After the Iowa Caucus chaos, New Hampshire looked good during their Primary. Thankfully they delivered drama-free results. What’s important to remember is that this race is all about pledged delegates. Nothing else matters. There were 24 pledged delegates up for grabs in New Hampshire and both Sanders and Buttigieg came in with nine, while Klobuchar came in with six.
No other candidates won delegates in New Hampshire and Joe Biden slipped from a fourth-place finish in Iowa to fifth in New Hampshire. His campaign is clearly in trouble. Speaking of imperiled campaigns, New Hampshire marked the end of the line for Andrew Yang after he dropped out following his 8th place finish pulling just under 3% of the vote.
The pledged delegate race is a race to 1990. That’s the required number of pledged delegates needed to clinch the nomination without a contested convention because 3,979 pledged delegates are available during the nomination process. Superdelegates only come into play at a contested convention.
The scorecard after New Hampshire looks like this:
Pledged Delegates #needed to win % of remaining needed
Buttigieg: 22 1968 50.3
Sanders: 21 1969 50.3
Warren: 8 1982 50.6
Klobuchar: 7 1983 50.7
Biden: 6 1984 50.7
There are three key takeaways. First, Pete Buttigieg is your leading candidate after Iowa and New Hampshire. Second, Amy Klobuchar is now leading Joe Biden officially in this race meaning Biden is truly the fifth horse in this race exiting the first two stops. Third, the actual leader through the first two states overall, a contested convention. No candidate is winning more than half of the available pledged delegates which are required to win without a contested/brokered convention. This will likely place additional pressure on the lower performing candidates to drop out of the race to provide a greater opportunity for the top tier candidates to win outright. That is unless you buy into the theories that the DNC would prefer a brokered convention in which a candidate who hasn’t even run yet could emerge the winner.
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