Bernie Edged Buttigieg But Klobuchar is the Real Winner


Bernie Sanders edged Pete Buttigieg in close New Hampshire primary. The real winner vs expectations was Amy Klobuchar.

When it comes to these early primaries, the winner isn't necessarily the person who won. It's the margins vs expectations that matter.

With that in mind, let's consider the final polls.

Final New Hampshire Polls

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Performance vs Polls

  • Sanders: - 2.8
  • Buttigieg: +3.1
  • Warren: -1.7
  • Biden: -2.6
  • Klobuchar: +8.1

I see one clear winner and one runner-up winner.

Neither is Bernie Sanders.

New Hampshire Delegate Count

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If those estimates hold up, Buttigieg will have won the most delegates in Iowa and tied in New Hampshire.

Few if any expected Klobuchar to win 25% of the New Hampshire delegates.

Dropping Out

The field narrowed tonight.

Michael Bennet and Andrew Yang dropped out this evening.

Tom Steyer denies rumors that he is dropping out.

The point is moot. Everyone to the right of Biden in the above image is toast.

Warren Crippled

Senator Elizabeth Warren is crippled.

However, unlike Amy Klobuchar, she has a good national organization. Warren can stay in as long as she wants.

If she does, it will likely take votes away from Sanders. That matters.

And if you watched the speeches tonight, it almost seemed like Warren was rooting for Klobuchar. In regards to women, Warren again referenced her claim that Bernie Sanders said a woman could not win. That's an allegation that Sanders denies.

During one of the debates, Warren stated "Only two people on this stage have never lost an election". The Two people were herself and Klobuchar.

Warren may be crippled, but she is out for Bernie.

Increased Odds of No Winner

The New Hampshire Primary increases the odds of a contested convention.

A lot can happen, but the odds of no winner are now about 30% in my estimation.

That is up from 25% in my previous forecast. For details please see Bloomberg Soars to 15% in Latest Quinnipiac Poll

Here is the key point: Nearly any setup in which 3 candidates can maintain 15% or more of the vote until the end leads to a negotiated convention. And it does not have to be the same three in each state.

Tonight did nothing to resolve the key issue.

Bernie has die hard supporters and a huge national organization, but the exit polls show all the late deciders went to Butrigieg or Klobuchar.

Back-Handed Compliment

Nice reference to age.

Spotlight Nevada

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Nevada Debate, February 19

Anyone who thinks they know what's going on in Nevada based those polls is more than a bit mistaken. The polls are too stale.

Yang dropped out. Steyer has not qualified for the February 19 debate and is highly unlikely to.

So, take Steyer's 10% and Yang's 4% and allocate them elsewhere? But where?

Spotlight South Carolina

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If Klobuchar polls at 2.0% in the next poll, I will eat my hat. Yang is gone.

Allegedly, Tom Steyer has close to 19% of the vote but he will not be on the stage in the Nevada primary based on new DNC debate requirements. So take his 18% and allocate them elsewhere.

But who do they switch to? Biden or Klobuchar would be my first two guesses.

The one total that makes sense to me is Warren at 10% or so.

We need a flurry of polls, and to be meaningful, they all have to be after tonight.

Easy Wins Gone

The easy winds for Bernie Sanders are now behind him. And arguably, he did not even win. Buttigieg is in the delegate count lead.

Who expected that?

Bloomberg is a Wildcard

Michael Bloomberg is an enormous wildcard. It's a case of 3 Down 1 to Go: Bloomberg Hits 3rd Qualifier for NV Debate

If Bloomberg qualifies and accepts an invite, expect howls.

The DNC modified the rules for the Nevada Debate and that rule changed opened the door for Bloomberg.

Rigged System

Bernie Supporters Scream "Rigged System" in response to the rule change.

Assume Bloomberg Makes the Stage

If Michael Bloomberg makes the stage, what then?

The answer depends on my previous key point: Nearly any setup in which 3 candidates can maintain 15% or more of the vote until the end leads to a negotiated convention. And it does not have to be the same three in each state.

We could easily see three candidates topping 15% in the Nevada caucus. Four is not out of the question.

Nevada has 36 pledged delegates. But that count is not meaningful. For comparison purposes, California has 415 pledged delegates.

Momentum Matters

Momentum is what matters at this point.

Sanders, Klobuchar, Bloomberg, and Buttigieg all have a good shot at momentum. Biden needs to recover either in Nevada or South Carolina.

It's amazing how otherwise nearly meaningless Electoral College states have changed the focus. Had the first primary been in South Carolina, Biden would likely be hugely in the lead.

Regardless the key issue remains. No one is on a clear path to a majority of delegates and Tuesday night proved it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (33)
No. 1-15

Bloomberg is right about crime. It will be interesting to see how his words on this topic will bite him in the ass.

Wu Tang Financial
Wu Tang Financial

I'm not sure why you're taking Steyer's votes away...if you don't qualify for the debate do they take your name off the ballot now?


The votes to the bottom candidates matter as they took votes away from the top candidates and others who could have crossed the 15% threshold in NH for delegates.


The whole crime thing with Bloomberg is overstated because he was likely free referring to NYC. America isnt NYC. Every candidate is flawed so the one that gives free stuff away is ahead. He doesn't know how it will be paid for but it doesn't matter. If people think Bernie will be president many states will flip their vote for the senate or house to limit his power. Gridlock isnt all bad.


Bernie will benefit from Warren becoming less viable as many of her voters will defect back to Bernie. Meanwhile, Bloomberg will make the moderate lane much more competitive for Amy, Pete and Joe. Bloomberg's Super Tuesday entry makes Bernie the only candidate with a shot to make it to Milwaukee with a majority (and the favorite for a plurality by far). The 15% minimum may have a counterintuitive impact in a crowded field by concentrating delegates among three or four different candidates per state, one of whom will always be Bernie (with the most solid +15% support in all states). Bernie, Biden and Bloomberg in Texas. Then Bernie, Pete and Bloomberg in California. Bernie may get a majority this way. If the field narrows soon (so that three or four candidates can all reach 15% in all states), then Bernie may have plurality but not majority.

Looking forward to Clinton or Obama standing up in front of a plurality of Bernie delegates in Milwaukee telling them to take another bullet for the team so that Bloomberg can "unite the party" against Trump.


Its a dog and pony show. The super delegates will pick. Votes mean nothing. Bernie is out. It's amazing how folks think we are a democracy. Go ahead and vote.


Mayor Pete won’t sell in the South. Communists don’t work there, either. That’s where Biden mounts his comeback.


How come Bernie can stomach calling himself a "Democrat" long enough to run for President, but he immediately resigns his Democratic party affiliation afterwards?

There is a Socialist Party. He should exhibit the principles of his supposed convictions and run on the Socialist Party ticket.

But of course he has no principles, other than freeloading, so riding the Democratic Party's tail-coats (and its political name recognition) is precisely what you'd expect from an unprincipled, con-artist Socialist......

(Same with AOC....) another unprincipled freeloaders.... She would never have been elected had she run on the Socialist Party ticket.


I don't see a single one that I like better than Trump, and he sets a pretty low bar.


"Rigged System"

It is obviously a rigged system. One person yesterday said he voted for Sanders because of all the attacks on Bernie by MicrosoftNBC.
The DNC has been talking about allowing Super Delegates to vote in the first round, just to stop Sanders. This, after the DNC promised not to rig the nomination again. Heads i win, tails you lose, is not democracy. Your vote doesn't count. In 2016, Goldman Sachs said Hillary or JEB were acceptable to them. It is Goldman Sachs that counts.


The real winner this week is the Trump administration. They are challenging sanctuary cities and states in court, stating they are blocking federal immigration law. Evidently the Clinton administration got a ruling previously that state and local governments had to comply with the federal government on immigration law. Trump will once again pit legal immigrants against illegal immigrants in the 2020 election. Citizens will make the decision in the election but it will be easy for Trump to portray the entire Democratic party as aiding and abetting illegal immigration, extreme, out of step with the country and that the party has moved away from the tough immigration laws passed by the Clinton administration in the mid 1990s.


This will be a walk in the park for Trump if Bernie is the nominee. It will be easy to portray him as out of step with the majority of the country. The United States was not created as a socialist county. You will hear the word socialism a million times so much so that even upper/middle working class people will choose Trump.


What will Bernie Bros do if Bloomberg is the nominee? Will socialists vote for a billionaire? How many will walk away?


Sanders, Butty and Kobuchar are lightweights who, even if they were to win, would be PINO's, begging the question: who would they actually be answering to? Seems to me the answer, most likely is: Bloomberg, who is buying himself a political Party right now (he's not just funding his own run, but many others on many levels).

'They' have to re-establish some sort of semblance of order with a complacent, docile press giving the country the sense of everything being back to normal again whilst corruption-as-usual returns as the norm.

So the only thing that matters now is:
can they take House and Senate (at least) and ideally also the WH or not?

It's going to be a battle. But none of the current candidates except Bloomberg has a chance of being a true national leader except as a Manchurian.


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