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The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats brace for New Hampshire results

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats brace for New Hampshire results
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We're Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here's what we're watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Happy Primary Day! I'm coming to you from Manchester's famous Airport Diner, a frequent spot for the candidates on the trail! 

Voters have been making stops at their local polling places since this morning, while the candidates have also made their way to some precincts.

The first votes of the day were cast in the tiny Granite State town of Dixville Notch, which is roughly 20 miles south of the Canadian border. Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergNew York mayoral candidates go viral for vastly underestimating housing costs Melinda Gates tapped divorce lawyers in 2019 after Epstein links to husband: report Giving away the COVID vaccine formula helps no one and harms America MORE, who isn't competing in New Hampshire, won the town's first count at midnight with 3 write-in votes. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care: CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 | House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill | Panel blasts COVID-19 response Briahna Joy Gray: Warren not endorsing Sanders in 2020 was 'really frustrating' House moderates signal concerns with Pelosi drug pricing bill MORE (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegGas shortages spread to more states Biden officials warn against hoarding gasoline amid shortages Republicans welcome the chance to work with Democrats on a bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE split the other two votes cast. 

Today's primary could prove to be make or break for a number of candidates. Sens. Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' Briahna Joy Gray: Warren not endorsing Sanders in 2020 was 'really frustrating' McConnell hits Democratic critics of Israel MORE (D-Mass.) are competing on home turf, being two New England senators. Sanders is leading in a number of polls, and a win in the Granite State could give him the momentum he lost in the Iowa counting debacle going into Nevada and South Carolina. Warren, on the other hand has seen a decline in the polls, in New Hampshire and nationally. A less-than stellar performance in the state could cost her going into Nevada, South Carolina and the Super Tuesday states, when the field starts to solidify. 

Buttigieg, who has acted like the victor coming out of Iowa despite the results irregularities, could also benefit from the momentum of a New Hampshire win. Buttigieg will likely have an uphill climb in more diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada, so he will really need to prove himself tonight. Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar Klobuchar offers tribute to her father, who died Wednesday The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Senate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill MORE (D-Minn.) is hoping for a Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonObama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply China's emissions now eclipse the developed world — preventing climate protection Trump endorses Glenn Youngkin in Virginia governors race MORE-style "comeback kid" moment in New Hampshire tonight. Recent polling out of the state shows her surging to third place behind Sanders and Buttigieg, but she still faces an uphill road ahead. Like Buttigieg, she could also have difficulty in the more diverse states ahead. And despite recent gains in fundraising, she is still far behind the other candidates. 

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That leaves us with Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' Biden: McCarthy's support of Cheney ouster is 'above my pay grade' Conservative group sues over prioritization of women, minorities for restaurant aid MORE, who had a less than stellar fourth place showing in Iowa and has polled poorly in New Hampshire. His events have been much more intimate than those of Sanders, Buttigieg and Klobuchar. He and his campaign appear to be taking note. He announced earlier today that he would not be attending his primary night rally in New Hampshire and would instead travel to South Carolina, where he has a broader support. 

 

Your team on the ground has you covered tonight in the Granite State. Jonathan Easley will be at Sanders's results party in Manchester, while Cate Martel will be at Klobuchar's event in Concord. Yours truly will be on hand for Buttigieg's party in Nashua. 

--Julia Manchester 

 

ROADSIDE SUPPORT: A number of supporters came out to the polling place at Ledge Street Elementary School in Nashua. 

 

 

 

READ MORE: 

Democrats set for New Hampshire thriller, by Jonathan 

Democrats battle for New Hampshire's undeclared voters, from Jonathan 

The Memo: New Hampshire spells danger for struggling candidates, by The Hill's Niall Stanage

Political tourists swarm New Hampshire, from Julia and Cate

Klobuchar attracts big crowds in primary's final days, by Julia

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

LIKE CLOCKWORK: President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE rallied supporters in Manchester, N.H., on Monday night, offering a kind of counterprogramming to the Democratic campaign blitz that has overtaken the state ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary contest, Julia reports. In a speech, Trump took on the candidates vying to challenge him in the 2020 general election, asserting that "they're all weak" opponents. He also seized on the chaos surrounding last week's Iowa caucuses, suggesting without evidence that the Democratic Party was trying to rig the nominating contest against Sanders. "I think they're trying to take it away from Bernie," Trump said. "They're doing it to you Bernie. They're doing it to you again." 

 

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BIDEN WORLD ON EDGE: Allies and aides to Biden are beginning to wonder whether the former vice president has a clear path to the Democratic nomination amid a worse-than-expected finish in Iowa and sinking political prospects in New Hampshire, The Hill's Amie Parnes reports. That sense of doom has led some allies to question his chances in Nevada and even South Carolina, where he has worked for months to build up something of a firewall. Meanwhile, Sen. Sanders, Buttigieg and Bloomberg have surged in national polls, undercutting Biden's claim that, despite his performance in Iowa, he's still ahead nationally.

The former vice president decided to skip out on a primary night party in the Granite State to travel to South Carolina and headline an event alongside Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondCarter sworn in as House member to replace Richmond, padding Democrats' majority Biden set to flex clemency powers Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms MORE (D-La..),  .

 

BLOOMBERG UNDER FIRE: Bloomberg is defending his record on race relations and the stop-and-frisk policy used by New York City police during his tenure as mayor amid attacks from Trump and his campaign, The Hill's Zack Budryk reports. Both the president and his campaign manager Brad ParscaleBrad ParscaleAides tried to get Trump to stop attacking McCain in hopes of clinching Arizona: report MORE highlighted an unearthed clip of the former mayor defending the policy, saying, "Ninety-five percent of your murders -- murderers and murder victims -- fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That's true in New York, it's true in virtually every city." In response, Bloomberg's campaign issued a statement from the candidate himself: "President Trump's deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans. I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should've done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized -- and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities."

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Brad Bannon: Nothing is set in stone in the Granite State

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Liz Peek: New Hampshire could be a big win for Bloomberg

Mike Greenfield and Nancy Zdunkewicz: The political technology meltdown in Iowa

 

FROM CONGRESS AND THE STATES:

ARIZONA SENATE: Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection MORE (R-Ariz.) formally kicked off her 2020 Senate bid on Tuesday, The Hill's Rebecca Klar reports. McSally is one of the most vulnerable senators facing voters this year. She lost her 2018 Senate race to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and only got her current seat after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) appointed her to replace the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRepublicans have dumped Reagan for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (R-Ariz.). This year, she's facing a strong challenge from retired astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who has repeatedly outraised her and leads in recent polls.

 

ALABAMA SENATE: Alabama's Republican Senate primary may be closer than previously thought, according to internal polling released by Rep. Bradley ByrneBradley Roberts ByrneTrump's Slovenia Ambassador Lynda Blanchard jumps into Alabama Senate race Mo Brooks expresses interest in running for Shelby's Senate seat Ex-Rep. Mike Conaway, former aide launch lobbying firm MORE's (R-Ala.) campaign on Tuesday. The poll shows Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE, the former senator and United States attorney general, in the lead with 31 percent support, down from 36 percent in a similar December poll. Byrne, meanwhile, surged 10 points to 26 percent, and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville fell 5 points to 24 percent. The internal poll was first reported on Tuesday by the Alabama political news website Yellowhammer News.

 

POLL WATCH:

MONMOUTH – NATIONAL

Sanders: 26 percent (+3)

Biden: 16 percent (-14)

Buttigieg: 13 percent (+7)

Warren: 13 percent (-1)

Bloomberg: 11 percent (+2)

Klobuchar: 6 percent (+1)

Yang: 4 percent (+1)

 

MORNING CONSULT – NATIONAL

Sanders: 25 percent (+1)

Biden: 22 percent (-6)

Bloomberg: 17 percent (+3)

Buttigieg: 11 percent (+5)

Warren: 11 percent (-3)

Yang: 4 percent (+/-0)

Klobuchar: 3 percent (+/-0)

Steyer: 3 percent (+/-0)

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

The New Hampshire primary is TODAY. There are 11 days until the Nevada caucuses, 18 days until the South Carolina primary and 21 days until Super Tuesday. 

 

ONE FUN THING: 

PONIES 4 ALL: Vermin Supreme is a mainstay of New Hampshire presidential primary politics, often making his pitch to give every American a pony if elected president. 

Our own Cate Martel saw Supreme's platform in action this week when he paid a visit to the DoubleTree in downtown Manchester where most of Washington's media has gathered during the primary.  

No, your eyes do not deceive you. Supreme paraded a pony around the hotel. Talk about keeping a campaign promise! 

Our only question is who's willing to pay for that? 

Be sure to follow @thehill on Twitter and Instagram, and online at TheHill.com for the latest primary coverage. 

If tonight is nothing like Iowa, we'll see you with tomorrow's primary results!