Bernie Sanders wins North Hampshire Democratic primary
Senator Bernie Sanders narrowly won the New Hampshire Democratic primary election Tuesday, consolidating his hold on the progressive left wing of the party and his position in the race as a front-runner, fending off a surge from moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, who came second and third.
Former Vice-President Joe Biden, who entered the race as a front-runner and continues to lead in polls, finished a poor fifth amidst growing talk of fading prospects. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive like Sanders, came fourth in yet another sign of rapidly diminishing chances.
Senator John Bennet and entrepreneur Andrew Yang, whose unorthodox run and style had generated a lot of interest and headlines, dropped out of the race after performing poorly in the primary, and the field will narrow further as the race travels to other and larger, and more diverse states.
“This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” Sanders said to supporters. He had tied the first race, the Iowa caucuses, with Buttigieg, who is riding high with two close finishes for the top in two states now. Klobuchar is also being watched after the surprising third position.
Next up, on February 29, are the states of South Carolina and Nevada, both of which have large populations of African Americans and Hispanics. Biden, who came fourth in Iowa and fifth in New Hampshire is hoping to put his campaign back on track in South Carolina, for instance, where he holds a sizable lead in polls among African Americans.
Biden will find billionaire Tom Steyer waiting for him there though, as the latter has also focussed on that state to shore up his chances. The big prize, of course, will the Super Tuesday contests on March 3, when 11 states hold their primaries and caucuses. Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has been surging in polls, has been focussed on these states as his key to nomination.
Justice dept recommends lesser sentence for Trump confidant
Meanwhile, the US department of justice triggered a massive controversy Tuesday by recommending a lesser sentence for Roger Stone, a a long-time confidant of President Donald Trump, for lying to Congress and witness tampering.
The justice department overturned the recommendation of six to nine years by federal prosecutors, shortly after a tweet from Trump who sought a lighter punishment for his associate. The two were not connected, the department has insisted.
All four prosecutors who dealt with the Stone case, from the office of the US attorney for the District of Colombia, withdrew from the proceedings in protest
Jurors of a Washington DC federal court had convicted Stone last November of all seven counts of lying to congress and witnesses tampering in connection with his efforts to coordinate the release of hacked Democratic party documents by WikiLeaks in the run up to the 2016 elections.
His sentencing is set for next week.