The Democratic Party has a new leading candidate to challenge President Donald Trump for the White House this November. Senator Bernie Sanders won the party’s primary contest on Tuesday in the U.S. state of New Hampshire.One of the top two winners of the New Hampshire primary usually goes on to become the Democratic candidate for president.
Sanders also had a strong finish last week in the state of Iowa.
But some moderates in the party are not happy with Sanders’ left-leaning views. They are looking for another candidate to hold Sanders back.
In New Hampshire, former mayor Pete Buttigieg at first seemed to be the favorite to win. But he ended up splitting the moderate vote with Senator Amy Klobuchar, leaving Sanders in front.
Former Vice President Joe Biden fell behind badly in both New Hampshire and Iowa. He is the only moderate with strong backing from African-American and Latino voters. He has promised to fight on at least until the end of February. At that time, some states with large groups of non-white voters will hold primaries.
All the candidates are also getting ready for another face. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg did not compete in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he will be on the ballot in a number of large states in March. Bloomberg is a billionaire who is paying for his own campaign.
These early primaries show that the battle for the Democratic nomination could go on for weeks or even months, observers say. Whoever pulls ahead as the moderate candidate could become very important to the election.
What does Sanders’ victory mean?
At the end of Tuesday night’s primary in New Hampshire, the total votes for moderates Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Biden were 53 percent. The two more liberal candidates, Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, received a combined 35 percent. Many believe this is a sign that most Democrats prefer a moderate candidate that could get more votes in the general election.
While Sanders got less than 30 percent of the vote in New Hampshire on Tuesday, his thin victory has given him momentum.
Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan from Wisconsin is a Sanders supporter and the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He believes the party will back Sanders if he keeps winning and proves that his message is popular with voters.
“I think everyone understands that he’s got a message that is appealing to a lot of people,” said Pocan.
Sanders has focused on turning out non-white voters, young voters and new voters. He has a strong chance to win on February 22 in Nevada. Biden is still hoping that South Carolina’s large African-American population will return him to the front of the race.
I’m Kelly Jean Kelly.
The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.
Words In This Story
momentum – n. the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes
caucus – n. a group of people who work together for a shared, usually political goal