BOSTON (CBS) — Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, but didn’t have as much of a victory as he might’ve wanted, according to James Pindell, political analyst for The Boston Globe. Sanders didn’t break 30%, and moderates Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden, if pooled, out-polled leftists Sanders and Elizabeth Warren 52% to 35%.
“If you forgot to give your significant other any flowers, I’ve got your back. Bernie Sanders bought all those flowers for Amy Klobuchar,” Pindell said. “Had she not surged at the end, Pete Buttigieg obviously would have won the New Hampshire primary.”
Pindell pointed out that polling showed Buttigieg overtaking Sanders at one point before the primary. He thinks that would have continued had Klobuchar not done well in the Friday night debate before the primary, successfully siphoning votes from Buttigieg.
According to Pindell, Sanders has now set the record for the largest percentage win for the New Hampshire primary from 2016, and the smallest, in 2020.
“It’s a stunning reversal of where he’s at, but clearly a win is a win for him,” he said. “If he had lost, this would be an entirely different race. Now that he won, he’s barely this way, but we have to call him the front-runner.”
Pindell said that Sanders has now won one (and a half) states, has more money than any other candidate and is leading in national polls.
Warren, on the other hand, had a bad night in New Hampshire. Pindell said it was very important for her to do well there given their history of electing women, her strong ground game there and Massachusetts politicians historically doing well there.
“I don’t know how she can argue that she’s gonna do better in Nevada or South Caroline or Super Tuesday when it went so badly there for her,” he said.
Pindell said Warren’s choice not to challenge Sanders may have been a mistake, but that that may change soon.
Warren also may be in trouble in Massachusetts. She may not even make it to the state primary, Pindell said.
“If this is not going well for her campaign, either after Nevada, which is next weekend, or if she’s heading to South Carolina and it’s not happening, will she be willing to put up with the embarrassment of losing her home state and what does that mean?” he asked.
Pindell said this was a key reason why California Sen. Kamala Harris dropped out when she did — two weeks before the California filing period. He says she was afraid of being beaten in her home state as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was in 2016 when Trump won the primary.
Mike Bloomberg, who grew up in Medford, is also starting to do well in Massachusetts, he said. Things are going well for Bloomberg, but he is untested on the debate stage.
“He seems to take advice, but he needs a lot of it if he’s going to survive this,” Pindell said. “Warren definitely wins this fight. Sanders wins this fight. He’s a sitting billionaire right there.”