Buttigieg, meanwhile, did all five of the national Sunday shows — known in Washington as a “full Ginsburg” — plus an appearance on WMUR-TV’s local Sunday morning show. He then moved to a busy schedule of four events throughout New Hampshire, starting in Nashua late Sunday morning.
The candidates ended Saturday at a state Democratic Party dinner in frigid Manchester, where Buttigieg defended himself from attacks on his experience, and raucous crowds backing Sanders and Elizabeth Warren packed the rafters of Southern New Hampshire University Arena.
Overnight tracking polls in the state continue to show Sanders and Buttigieg jockeying for first place, after the same two candidates finished in the top two spots in the Iowa caucuses last week. Significantly behind them are Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar, who had her best night of polling on Saturday after what was widely regarded as a strong performance in Friday night’s ABC News/WMUR-TV debate.
Klobuchar, didn’t appear on any of the national Sunday shows, start4d her day greeting voters at a breakfast spot in Concord, the state capital. Biden, meanwhile, holds his first event on the Seacoast in Hampton after appearing on ABC’s “This Week.” Warren will also be interviewed on “This Week.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s strategy, where the campaigns are and what they are doing. Our reporters will be fanned out across the state following all the top campaigns — so check back throughout the day as we update this story with key moments and new developments on the campaign trail.
Bernie bullish on South Carolina
HANOVER, N.H. — Bernie Sanders has long said he thought he would be able to win Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and California backed by his grassroots movement.
Now he’s started adding another state to that list: South Carolina.
The Vermont senator made that assertion Sunday as he traversed New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary, imploring his supporters to turn out. Polling shows he’s the frontrunner in the state, trailed closely by Pete Buttigieg.
“We need a large voter turnout,” Sanders said.
At a town hall here on Dartmouth University’s campus, Sanders was introduced by actor Tim Robbins of The Shawshank Redemption and Bull Durham fame. Sanders thanked him for pursuing political change and not caring just about making money in Hollywood.
During his speech to Dartmouth students, Sanders called out Buttigieg by name for taking money from billionaires, in contrast to his small-dollar-powered campaign. He did not take questions from the students, despite the event being billed as a town hall.
If Sanders’ confidence about South Carolina bears out, it would be a primary-altering turn in the Democratic race. Joe Biden has had a near-lock on the state in polling, but his collapse in Iowa and an expected weak finish in New Hampshire this week has stoked doubts about whether his firewall in the first-in-the-South primary state will hold up.
— Holly Otterbein and Mike Zapler
Fighting for 3rd place, Warren predicts ‘a long battle’ for the nomination
CONCORD, N.H. — Amid lackluster polling and a less-than-capacity crowd here that started to trickle out before she finished speaking, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she isn’t planning to shake up her approach before Tuesday’s primary.
As other front-runners have begun attempts to sharply differentiate themselves in the final weekend before voting begins, Warren stuck to the well-tested stump speech she has been delivering since last summer. She said doesn’t plan to win “by launching a bunch of attacks on each other and trying to tear each other down,” she said.
“I don’t have a campaign that was put together by a bunch of consultants,” she said. “I didn’t pick out a bunch of proposals that were designed not to offend big-dollar donors. I’m fighting for what I believe in.”
In a follow-up question as she walked away from reporters, she was asked if that was swipe at former South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who beat her in Iowa. She kept walking without answering.
She said a loss in New Hampshire, which borders her home state of Massachusetts, would not be a fatal blow. She has a campaign operation in more than 30 other states that vote after New Hampshire.
“There are 55 more states and territories after this,” she said. “It looks like it is going to be a long battle to the nomination.”
— Trent Spiner
Klobuchar draws her largest crowd yet
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Amy Klobuchar greeted her largest audience in New Hampshire so far here on Sunday, according to her campaign staff, which said over 700 people packed into Southern New Hampshire University’s dining hall to hear from the Minnesota senator.
After “Amy!” chants filled the room, she asked for the crowd’s help in the next two days.
“We have made it every step of the way, defied expections because of people,” Klobuchar said. “Now we’re in this state, a primary, where they can count the votes.”
She also excitedly told the crowd that she’s received $2.5 million online donations since Friday night’s debate in Goffstown, N.H., on the campus of Saint Anselm College.
Klobuchar began her Sunday by fulfilling a promise to barnstorm diners in Concord and Manchester. The senator has two more rallies later Sunday in Nashua and Salem.
— Marcus Navarro
Howdy, Pilgrim: Biden jokingly calls woman a ‘lying, dog-faced pony soldier’
HAMPTON, N.H. — In a town hall first, Joe Biden jokingly accused a young woman Sunday of being a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier.”
The exchange occurred after the 21-year-old college student, Madison Moore, asked him to explain what his fourth-place showing in the Iowa caucuses last week said about his electability.
“How do you explain the performance in Iowa, and why should the voters believe that you can win the national election?” Moore, who traveled to New Hampshire with a group of Mercer University students from Georgia to witness the first-in-the-nation primaries.
“It’s a good question. No. 1: Iowa’s a Dem caucus. Ever been to a caucus?” Biden asked her.
She nodded yes. But Biden could tell something was wrong.
“No, you haven’t. You’re a lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” Biden said, using an obscure phrase that, in the past, he has attributed to an old John Wayne movie, “Hondo.”
The crowd chuckled, and so did Moore.
Biden then explained that, as a candidate whose strength is with African-American and moderate voters, he was at a disadvantage in a caucus with an overwhelmingly white and liberal electorate in a caucus.
Moore didn’t sound too offended by the obscure movie reference Biden used but said that “I thought it was a little hypocritical” to use the phrase because Biden earlier had spoken against name-calling.
Otherwise, she also credited his thorough response to her question.
“He did give some good answers. It was a little awkward being put on the spot. But he was right. I haven’t been to a caucus. I kind of caved in the moment,” Moore told reporters afterward. “So he’s right. He’s right there. He’s right about the black vote, too. It’s very important… Pete Buttigieg doesn’t have that support. So I’m still very
skeptical [about Biden’s general-election changes]. But I thought h did a good job answering.”
— Marc Caputo
Pete packs ’em in at Nashua event
NASHUA, N.H. — After a busy morning of TV interviews, Pete Buttigieg drew more than 1,800 voters for his first event of the day, requiring an overflow room for those who couldn’t fit into the gym at Elm Street Middle School.
His stump speech hit its usual notes, including pushing back on the idea that a small-city mayor isn’t experienced enough to become president. “Remember, mayors have to get things done. You are never going to hear [about] the city government shutting down because the two parties couldn’t agree,” he said.
But a telling moment came in the form of a question: “Please address the ‘billionaires for Pete’ criticism.”
On Saturday night, Bernie Sanders’ supporters chanted “Wall Street Pete” at Buttigieg as he spoke during the state Democratic Party dinner. It’s a frequent attack from both the more liberal campaigns of Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have drilled the mayor for raising money in high-dollar fundraisers. Both Sanders and Warren swore off big-money events early in their presidential bids.
On Sunday, Buttigieg asked, in answer to the question, “Any billionaires here? Alright. Just checking.” Buttigieg noted that his campaign has received two million contributions, averaging “under 40 bucks.”
“Now, out of the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve supported our campaign, some of them have a lot of money,” Buttigieg said. “And just as I’m going to expect them to pay more in taxes when I’m president, I invite them to contribute as much as they can if they can share our vision for defeating Donald Trump.”
— Elena Schneider
Bernie vs. Pete on the Sunday shows
Of the five national Sunday shows, four of them featured both Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg in separate appearances — and the two polling front-runners in New Hampshire used the opportunity to take swipes at each other.
The two sparred mostly on campaign finance issues, with Sanders hitting Buttigieg for accepting donations from “billionaires.” Buttigieg touted that he, too, has a network of small donors, and he took a shot at Sanders’ status as a millionaire.
“Well, Bernie’s pretty rich, and I would happily accept a contribution from him,” Buttigieg quipped on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Read more here.
Biden: New Hampshire an ‘uphill battle’
The New Hampshire primary is in two days — and Joe Biden only has two public events in the state Sunday while his top rivals are barnstorming it. At noon, Biden has a get-out-the-vote in Hampton near the border with Maine and then another in Hudson near the Massachusetts border.
In a pre-recorded interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday, Biden acknowledged that winning New Hampshire would be an “uphill battle” – echoing remarks he made at Friday’s debate that he then felt the need to clarify Saturday, insisting, “I’m not writing off New Hampshire.”
As POLITICO noted last week, Biden has said he doesn’t need to win New Hampshire. And he’s campaigning like it.
— Marc Caputo