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National Govt & Politics
Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum
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Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

The major candidates for the Democratic nomination for President pinballed their way around New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday, bidding for a late rush of support in a key primary which could further winnow the 2020 presidential field, altering the makeup of part of the Democrat race.

I caught all of the top five candidates over the weekend all across the Granite State, two days of driving which provided a lot of answers to what's going on right now in the 2020 Democratic Party battle.

Let's go candidate by candidate on how things looked this weekend.

+ Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

It doesn't take long to recognize that Sanders has a strong base of support in New Hampshire. He has been campaigning up here for the past two elections. He is from next door in Vermont, and he won easily here in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.  Sanders should be the favorite on Tuesday. But the Vermont Senator is not acting like the favorite, as he bounced around this state Saturday and Sunday, capping it with a big rally at Keene State College, which the Sanders campaign said was the largest of this 2020 cycle. In recent days, Sanders introduced some new lines to his stump speech, accusing Pete Buttigieg of being beholden to big Wall Street donors, and taking aim at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Sanders ends his Granite State campaign with a rally in Durham.

+ Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

If there is one candidate who could threaten Sanders for an upset victory, the most likely person is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Whether he can actually knock off Sanders on Tuesday is a different story, but it is clear that Buttigieg has been drawing bigger crowds after his top finish in the Iowa Caucuses. After getting almost 1,000 people to a rally in Keene on Saturday, Buttigieg blew that away with over 1,800 in Nashua on Sunday morning. "We can't wait to put that chaos behind us," Buttigieg told the crowd. "We can't wait to put the tweets behind us, right?" Buttigieg had help on Saturday from actor Michael J. Fox, who poked fun at President Donald J. Trump ("The 'J' stands for 'genius'), and Sanders ("Why are you yelling at me, Bernie?) Buttigieg finishes Monday night with a rally in Exeter.

+ Elizabeth Warren.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

I covered two Warren events in recent days. Both were well attended (500 and 750 people), and the Massachusetts Senator clearly has a strong core of support in the Granite State. But the polls have been middling of late for Warren, raising questions about where she might finish in a race which is basically in her back yard. Unable to get much of spark in last Friday's debate, Warren has been emphasizing organization and get-out-the-vote efforts in recent days. There was one odd moment at her Sunday rally in the state capital of Concord, when the words "New Hampshire" did not roll off of her tongue, as she was urging voters to help propel her to the White House. "And it is up to you, Massachusetts," Warren said, finally realizing a few seconds later that she had mentioned the wrong state. I was also struck by how several of the questions for her at the rally came from people who did not live in New Hampshire.  Warren finishes her Granite State campaign in Portsmouth.

+ Joe Biden.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

I caught up with Biden on Sunday at Alvirne High School in Hudson. This was of the most unusual campaign stops I have ever covered.  It started normally, as a woman who introduced Biden spoke of the medical troubles of her son, and why it was important for her to save the Obama health law.  The story though immediately sparked memories for Biden in dealing with the terminal cancer of his son Beau. The former Vice President clearly felt a wave of emotion - his voice quivered for a moment as he pulled himself together. Biden found his footing, but there was a hush over the event for a good 15 minutes.  Once he got going, instead of going after fellow Democrats - as he had in recent days - he turned his fire on President Trump. "What in God's name is happening to us?" Biden said, his voice rising. Later on, a woman in the audience laid bare the feeling of some voters. "I love you, a lot," she told Biden. "But I am undecided." On Friday, Biden didn't give New Hampshire supporters much to hope for, as he said at the start of the ABC News debate that he did not expect to win on Tuesday.  Biden wraps up his campaign efforts with a rally Monday night in Manchester, just as President Trump arrives for his own rally.

+ Amy Klobuchar.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

While Biden and Warren seemed to be unable to generate momentum at campaign rallies this weekend, that was not the case with Klobuchar, who saw her crowds suddenly spike after a positive debate performance on Friday night. Some tracking polls also indicated an uptick in support. "We went to four diners this morning," Klobuchar proudly told her final rally of the day in Salem. "I can barnstorm this state," she added, openly appealing to independent and more moderate Republican voters who are turned off by President Trump. "This election is a decency check on this President," Klobuchar said. A strong finish by the Minnesota Senator still remains a long shot, but it was obvious that a number of New Hampshire voters were giving her a serious look this final weekend. My experience in covering every New Hampshire Primary since 1992 tells me that you don't suddenly go from small crowds to drawing over a thousand people - just because.  Klobuchar ends her campaign with a rally in Rochester.

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The Latest News Headlines

  • The Boy Scouts of America said Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as the organization faces numerous sexual abuse lawsuits. In an early morning news release, the organization said it hoped to “equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in scouting and continue carrying out its mission for years to come.” 'Tragically, there have been times when individuals took advantage of the BSA’s programs to harm children,' the news release said. 'The BSA firmly believes that a proposed Victims Compensation Trust structure is the best means of compensating victims in a way that is equitable and protects their identities.' During the process, the organization’s programs, meetings, activities, service projects and other events will continue “for many years to come,” the release said. “The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws,” the organization added. In a letter to participants’ families, the organization also clarified that local councils have not filed for bankruptcy and “are legally separate, distinct and financially independent.” It also stressed that Boy Scouts of America has ramped up background checks and “developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.” Read more here.
  • Officials are looking for a mountain lion that attacked a 6-year-old girl at a park in Cupertino, California, multiple news outlets are reporting. According to the Sacramento Bee, the incident happened Sunday morning as a group of visitors walked in Rancho San Antonio County Park and Open Space Preserve. The animal “came out of the bushes and ... grabbed a hold of the girl,” Ranger Brad Pennington told KGO-TV. An adult who was with the group punched the mountain lion, striking its ribs, the outlets reported. The girl suffered minor puncture wounds, officials said. Authorities have closed the park until they find the animal, the outlets reported. Read more here or here.
  • A woman in her 80’s died in a three car crash on A1A and L’Atrium in Ponte Vedra Beach on Monday night. According to Florida Highway Patrol, a vehicle headed north on A1A collided with a car that was making a left turn from A1A to L’Atrium Drive. A third car sustained minor damage from flying debris.  82-year-old Sarita May of Ponte Vedra Beach, who was a passenger in one of the cars, died. The driver, 74-year-old David Sparrow, sustained critical injuries.  The other drivers involved had minor injuries.  FHP says charges are pending additional investigation. 
  • A Wisconsin man has received a life sentence in the death of a 2-year-old boy, authorities said. According to WBAY-TV, David Heiden, 29, of Two Rivers, was sentenced in Manitowoc County Circuit Court on Monday, about three months after he pleaded guilty to a charge of child abuse causing death in the April 2019 slaying of Gilbert Grant. Court documents alleged that Heiden was watching the toddler at a Two Rivers home on April 26 when he hit the boy with a sandal and “forcefully shook him hard while yelling at him to go to sleep,” the Herald Times reported. Emergency crews later responded to a report of an unresponsive child at the home and found the boy dead, authorities said. Police said that after they arrested Heiden, he said he “didn’t care” about the boy because Gilbert wasn’t his child, according to the Herald Times. It will be at least 25 years before Heiden is eligible for parole, the newspaper reported. Two other adults, Rena Santiago and Bianca Bush, also face child abuse-related charges in the case, the Herald Times reported. Gilbert was Santiago’s son. Read more here or here.
  • A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect through 9 am, with poor visibility early as you head back to work and school following the long holiday weekend.  Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says we'll turn very warm and quite humid today.  “A fairly wide range in temperatures from near the Florida/Georgia border where temperatures will only be in the 70’s to low to mid 80’s when you get across parts of Clay and St. Johns County, especially south of State Road 16”, Buresh said.  It’s going to feel humid, too, and that will help trigger scattered showers in the afternoon and evening hours.  Wednesday is another pretty warm day with scattered showers, temperatures will be in the upper 70’s.  Then we transition to cooler air for the end of the week and into the start of the weekend.  Thursday will be breezy with a few showers and temperatures around average in the mid-60’s. Friday will feel quite raw with temperatures struggling to get in the mid-50’s with blustery conditions. 

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