After last week’s debacle in Iowa, there were no hiccups in the tallying of New Hampshire’s votes, which resulted in Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) claiming a swift and decisive victory.
In contrast to the disastrous Iowa caucuses which took place on Feb. 3 and turned into a five-day affair thanks to the faulty app used to report the votes malfunctioning and leading to no official result being given due to errors and inaccuracies, the New Hampshire primary went off without a hitch, concluding after about roughly three hours.
Nearly every poll predicted that Sanders would fetch a runaway victory in his neighboring state by a five-point lead or more. Several polls also correctly predicted that Buttigieg would take second place.
Sanders’ win comes as no surprise to followers of his campaign. The senator had previously walked away victorious in the Granite State back in 2016 and spent the days leading up to the event rallying his troops to ensure a decisive victory.
Around roughly 11 p.m., once it was determined that Sanders had indeed won New Hampshire by securing 25.7% of the votes, the Vermont senator took to the stage to address his flock of cheering supporters.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the people of New Hampshire for a great victory tonight…Let me say tonight that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump…we’re going to Nevada, we’re going to South Carolina, and we’re going to win those states as well.”
Next, he discussed his fellow candidates.
“Tonight, I want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation and respect for all of the Democratic candidates we ran against. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden…no matter who wins…we are going to unite together and defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.”
Lastly, after engaging in his trademark riffs about healthcare, climate change and tuition-free public college, Sanders made it clear that his goal is not to just unseat Trump but to move the country forward in a new direction.
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“Our campaign is not just about beating Trump. It is about transforming this country. It is about having the courage to take on Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry, the military-industrial complex. Tonight, I want to thank the people of New Hampshire for this great victory, thank our volunteers, and urge all Americans to join our effort to transform this country at BernieSanders.com…And together I have no doubt that we will defeat Donald Trump. Thank you all very much.”
The next hurdle that the Sanders campaign is looking to clear is Nevada. All but one of the polls predicts him placing second, with the exception of a CNN poll from last September that predicts Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden tying for first at 22% and a CBS News/YouGov poll that has Sanders clinching first place by a two-point margin. The rest of the polls, including January’s latest poll, have Biden in the lead.
A possible second-place finish for Sanders isn’t the only thing on the minds of voters, though. It was revealed during the week of the Iowa caucuses that an app would also be used to record the votes in Nevada. The app in question was originally slated to be the exact same one that brought the Iowa results to a sluggish halt. However, soon after the public outcry the faulty software caused, the Nevada Democratic Party (NDP) announced that they would be ditching the bug-riddled app in favor of another.
In their official statement released on Feb. 4, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II asserted that “NV Dems can confidently say that what happened in the Iowa caucus last night will not happen in Nevada.”
However, concerns have begun to surface. According to tech news outlet Recode, the replacement app will be preloaded on the iPads that will be sent out to caucus chairs in an effort to increase security. But, as with the “Shadow Inc.” developed Iowa caucus app, whose name was made public thanks to several investigative journalists amidst the confusion and chaos of the caucuses’ snail-paced results, the name of the company developing the new app for Nevada is being withheld as well.
Adding fuel to the fire, it was revealed that Emily Goldman, a campaign organizer for former South Bend, Indiana Mayor and current Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, had been recently hired as the NDP’s “Voter Protection Director” earlier this month.
The news serves as red meat for those who claim that either the Buttigieg campaign, establishment Dems, the Democratic National Committee, or all three of them together are attempting to thwart a possible Sanders or Warren nomination. After news broke that the Buttigieg campaign had paid Shadow Inc. $42,500 last summer, rumors began to swirl.
Once Shadow Inc.’s identity was uncovered, online sleuths discovered that Tara McGowan, CEO of a nonprofit known as Acronym, which acquired Shadow Inc. last year (during the caucus fallout, McGowan stated that Acronym is merely an investor in the company), had shown her support for Buttigieg on Twitter soon after he announced his bid back in January of last year. Additionally, Michael Halle, Mcgowan’s husband, serves as a strategist for Buttigieg’s campaign and his brother, Ben Halle, worked as Buttigieg’s Iowa communications director.
Despite the assertions of many, it may simply be a case of coincidence and political proximity. With both McGowan and her husband having worked as members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff, the duo has connections with both the former first lady and the hosts of the popular liberal podcast Pod Save America, who were staffers for former president Barack Obama. As these and other details surrounding the clunky Iowa app were revealed, some have considered that sloppiness and high political ambition—rather than corruption, are to blame.
Regarding the new replacement app, the Nevada Democratic Party released a memo on Thursday stating that “The caucus calculator will only be used on party-purchased iPads provided to trained precinct chairs and accessed through a secure Google web form,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
With yet another hastily cobbled together piece of software set to be put to test on Feb. 22, voters, pundits and political junkies alike are anxious to see which candidate comes out on top and if another embarrassing disaster can be avoided.