- Results are starting to come in from New Hampshire, the first primary of the 2020 presidential election.
- Early results show Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who virtually tied in the chaotic February 3 Democratic Iowa caucuses, leading the initial returns.
- Per tradition, a few small towns first voted at midnight. All polls in the state will close 8 p.m. ET. Follow along for live results.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Polls across the Granite State began to close at 7 p.m. Follow along with our live, up-to-the-minute coverage here:
Catch up on live coverage from the primary:
What’s at stake in the New Hampshire primary
While New Hampshire is a small state that holds just 24, or 0.4%, of the delegates allocated through the primary process and isn’t representative of the larger Democratic primary electorate, it holds disproportionate importance as the first primary.
Of the 24 pledged delegates:
- 8 will be decided by the outcome of the vote in the 1st Congressional District
- 8 from the vote in the 2nd District
- 8 from the statewide vote
As usual, there’s a 15% threshold, above which presidential candidates get delegates.
The results of Tuesday’s Democratic primary are likely to be particularly crucial for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, both of whom are hoping for a strong comeback after their third- and fourth-place finishes in Iowa.
The past two winners of the Democratic New Hampshire primary, however — Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016 and Hillary Clinton in 2008 — didn’t go on to win the party’s nomination, meaning a victory or loss in the Granite State won’t necessarily make or break a candidate.
Who does the polling say is ahead?
The most recent primary polls have shown the top five candidates all polling in double digits in the state, meaning the outcome is likely to be closely decided as it was in the Iowa caucuses.
FiveThirtyEight’s forecast of the election gives Sanders a 68% chance of getting the most votes, followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who it says has a 28% chance of getting the most votes.
In Real Clear Politics’ average of New Hampshire polls, Sanders leads the field with 28.7% support on average compared with 21.3% for Buttigieg, 11.7% for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 11% each for Warren and Biden, 3.7% for Andrew Yang, 3.3% for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and 3% for Tom Steyer.
Buttigieg received a significant 7-percentage-point surge in the state, to 21% from 14%, after his apparent first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. And following her well-received performance in Friday night’s debate, Klobuchar saw a mini-surge to 11.7% from 8%, putting her neck and neck with Biden and Warren.