The Also-Rans: Biden And Warren Battle It Out For 4th And 5th Place In NH

MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 10: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on February 10, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire holds its first in the ... MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 10: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on February 10, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire. New Hampshire holds its first in the nation primary tomorrow. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 11, 2020 11:23 p.m.
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When the former vice president left New Hampshire before polls even closed Tuesday evening, we had an early indication that things weren’t going to go well for Joe Biden tonight.

But in an outcome that would have been hard to predict even a few days ago, Biden found himself battling for fourth or fifth place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), reducing two of the leading contenders heading into the 2020 cycle to also-rans.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Warren and Biden landed in fourth and fifth place, receiving just 9.4 and 8.4 percent of the vote, respectively.

Sen. Bernie Sander’s (I-VT) win was widely anticipated ahead of the vote on Tuesday evening. But Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) surge to third and Pete Buttigieg’s clinch of a second place finish by just 2 percentage points were not expected in the second-in-nation primary.

Signaling that his team expected an embarrassing outcome, Biden left New Hampshire early for South Carolina, where he has been counting on strong African American support to salvage his campaign later this month. The Biden campaign denied throughout the day on Tuesday that the former vice president was conceding the state in any way, but rather the team wanted to make another stop before heading out to Nevada to campaign ahead of the Feb. 22 caucuses there.

On the ground in South Carolina, Biden remained optimistic, repeatedly reminding those in the diverse crowd which demographic groups haven’t had a chance to vote yet.

“We haven’t heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic Party, the African American community and the fastest growing segment of society, the Latino community,” he said out the gate, harping on the fact that the results only tallied up the opinions of two majority white states. “Where I come from that’s the opening bell, not the closing bell. … it ain’t over man, we’re just getting started.”

Warren told MSNBC the results were a “disappointment” and stuck with a familiar theme: It’s still early.

“I have to tell you, 98 percent of people haven’t been heard from yet. We still have 55 states and territories and this is going to be a long primary process. For me, the central question is what kind of primary process is it going to be? Is it going to be Democrats shooting at Democrats?” she told MSNBC Tuesday evening before urging fellow Democrats against tearing one another apart.

“Is this going to be a long and bitter and divisive one or is this going to be a primary process in which we come together and we run on core democratic values, on core American values, and help pull our party together and help pull our country together. I think that’s what this moment is all about.” 

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