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Democrats in disarray ahead of New Hampshire

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Democrats in disarray ahead of New Hampshire

Democrats in disarray ahead of New Hampshire

Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary may do little to dispel the collective unease or help bridge the deep ideological split between the party’s liberal and moderate wings.

This report produced by Jonah Green.

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Democrats in disarray ahead of New Hampshire

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SEN.

ELIZABETH WARREN, SAYING: "There's still a lotta folks out there who are really starting to get worried..." For Democrats, that's an understatement.

The first week of primary balloting was supposed to start narrowing the field of Democratic candidates to find one who can take on President Trump.

But an embarrassing meltdown in Iowa and a dismal showing by Joe Biden in the state's caucuses has thrown the race into disarray.

Now, as New Hampshire prepares to vote for candidates in Tuesday's primary, Democrats are scrambling to convince voters they're the ones who can beat Trump.

Biden brushed off his slow start in Iowa and New Hampshire, where polls show him in fourth place.

He's looking ahead to states like South Carolina, where the former vice president is polling well.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "We're just getting going.

You gotta get 1900 delegates or more... Nothing's gonna happen until we get down to a place and around the country where there's much more diversity." Elizabeth Warren, who finished third in Iowa and is polling about the same in New Hampshire, shot down concerns over her electability.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SEN.

ELIZABETH WARREN, SAYING: "There are a lotta folks who are gonna talk about what's not winnable, what can't be done, and definitely about who can't do it.

They're going to talk about it right up until we get in that fight, we persist, and we win.

That is how I'll be the first woman president of the United States." The early strength of Senator Bernie Sanders has some voters worried that Democrats will blow their chance to unseat an unpopular president if the party veers too far to the left.

Sanders disagrees.

SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SEN.

BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "You have the option to vote for a campaign which will not only defeat Trump but which will transform this country." The strong performance of Pete Buttigieg, who narrowly won Iowa, has boosted his profile as a centrist alternative to Biden.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "What we know is we have the momentum in this campaign." But polls show he has not attracted much support from black voters, a cornerstone of the diverse Democratic coalition.

And some worry America isn’t ready to elect an openly gay president.

Senator Amy Klobuchar highlighted a boost in support after a strong performance at Friday's debate.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SEN.

AMY KLOBUCHAR, SAYING: "I didn't have the biggest name ID going into this.

But what I had was grit." Adding to the uncertainty is an ascendant Mike Bloomberg.

The billionaire, who’s pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars to change the shape of the race, isn’t even competing in the first four states.

Yet the former mayor of New York has surged to third place behind Biden and Sanders, according to a recent Reuters/Ipsos national poll.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) PETE BUTTIGIEG, SAYING: "I know last week was depressing." Adding to the party’s jitters, last week was one of the brightest in Trump’s three years in office.

His impeachment trial ended in acquittal.

The economy continued churning out jobs.

And a Gallup poll showed 49% of all registered voters surveyed approve of his performance, the highest mark of his presidency – including an overwhelming 94% of Republicans.



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