Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential hopes took another hit Tuesday night with a worse than anticipated performance in New Hampshire, even after the campaign worked to downplay expectations.
As of Wednesday morning with 96 percent of precincts reporting, Biden came in a distant fifth place finish with just more than 8 percent of the total vote. Biden performed so poorly in New Hampshire, that the former vice president didn’t even emerge from the primary with a single delegate moving on to Nevada and South Carolina.
For a candidate who has pinned his message on electability with the best chances to win in November, Biden hasn’t been doing much winning. Even worse for the 77-year-old candidate, Biden has been losing in the areas he needs to win the most.
Biden did not come close to even being a top three finisher in any of the three New Hampshire counties that flipped to President Donald Trump in 2016. In Iowa, Biden captured only a single county that did so but only by a mere two points. In Buchanan County located just west of Cedar Rapids, Biden narrowly won the county with 31 percent of the vote while former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in with 29 percent.
Biden’s campaign braced for another beating following an abysmal fourth-place finish in Iowa. During Friday’s debate in Manchester, Biden kicked off the primetime event by conceding four days before the contest.
“I took a hit in Iowa, and I’ll probably take a hit here,” Biden said on stage.
As voters went to the polls on Tuesday, Biden fled to South Carolina and skipped an entire day of Granite State campaigning.
Now as the contest moves to Nevada and South Carolina in the run-up to Super Tuesday looming large on Mar. 3, Biden must reassure voters he is the best person for the Democratic Party to pit against Trump this fall without much evidence to the contrary.
Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making a claim to frontrunner status coming off New Hampshire in a second straight win. While Buttigieg won the delegate count in Iowa by a razor-thin margin, Sanders decidedly won the popular vote by more than 6,000 and has eclipsed Biden as the frontrunner in Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of national polls.
In New Hampshire, Sanders narrowly swept all three counties that flipped to Trump as of Wednesday morning, though still only 94 percent of precincts are reporting in state’s southern Hillsborough County with Sanders maintaining a mere one percent lead over Buttigieg. In the state’s western Sullivan County, Sanders leads Buttigieg by two percent with 88 percent of precincts reporting.