The Democratic Candidates Move to the Next Primaries
In a very close New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders was declared the winner, followed by Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Sen. Elizabeth Warren came in fourth and former Vice President Joe Biden came in fifth. Andrew Yang announced that he would suspend his campaign after a second disappointing finish following Iowa. Sanders continues to do well with voters of all ages, but stands out with his support among young people.Read the summary, watch the video and answer the questions. You can turn on the “CC” (closed-captions) function and read along with the transcript here. STOP video at 6m:15s for time’s sake.
So, what’s the state of the presidential primary as democratic candidates leave New Hampshire and set their sights on Nevada and South Carolina? “[What] we do know is that Bernie Sanders did what he was hoping to do, which is really turning out — turning out voters in student towns like Durham, like Plymouth, like Keene, where there are big schools here. And that’s what he was hoping to do, and that’s what he did,” Jon Ralston of the Nevada Independent told the NewsHour.
“Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are now fighting it out for the moderate voters,” according to Lauren Chooljian of New Hampshire Public Radio, “We have talked this entire election long thus far about this progressive vs. moderate split. The Nevada primary will take place on Feb. 22nd and South Carolina’s primary will be held on Feb. 29th.
Questions on Democratic Candidates and the Primaries
- Focus question: How much do primaries matter in the electoral process?
- What is the purpose of the primary system? What is the difference between primaries and caucuses?
- (If you have not already discussed the primary process in class, be sure to allow students to conduct some research on the process.) Does the primary system seem fair to you? Why or why not? What are some issues that seem problematic? How could they be addressed?
- How do you think age influences voting behaviors? Why do you think Sen. Sanders is doing so well among young voters?
- Who would you support if you could vote or if you were of voting age? Explain why.
- Media literacy: Check out headlines from a few different news outlets following the New Hampshire primary. What do you notice about them? How do they cover certain candidates? Do you think the coverage is fair? Explain.
- Then look up coverage of the upcoming Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina primaries. Do you see any patterns? What are they? What is the tone of the headlines and articles? (BuzzFeed, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, The Young Turks, Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fox).
Extension Activities on Democratic Candidates and the Primaries
- Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary was another big night for former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who came in a close second. But can he compete in more diverse key states like South Carolina, where his poll numbers are low? Buttigieg sat down with Judy Woodruff the morning after to discuss what distinguishes him from other candidates, as well as one critique of his fundraising. Watch the interview here (transcript here).
- Ask your students these media literacy related questions: What data was used in the story to support the headline “Buttigieg: Results are proving to S.C. voters he’s ‘a serious contender'”? What did you learn about Buttigieg’s policy issues? What questions would you have asked Buttigieg?
How 2020 Democrats are positioning themselves after New Hampshire With the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary over, 2020 Democrats are looking ahead to states including Nevada and North Carolina.
- Check out these two Student Voice pieces on the Iowa caucuses and the primaries!
This article was originally published by PBS NewsHour Extra and can be found here.