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Senator Sanders won the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire for a second time, but his 2020 margin of victory over Pete Buttigieg was less than 4,000 votes compared to nearly 57,000 over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary. While a win is a win, I can't help but think this should be a major cause of concern for the Senator as he looks forward to a long primary season.
New Hampshire was supposed to be prime territory for Senator Sanders. It's next door to his home state of Vermont and, while it may not lean as left as Vermont at the state level, the Democratic Party in the state has certainly drifted leftward the past number of years. Or so I thought.
Bernie may have won the most votes in New Hampshire of any one candidate, but the establishment candidates - Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden - collectively received more than twice as many votes as him. That's not just the polar opposite of 2016, it's the polar opposite and then some. In other words, Bernie very well may have lost by 80,000 votes if there was only one instead of three establishment candidates in the race.
Perhaps I'm overthinking the results and should give Bernie props for another win in New Hampshire, but something seems different this year. He received more than 77,000 fewer votes in 2020 than he did in 2016. That, at least to me, shows that his win in 2016 had far more to do with many people in New Hampshire being against Hillary Clinton than being for Bernie.