New Hampshire Democratic primary, 2016

New Hampshire Democratic primary, 2016
New Hampshire
February 9, 2016 (2016-02-09)

Candidate Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton
Home state Vermont New York
Delegate count 15 9
Popular vote 152,193 95,355
Percentage 60.14% 37.68%

New Hampshire results by county
  Bernie Sanders

The 2016 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary took place on February 9. As per tradition, it was the first primary and second nominating contest overall to take place in the cycle. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the primary by a margin of more than 22% in the popular vote. Sanders claimed 15 delegates to Clinton's 9.[1] It was considered a major upset, as it made Bill Clinton's comeback in 1992 and Hillary Clinton's in 2008.

Debates and forums

December 2015 debate in Goffstown

On December 19, 2015, the Democratic Party held their third debate at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire. Hosted by "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir and Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz, it aired on ABC News.[2] Ahead of the debate, WMUR-TV's co-sponsorship had been revoked by the DNC due to a labor dispute. Participants were Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley.

The topics covered during the debate included Sanders' campaign's breach of Clinton's campaign data, strategy for defeating ISIS, gun control, the issue of whether to depose President Assad of Syria, if Wall Street favored each candidate, stability in the Middle East enforced by dictators and whether regime change was necessary, and the role of the First Spouse.[3]

February 2016 forum in Derry

A fifth forum, a Town Hall event, was held on February 3, 2016, in Derry, New Hampshire. It aired on CNN.[4]

Lesser known candidates forum at Goffstown

One of the highlights of the campaign is when the nonrecognized candidates gather together to introduce themselves to the public at this event, which first was held in 1972.[5]

Due to the notorious glitter-bombing incident of the previous cycle, Vermin Supreme was pointedly dis-invited,[6] but showed up anyway, and made the national news. Eighteen people showed up: Jon Adams, Eric Elbot, Rocky De La Fuente, Mark Greenstein, Henry Hewes, William McGaughey, Edward O'Donnell, Graham Schwass, Sam Sloan, Edward Sonnino, Michael Steinberg and several others.

February 2016 debate in Durham

Unlike in previous years, initially only a single authorized debate was scheduled to be held in New Hampshire. Initially planned as an unsanctioned debate, a debate on February 4 in Durham, New Hampshire was however later confirmed by the DNC. Hosted by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow, it was broadcast by NBC News. While Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley all confirmed their participation, O'Malley eventually came to suspend his campaign prior to the debate.

Commentators of the debate cited the elevated discourse between the candidates. There was discussion on the death penalty (federal versus state), money in politics, and assessing Iran, North Korea and Russia as threats to national security. Clinton demanded that Sanders explain his "artful smears" of Clinton receiving campaign donations. Sanders responded by critiquing the inherently "quid-pro-quo" nature of Wall Street campaign donations. The exchange between the two candidates was called by Eric Levitz one of the best 10-minute exchanges in the history of American political debates.[7]


Bernie Sanders in Littleton, New Hampshire, on August 24, 2015
Bernie Sanders Campaign Field Office In Nashua, New Hampshire.
Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic primary.

This is a list of the candidates[8] on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary.

The following notable candidates have been listed in five major polls and participated in all authorized debates:

The following candidate withdrew from the race prior to New Hampshire, but remains on the ballot:

The following candidates have not been invited to any major debates or listed in national polls, but are notable enough to have Wikipedia articles written about them:

In addition to appearing on the New Hampshire primary ballot, the following candidates are on the primary ballot in one or more other state(s):

The following are not presently listed on the primary ballot in any state(s) other than New Hampshire:[18]

Opinion polling

Poll source Date 1st 2nd 3rd Other
Official Primary results February 9, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Others / Uncommitted
American Research Group[19]
Margin of error: ± 5%
Sample size: 408
February 6–7, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
University of Massachusetts-Lowell/7 News survey[20]
Margin of error: ± 5.38%
Sample size: 428
February 4–6, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Others / Undecided
University of Massachusetts-Lowell/7 News survey[21]
Margin of error: ± 5.3%
Sample size: 442
January 29–31, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Undecided 6%
Margin of error: ± 5.3%
Sample size: 347
January 27–30, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other, Undecided, or Not Committed 9%
Emerson College[23]

Margin of error ± 5.2%
Sample Size: 350

January 25–26, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other 1%
American Research Group[24]

Margin of error ± 4%
Sample Size: 396

January 23–25, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other 6%
Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald[25]

Margin of error ± 4.9%
Sample Size: 408

January 20–24, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other 5%
Fox News[26]

Margin of error ± 4.5%
Sample Size: 400

January 18–21, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other 7%
CBS News/YouGov[27]

Margin of error ± 6.2%
Sample Size:

January 18–21, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
No preference 0%
Suffolk University[28]

Margin of error –
Sample Size: 500

January 17–21, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other/Undecided 7%
American Research Group[29]

Margin of error ± 4%
Sample Size: 600

January 15–18, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Undecided 5%
Gravis Marketing[30]

Margin of error ± 4.5%
Sample Size: 472

January 15–18, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Undecided 8%
CNN and WMUR[31]

Margin of error ± 4.8%
Sample Size: 420

January 13–18, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Undecided 6%
Monmouth University Poll[32]

Margin of error ± 4.8%
Sample Size: 413

January 7–10, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Undecided 3%
Fox News[33]

Margin of error ± 5%
Sample Size: 386

January 4–7, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley
Other 2%, None of the above 5%, Don't know 3%
NBC News/WSJ/Marist

Margin of error: ± 4.8% Sample size: 425

January 2–7, 2016 Bernie Sanders
Hillary Clinton
Martin O'Malley


Municipal results of the New Hampshire Democratic primaries, 2016.
  Bernie Sanders
  Hillary Clinton
  Not reported[lower-alpha 1]
New Hampshire Democratic primary, February 9, 2016
Candidate Popular vote Estimated delegates
Count Of total Pledged Unpledged Total
Bernie Sanders 152,193 60.14% 15 1 16
Hillary Clinton 95,355 37.68% 9 6 15
Martin O'Malley (withdrawn) 667 0.26%
Vermin Supreme 268 0.11%
David John Thistle 226 0.09%
Graham Schwass 143 0.06%
Steve Burke 108 0.04%
Rocky De La Fuente 96 0.04%
John Wolfe, Jr. 54 0.02%
Jon Adams 53 0.02%
Lloyd Thomas Kelso 46 0.02%
Keith Russell Judd 44 0.02%
Eric Elbot 36 0.01%
Star Locke 33 0.01%
William D. French 29 0.01%
Mark Stewart Greenstein 29 0.01%
Edward T. O'Donnell 26 0.01%
James Valentine 24 0.01%
Robert Lovitt 22 0.01%
Michael Steinberg 21 0.01%
William H. McGaughey, Jr. 19 0.01%
Henry Hewes 18 0.01%
Edward Sonnino 17 0.01%
Steven Roy Lipscomb 15 0.01%
Sam Sloan 15 0.01%
Brock C. Hutton 14 0.01%
Raymond Michael Moroz 8 0.00%
Richard Lyons Weil 8 0.00%
Write-ins 3,475 1.37%
Uncommitted N/A 0 1 1
Total 253,062 100% 24 8 32
Sources: The Green Papers New Hampshire Secretary of State

Results by county

Sanders won every county.[60]

County Clinton Votes Sanders Votes
Belknap 35.7% 3,49061.3% 5,990
Carroll 36.0%3,230 63.1% 5,655
Cheshire 29.0% 5,166 70.1% 12,471
Coös35.0% 2,013 63.2% 3,637
Grafton 32.3% 6,918 66.6% 14,258
Hillsborough 41.3% 28,099 56.7% 38,646
Merrimack 39.8% 12,209 59.0% 18,076
Rockingham 41.6% 22,829 56.7% 31,080
Strafford 35.1% 8,801 63.2% 15,865
Sullivan 29.0% 2,497 68.5% 5,906


Sanders scored a landslide 22-point routing in the New Hampshire primary, thanks to what The New York Times described as a "harness [of] working-class fury"[61] against the so-called "establishment" candidates like Hillary Clinton, in a state known for its rebellious electorate. Sanders' win was propelled by younger voters, whom he won 74-25, men whom he won 67-32, self-identified Independents whom he won 73-25, and white voters whom he won 61-37 and who comprised 91% of the Democratic electorate in the Granite State. According to exit polls, a 53-45 majority of voters thought Clinton was not honest or trustworthy, while 89% said Sanders was honest. 61% of voters said they were dissatisfied or angry about the federal government. Sanders swept all income levels and educational attainment levels in the Granite State, except those who made more than $200k per year.

Sanders swept all of the major cities, including Nashua, Dover, Concord, and Manchester. Sanders won along the seacoast 59-41, in the Manchester/Nashua area 54-44, in Concord/Ct. Valley 64-35, in the south 59-39, and in the north 65-33.[62]

Sanders' landslide victory was a clear regression for Clinton from 2008, when she had narrowly beaten Barack Obama in the New Hampshire primary thanks to support from populous southern New Hampshire.


  1. The Associated Press did not report results from municipalities where there were five or fewer registered voters.[59]
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  2. "Third Democratic Presidential Debate: 9 Moments That Mattered". ABC News. December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
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  8. William M. Gardner : Secretary of State. "Home - NHSOS". Retrieved December 23, 2015.
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