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Sanders Thanks New Hampshire For Victory In Primary

Bernie Sanders speaks from a podium.
Peter Hirschfeld
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders declares victory in Manchester, New Hampshire Tuesday night. Vermont Public Radio, in collaboration with New Hampshire Public Radio, provided a full day of live updates about the first-in-the-nation primary Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders declared victory in the New Hampshire Primary Tuesday night.

Four years ago, voters in the Granite State transformed Sanders’ improbable campaign into a national political force by giving him a landslide victory over the eventual Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Sanders’ margin of victory Tuesday wasn’t nearly as decisive as it was in 2016. As more precincts reported in, he fells into an increasingly tight race with former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. By the time the Associated Press called the race with 84% precincts reporting, Sanders was just 1.4 points ahead of Buttigieg.


But in his speech at the Southern New Hampshire University Field House in Manchester, New Hampshire, Sanders told a raucous crowd of supporters that they’ve set the stage for wins in key states over the next month.

“Tonight I want to thank the people of New Hampshire for this great victory … and urge all Americans to join our effort to transform this country,” Sanders said. “It’s on to Nevada. It’s on to South Carolina. It’s on to win the Democratic nomination. And together I have no doubt that we will defeat Donald Trump.”

- Peter Hirschfeld

All day Tuesday, we received live updates from Vermont Public Radio journalists as well as our colleagues across the Connecticut River at New Hampshire Public Radio. Scroll down for on-the-ground reports.


11:20 p.m. 

Bernie Sanders took the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire and spoke of his "victory" there.

11 p.m.

Before a result was officially announced, Pete Buttigieg spoke to his New Hampshire supporters:

10:30 p.m.

As more results come in, the race is tightening between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. And so everyone continues to wait.

10:15 p.m.

For the record, we are very much past the "9:30 p.m. sharp" results-in-hand prediction from New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

9:55 p.m.

Tulsi Gabbard spoke to her supporters in Manchester before leaving for South Carolina.

Amy Klobuchar also addressed the crowd at her campaign headquarters in Concord, New Hampshire: "I cannot wait to bring our green bus around the country. I cannot wait to win the nomination."


9:45 p.m.

It appears to be so far, so good at the New Hampshire Secretary of State's office:

9:35 p.m.

Joe Biden speaks on a screen with an American flag in the background.
Credit Maureen McMurray / NHPR

While the race hasn't been called with 40% precincts reporting, both Joe Biden (who is in South Carolina tonight) and Elizabeth Warren have already spoken to supporters.

Read NPR's report on Warren's speech, focused on unity, here.

Elizabeth Warren stands on a stage.
Credit Hannah McCarthy / NHPR

8:45 p.m.

NPR reports Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet has dropped out of the presidential race.

8:35 p.m.


Listen above to hear All Things Considered host Henry Epp catch up with VPR's Peter Hirschfeld after New Hampshire polls closed.

VPR's Peter Hirschfeld is at the Southern New Hampshire University athletic complex, waiting along with numerous Bernie Sanders supporters for the candidate to come out. Peter said that likely won't happen until the race is called later this evening.

8:05 p.m.

According to NPR, the Associated Press has called the New Hampshire Republican Primary, and projects the winner to be President Donald Trump.

NPR has also confirmed Andrew Yang has dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.

8 p.m.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobchar has her own ode:

7:25 p.m. 

And the parties begin:

6:40 p.m. 

Many New Hampshire polling stations close at 7 p.m., and these two betting men will be a little closer to knowing who's going to be the richer one:

6:15 p.m.

Voters, campaign staffers and the cavalcade of media trucks are beginning to arrive at presidential candidates' New Hampshire headquarters for the evening:

6:05 p.m.

A "I voted" sticker below a gold "vote" pin on a mutli-colored sweater.
Credit Casey McDermott / NHPR
Gail Athas, former moderator in Manchester's Ward 3, shows off a pin gifted by her 92-year-old grandmother, who Gail said drove herself to the polls today.

Polling places across New Hampshire are reporting moderate turnout this primary day. In Manchester, election officials are nevertheless taking extra steps to ensure a smooth process.

"We divided the checklist into five stations, rather than four," said Louise Gosselin, moderator of Ward 6. She added they also have a check-in station just for new voters, whose process takes longer.

- Todd Bookman

5 p.m.

Just a few hours left:

3:30 p.m.


Listen above to a conversation between All Things Considered host Henry Epp and VPR's Peter Hirschfeld about the Sanders campaign, Granite State voters and the numerous members of the press (including from VPR) flocking to New Hampshire.

As the hours tick away and polls get closer to closing, many eyes are on Bernie Sanders, who won the 2016 Democratic New Hampshire primary by more than 20%:

3 p.m.

The voting and last-minute campaigning continue in New Hampshire:

2 p.m.

Joe Biden will take his presidential campaign to South Carolina tonight before votes in New Hampshire have even been counted.

Biden's campaign said he'll skip his scheduled primary night party in Nashua, but he will address supporters by video stream from South Carolina. Biden told reporters today not to read too much into his decision to leave New Hampshire ahead of schedule.

Joe Biden at a podium.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

"Well, I'm going to head to South Carolina tonight and then Nevada, like we said from the beginning," he said. "And I'm feeling good about that, but we've got a lot of good friends here, that's helped us a lot, and we’re still mildly hopeful and we'll see what happens."

- Josh Rogers

12:50 p.m.

A person wearing an "I voted" sticker looks out the window of a white van.
Credit Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

VPR's Howard Weiss-Tisman is in Keene, where Keene State College has been busing students about a mile from campus to the local polling site. Diane Duffy, right in the above photo, said it has grown busier as the day goes on.

Howard also ran into some queens:

12 p.m.

A white building with people walking in and out.
Credit Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

In Walpole, New Hampshire, town moderator Ernie Vose said he usually sees about 40% voter turnout. Walpole is in Cheshire County, which is where Bernie Sanders did the best in the 2016 Democratic primary, winning the county with just over 70% of the vote.

See a breakdown of how the 2016 New Hampshire primary winners — Sanders and Donald Trump — did county-by-county, here.

- Howard Weiss-Tisman

11:05 a.m.

VPR's Peter Hirschfeld is meeting voters and hanging out with election officials in Concord, New Hampshire:

10:40 a.m.

The Vermont Secretary of State office is capitalizing on any Vermonters wishing they could be voting today like their Granite State neighbors by telling them ... they can.

10:05 a.m.

A person in teal jacket holds up signs for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a teal dress.
Credit Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New Hampshire state Rep. Becky McBeath supported Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Ward 2 in Portsmouth with a dress in the candidate’s color. McBeath called her prop, “Dress for Success.”

- Dan Tuohy 

9 a.m.

NHPR hit the polls early — like, really early — and reported some of the first New Hampshire results while the rest of us were sleeping:

In Dixville Notch, there was cake:

And Hart's Location, dogs:

8:15 a.m.


Listen above to hear VPR's Nina Keck give Morning Edition host Mitch Werlieb an early update from the New Hampshire polls. 

By 6:50 a.m., there were a good two dozen people waiting outside the AVA Gallery and Art Center, one of three polling places in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Nick Gaffney, who works at the gallery and lives in Lebanon, said the lead-up to Election Day has been filled with robocalls and canvassers knocking on his door. And while it did get tiring, he said he appreciated the kind of access he and other Granite Staters had to presidential candidates.

“I’ve seen Corey Booker, I saw Andrew Yang earlier this month,” Gaffney said. “My wife saw Gillibrand when she was still in the race, and she saw someone else – I can’t remember who.”

He saw three more candidates this past weekend: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“You tend to feel a little bit small when you’re voting,” Gaffney said. “Seeing all the candidates speak over the weekend makes you feel like you’re maybe part of something a little bigger.”

- Nina Keck

People stand in line at a long table.
Credit Nina Keck / VPR
The Lebanon polling station at the AVA Gallery and Art Center.

7:45 a.m.

Before dawn Tuesday morning, about a dozen people met in downtown Burlington, Vermont to catch a bus to New Hampshire. The group was going to canvass for Bernie Sanders, and Hinesburg resident Alex Goss was among them.

“Literally Bernie and my wife are the two people that could get me up this early," he said.

Goss added this was the first time he had ever canvassed.

“I've done the phone-banking, texting,” he said. “We've got quite a crew, apparently we're picking up people here, at the UVM campus, and then Montpelier before heading down."

A yellow school bus on a dark street.
Credit Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Emily Macleod traveled from Montreal to volunteer:

“Bernie supports the Green New Deal for instance,” she said. “Climate change definitely affects Canada. If the U.S. doesn’t get on board with something like a Green New Deal, that’s totally going to affect us in the future anyway.”

The group will knock on doors until around 7 tonight before returning to Vermont. The Sanders campaign field organizer told the volunteers he'll text them updates as the primary results come in.

- Liam Elder-Connors


5 p.m.

A 12 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, thefive registered voters in of Dixville Notch— along with residents in a few other small New Hampshire towns — cast their ballots. And thus begins the New Hampshire presidential primary, plus the ensuing media circus.

(Check out NHPR's Stranglehold podcast episode deconstructing the hullabaloo surrounding Dixville Notch).

VPR has had reporters on the ground since last week, including Liam Elder-Connors, who explored a couple counties and spoke with Granite Staters about what wastop-of-mind in their day-to-day lives.

A tree between a colonial white house and a white barn.
Credit Elodie Reed / VPR
Liam interviewed a crew gathered for popovers and coffee in this building, the Rindge Historical Society's museum in southwestern New Hampshire.

Over the weekend, Liam trailed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign and spoke with more voters, including a truck driver concerned about climate change and a woman deciding between Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg.

He also caught up with the Burlington, Vermont-based Brass Balagan street band in Manchester, New Hampshire:

Read Liam's stories here:

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