Speed Reads

New Hampshire primary 2020

Sanders eked out the lowest winning Democratic primary vote share in New Hampshire in 68 years

The relatively low turnout for Iowa's Democratic caucuses prompted some concerns about Democratic enthusiasm in the 2020 election, but New Hampshire primary voters turned out in force on Tuesday. With nearly 90 percent of precincts reporting, 274,785 people voted in the Democratic primary, above the 253,062 turnout level in 2016 and edging close to the record turnout of 287,527 in 2008, as NBC's Steve Kornacki notes.

But as The Atlantic's Ronald Brownstein points out, the high turnout didn't appear to help any one candidate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the consensus declared winner of the New Hampshire primary, but his roughly 26 percent of the vote is a sharp falloff from his 2016 win, when he beat Hillary Clinton 60 percent to 38 percent. Brownstein says that's the lowest winning Democratic vote share in New Hampshire since 1952.

Sanders had "asked supporters to engineer the 'highest turnout in the history of the New Hampshire primary,'" David Weigel reports at The Washington Post, but high turnout "may not necessarily help him: The absence of a real Republican contest has freed up the state's 400,000-plus 'non-affiliated' voters, and in the past few days, it was easy to find them poking around at events for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg."

"If I had to sum up the night (and the Democratic race to date)," FiveThirtyEight's Dan Hopkins wrote Tuesday night, "I'd say this: 'All Your Candidates Belong to Factions.'"