Bernie Sanders tops Pete Buttigieg in crucial New Hampshire primary

Pete Buttigieg Bernie Sanders New Hampshire primary

Bernie Sanders has won a narrow victory over gay presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg in the New Hampshire primary.

The socialist senator from Vermont is now leading the pack in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination after he claimed 26 per cent of the vote with 94 per cent of precincts reporting.

Sanders was closely followed by the moderate former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who came out of nowhere last year to join more well-known Democrats on the campaign trail. Buttigieg got around 3,000 less votes than Sanders, putting him at about 24.5 per cent of the overall vote.

Bernie Sanders says slim New Hampshire victory spells ‘beginning of the end for Donald Trump’.

While Sanders narrowly won the overall primary in New Hampshire, he won over the same number of delegates (nine) as Buttigieg.

The slim victory comes just a week after Buttigieg came out with 26.2 per cent of the vote in the Iowa caucus where he was closely followed by Sanders at 26.1 per cent.

The New Hampshire primary spells trouble for both Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden. They trailed behind Amy Klobuchar, who finished in third place, in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Speaking to supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, Sanders said: “This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump,” according to The New York Times.

This victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.

He claimed a “great victory” in the primary, despite the fact that final results had not yet come in, and promised to win Nevada and South Carolina too.

Meanwhile, Buttigieg presented himself as the winner in his speech, despite Sanders’ overall victory, and hit out at criticism that he lacks the experience to be the next president of the United States. He said New Hampshire voters had come to the conclusion that “a middle-class mayor and a veteran from the industrial Midwest was the right choice to take on this president, not in spite of that experience, but because of it”.

Pete Buttigieg has proven a divisive figure among Democrats and in the LGBT+ community.

Buttigieg, a centrist candidate, has divided opinion within the Democratic party. His opponents in the presidential race have hit out at his lack of experience and his poor showing among African American voters.

However, he is proving popular with conservative Democrats who see a moderate candidate as their best hope of beating Donald Trump in the presidential election later this year.

But Sanders, a democratic socialist, has captured the left of the Democratic party, where his radical promise for change is considered a powerful playing card.

Buttigieg has sharply divided opinion within the LGBT+ community too. While many have lauded the 38-year-old former mayor for his openness about his sexuality, others have been critical of his policies.