sanders both trail the former vice president by approximately 11 points. 

All three candidates are among the 10 Democrats set to appear in the third presidential primary debate Thursday in Houston.

—Tess Bonn