February 7, 2020

AND SO IT BEGINS:

Pete Is a Serious Young Man. In N.H., it May Be Enough (Howard Fineman, February 07, 2020, RCP)

Buttigieg's best venues so far have been debates, where he can surprise observers and opponents with his tough counter-punching that belies his seeming geniality. Pete likes a fight. You wouldn't necessarily know it, but he does.

"The last big debate is always important," said Ray Buckley, the Democratic Party chairman in the state. "But this one may be more important than any I can remember." 

In the New Hampshire primary, everything decisive happens starting Friday.

The rise of Pete Buttigieg feels less like a New Hampshire explosion - in the tradition of Gary Hart in 1984 or John McCain in 2000 - than a process of elimination. Turnout is expected to be level with 2016, or even down.

For college students and other mostly young voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere, Sanders is the man. Those kids are facing a future of massive student debt, an economy that is "thriving" because wages are being kept down, and a health care and retirement system that could collapse on them.

Bernie's final big events are, not surprisingly, at the University of New Hampshire and Keene State College. They will be massive and fervent. In Iowa, he was unable to expand his youth brigade to other voting groups. Here, he has half the support he had in 2016, although admittedly in a much larger field. His poll numbers put him tied for the lead so far, but they aren't moving.

Elsewhere in the field, Joe Biden is slowly fading here. Elizabeth Warren's cadre admires her, but it feels as if she has lost the moment. Klobuchar, who was endorsed by the largest paper in the state, the conservative Union-Leader, is liked by many - especially independents and Republicans - but is having a hard time finding a path in the same lane as Pete.

Posted by at February 7, 2020 2:11 PM

  

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