Democratic Candidates Face off in New Hampshire and Nevada

With the 2020 Presidential Election approaching on Nov. 3, the Democratic nominees are facing a series of primaries that will ultimately determine who will run against President Donald Trump. The series of primaries and the resulting debates began on Feb. 3 in Iowa, where a variety of difficulties resulted in no clear winner. Instead, Senator Bernie Sanders narrowly came in first, followed closely by Mayor Pete Buttigieg with Senator Elizabeth Warren in a distant third.

After the uncertainty that filled Iowa, New Hampshire had clearer results. The New Hampshire Primary took place on Feb. 11 with 10 candidates competing for the state’s 24 delegates. Voting kicked off around 6 a.m. and continued until the closing of the polls at 8 p.m. eastern time. Sanders took a slight lead with nine delegates and 76,324 votes compared to Buttegieg’s nine delegates and 72,457 votes. 

“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders told supporters in a speech following the results. Sanders, the 78-year-old Senator from Vermont who rose to fame in the 2016 Presidential Elections, is running his campaign based on self-described “democratic socialist” policies.  Sanders’ platform includes the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and expanded Social Security. He has become the leading progressive candidate following Warren’s lagging third place in Iowa and fourth place in New Hampshire.

Sanders holds a narrow lead over fellow Iowa-frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old comparatively moderate Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. His platform includes the Medicare For All Who Want It plan, improvement of K-12 education, and an agenda for housing justice. He is vying for the moderate Democratic vote with Senator Amy Kloubachar from Minnesota, who placed an unexpected third in New Hampshire with 58,796 votes and 6 delegates, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who has remained relatively low in the polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, receiving only 8.4% of the votes in the latter.

Two other candidates dropped out following the results of the New Hampshire primaries:  lawyer and businessman Andrew Yang and Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado. The remaining candidates will continue on to the coming primaries, including the Nevada caucus on Feb. 22 and the South Carolina Primary on Feb. 29.

In preparation for the Nevada Caucus, six candidates took to the debate stage on Feb. 20 in Las Vegas, adding former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the stage for his first presidential debate. Bloomberg is a latecomer to the Democratic primary, he will not be on the ballots of the first four states to vote .. Bloomberg is running on a platform that includes gun safety and an expansion of the . His first debate was full of blows from the other candidates, with mentions of his “stop-and-frisk policies”  in NYC from Sanders, questions over when he will turn over his tax returns, and criticisms of his history of alleged sexual harassment. 

The debate, which lasted two hours, spanned a variety of issues including healthcare, gun safety and education. All six candidates took shots at each other and as they approached the Nevada Primary on Nov. 22.

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