MANCHESTER | Two visions to embody a same party in the face of Donald Trump: voters of New Hampshire have begun Tuesday to vote in a second stage of the democratic primary to decide between two favorites, the socialist senator Bernie Sanders and the ex-mayor more centrist Pete Buttigieg.
Behind them, the other major candidates for the nomination and a democrat are in a pocket handkerchief. Tuesday night, they hope to create surprise, to find a new life… or to avoid the collapse of their campaign.
“Today is the day, New Hampshire!”, tweeted the former vice-president moderate Joe Biden.
A long time favorite in the national surveys, it will be scrutinized, after very disappointing results in the State of Iowa last week.
In the average of polls in New Hampshire, it happens all the fourth ex-aequo with the senator progressive Elizabeth Warren, just behind the other senator Amy Klobuchar, who shares with him ideas as centrist.
As is the tradition, the village of Dixville Notch, near the canadian border, gave the kick-off by opening its polls at midnight. In the rest of the State, the offices are open from 06: 00 (local time) and will allow voters to vote until 20: 00 (local time).
At the gym of the primary school Northwest to Manchester, the main city of the State, where Statues of liberty were printed on the voting booths, about 200 people had already slipped their ballot early Tuesday morning, found the AFP.
The candidates campaigned until late Monday to snatch the favours of the voters of this tiny State in the north-east of the country. And Pete Buttigieg, at the age of 38 the youngest among them, was still in the game égoportraits Tuesday morning outside several polling stations.
It was he who had won by a hair in front of Bernie Sanders on February 3, at meetings of voters in Iowa, the first State to vote in this primary. This time, the election will be held by secret ballot.
Long courteous, the battle is now fierce in the head of the pack, where the spikes pop up.
And it plays out under the watchful eye of ironic to Donald Trump, who likes to laugh at the war between his potential rivals.
The american president, who will serve a second term on November 3, was a guest Monday night in the countryside of democrat by organizing a meeting in New Hampshire. “They are all weak,” he blasted in the direction of democratic candidates.
Increasing the number of meetings for days through this small State, the ten rivals vying to challenge him in November, as well as their constituents, agree on one point: it is necessary to beat Donald Trump.
But their visions differ.
To the left of the party, advocating a “revolution” policy in order to achieve a more egalitarian society, the senator, independent Bernie Sanders, 78 years of age, dominates comfortably in the polls in this State, a neighbour of his fief of Vermont.
He is followed by Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of the city of South Bend (100 000 inhabitants). Former military, first candidate openly homosexual as well positioned in the race to the White House, he called for a policy of “realistic” and reach out to independent voters and republicans, while criticizing the funding of the program Mr. Sanders.
Behind them, the pressure is high on Joe Biden since its meager fourth place in Iowa. Strong, 77 years, of a long political experience, it is best asset to beat Donald Trump.
Hammering on it will not give up the race “whatever happens” on Tuesday, team Biden appears to be well-prepared for new setbacks.
It table, to raise it to the summits, on a good performance in South Carolina, which will vote on the 29 February. There, the black population is very important, and is forfeited to the former vice-president of Barack Obama.
Fighting for their survival, Joe Biden is attacking his main rival at the centre Pete Buttigieg, pinning his lack of experience in national politics.
It saves not Bernie Sanders, saying that it would be “difficult” to rally behind a candidate, “socialist”.
Omnipresent even as he made the impasse on the first four votes of the democratic primary in February, the billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has climbed up to third place in a survey at the national level published on Monday. Who have financial resources almost unlimited, it floods advertisements to the fifteen States that will vote when they enter the fray of the 3 march for the “Super Tuesday”.