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As New Hampshire Votes, One Question Is Key

Who finishes third?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2020 2:00 PM CST
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., left, greets people outside a New Hampshire primary polling location, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Manchester, N.H.   (AP Photo/Holly Ramer)
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(Newser) – New Hampshire is voting in the first primary of the 2020 season (and the traditional small-town midnight results are in). Going into the night, the most important question may be who finishes in third place, writes Domenico Montanaro at NPR. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are expected to claim the top two spots, but the third-place spot could speak volumes about the future of the race.

  • Bernie Sanders: He's leading the state polls, and he won here easily in 2016. Anything short of a victory will be seen as a "major disappointment," per the New York Times.
  • Joe Biden: He's setting expectations for another weak finish after fourth place in Iowa. In fact, he's already left New Hampshire for South Carolina, reports Politico. At this point, third place would great news for Biden, but many previews are expecting fourth or even fifth. He will survive no matter what, but a fifth-place finish would damage hopes for a big rebound in South Carolina later this month, a Democratic strategist tells the Hill.

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