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blog: jamie-dupree

Democrats flood New Hampshire in one final primary appeal

Published: Monday, February 10, 2020 @ 6:14 PM

Fighting through snow and cold rain on a final day of campaigning, leading Democrats in the 2020 race for President rushed through one more blizzard of campaign events in the Granite State, on the eve of finding out whether their months of work - and millions of dollars in overall spending - was going to produce a result beneficial to their candidate.

"It's going to be a busy day," said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), as he addressed a supportive crowd at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. 

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Sanders urged his supporters to turn out in large numbers, and cast the New Hampshire vote as the start of major change in the U.S. political system.

"Tomorrow could begin the end of Donald Trump," Sanders said to cheers.

While Sanders was hoping to win on Tuesday, other Democrats were simply hoping for a good showing.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who had been languishing in the polls for months, suddenly got a second look from New Hampshire voters after the final Democratic debate on Friday.

Over the weekend, her crowd numbers swelled dramatically, as she drew 1,100 people to an event in Nashua, and had to turn away people Monday in an event in Exeter.

"We're on a bit of a surge," Klobuchar said to cheers at the historic Exeter Town Hall, where the room filled up well before her rally was to start.

There were also cheers as Klobuchar talked about waking up to two tracking polls which showed her edging ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, into third place in New Hampshire.

Like her competitors, Klobuchar appealed to those in attendance to consider voting for her - and get their friends to do the same.

"I'm asking you to do that, today, tonight," Klobuchar implored. "Call your friends, and ask them to vote for me."

While Biden and Klobuchar were doing four formal events, Warren was only holding two campaign stops - a rally in Rochester, and a final event in Portsmouth.

"It comes to you, New Hampshire," Warren told voters at her first stop, as she characterized the 2020 election in dramatic terms.

"Our democracy hangs in the balance," Warren added.

Warren has worked for months to set in place an effective ground game in New Hampshire, something which could offset any late gains by Klobuchar in the polls.

But after a distant third place finish in Iowa, anything worse than third could be damaging for Warren, especially since the election is basically taking place in her back yard - and yet, she seems to have little home court advantage.

Like Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden could also face trouble for his campaign if he places in fourth or fifth on Tuesday.

Biden started the day up north in New Hampshire, in the town of Gilford, again pressing his theme of experience, and making clear his distaste for the current occupant of the White House.

"Trump is coming to New Hampshire today," Biden said, drawing chuckles from his audience, about the President's primary-eve rally. "I can hardly wait."

Just about the time that Mr. Trump will be holding a campaign rally in Manchester, Biden was going to be just a five minute drive away, holding his own late campaign event.

"Donald Trump is now in more danger to our community and our country than he's ever been," Biden said.

Biden has said no matter what the results on Tuesday, he will go on to Nevada and South Carolina.

One wild card on Tuesday will be the results of Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who finished nose-to-nose with Bernie Sanders in Iowa, and has seen his poll numbers bump up here in New Hampshire since the Caucuses.

In his first event on Monday, Buttigieg more directly criticized Bernie Sanders, altering his usual stump speech to specifically raise questions about all of the social plans which Sanders has introduced during the campaign.

"How are we going to pay for it?" Buttigieg asked.

"Here's the problem - there's $50 trillion worth of spending," Buttigieg added.

Buttigieg and Sanders will both being going on past New Hampshire no matter what - what's not clear right now is whether it will be another one-two finish like in Iowa.

As for the polls, they seem to be pointing all in the same direction - which might make some wonder whether they are missing something happening inside the Democratic Party electorate.

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