cloudyn.png
Thursday November 14th, 2019 7:46PM

Sanders' past New Hampshire backers wary to commit again

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire has been good to Bernie Sanders, delivering him a 22-point victory in 2016 that was one of his biggest blowouts that year. But as he launches his second campaign for the presidency, there are early signs that he doesn't have a lock on the nation's first primary.

More than a half-dozen Democratic leaders, activists and lawmakers who endorsed the Vermont senator in 2016 said they were hesitant to do so again. Some said they were passing over the 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist in search of fresh energy while others said that, 11 months away from the primary, it's simply too early to make a choice.

That caution underscores one of the central challenges facing Sanders. His insurgent 2016 campaign took off in part because he was the sole alternative to the more establishment-oriented Hillary Clinton. But in a 2020 field that already spans a dozen candidates and includes several progressives, women and people of color, Sanders isn't the only option for people yearning for political change.

"He's right on many of the issues that I care about," said Jackie Cilley, a former state senator who endorsed Sanders in 2016. "But I'm just looking at some new candidates."

With his name recognition and residency in neighboring Vermont, Sanders goes into New Hampshire with an early advantage. But his rivals aren't ceding the state to him.

On a recent New Hampshire swing, California Sen. Kamala Harris insisted she would compete for the state and took a not-so-subtle dig at Sanders by noting she's not a democratic socialist. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, of neighboring Massachusetts, along with Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, have also visited New Hampshire.

Endorsements aren't the only sign of a candidate's strength. And Sanders and his team insist they won't take New Hampshire for granted. His first swing through early-voting states this week as a 2020 presidential candidate includes several stops in New Hampshire.

The senator plans to spend "a lot of time" in the state, said Jeff Weaver, Sanders' 2016 campaign manager who is now working as a senior adviser for the new campaign. He acknowledged it would be difficult for Sanders to notch as big of a victory in New Hampshire as he did in 2016.

"In a very big field, it will be impossible to get that kind of margin again," Weaver said.

Several Democrats said the size of the field has made them think twice about backing Sanders too quickly.

"It's massive," liberal activist Dudley Dudley said of the 2020 roster. "Our cup runneth over or something, I don't know. I'm struggling with it myself."

Dudley said she's still fond of Sanders but has also been impressed by other senators who have visited New Hampshire, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

"If I were to endorse (Sanders), it would be because I believe he is the most likely to be able to beat (President Donald) Trump," she said. "And it may come out that way. I don't know. But I want to weigh it. I want to look at all of the candidates."

Steve Marchand, the former mayor of Portsmouth, endorsed Sanders in 2016 but described himself as "wide open" when it comes to 2020.

"I'm not going to support anybody for a good long time," Marchand said. "I want to kick the tires on everybody."

Another hurdle for Sanders is one of his own making. His leftward push against Clinton in 2016 proved so popular among Democrats that it's now become vogue for the younger generation of 2020 candidates.

Looking at the crowded 2020 field, former state Sen. Burt Cohen said it seems like Sanders' 2016 agenda is "pretty much everybody's agenda," including "Medicare-for-all" and criticizing income inequality.

After endorsing Sanders in 2016 and working as a delegate for him at the Democratic National Convention, Cohen hasn't "fully decided yet" whether he'll support Sanders, saying, "I may end up endorsing Bernie. I'm not sure."

The approach is shared by fellow 2016 Sanders delegate Andru Volinsky, who now holds a seat on the state's executive council.

"My initial inclination is towards Sen. Sanders," Volinsky said. "But the door is not completely closed to others."

Despite the caution from some Democrats, others have already embraced his 2020 run.

Sanders has kept the support and help of Kurt Ehrenberg, who was the New Hampshire state director for the unsuccessful effort to get Warren to run during the 2016 cycle. He then became the New Hampshire political director for Sanders during the presidential campaign.

Rep. Mark King, a Nashua Democrat, endorsed Sanders in 2016 and said he plans to do so again, in part because Sanders has the same values and the same approach as he did before.

"I didn't just blindly follow the senator again," said King, who was a 2016 delegate for Sanders.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sanders' past New Hampshire backers wary to commit again
Days after Bernie Sanders announced his second run for president, prominent New Hampshire supporters of the Democratic socialist's first campaign said they have not decided if they will support him again.
12:36AM ( 13 minutes ago )
A different kind of freshman marks Pelosi's new majority
New kind of freshman: A lot has changed in the 12 years since Speaker Nancy Pelosi last ran the House
12:35AM ( 14 minutes ago )
McSally says a superior officer raped her when in Air Force
Sen. Martha McSally, the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat, says she was sexually assaulted by a superior officer
12:33AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
N Korea airs documentary glorifying Kim's summit with Trump
North Korea's state TV on Wednesday aired a documentary glorifying leader Kim Jong Un's recent visit to Vietnam that omitted a failed nuclear negotiation with President Donald Trump last week
10:02PM ( 2 hours ago )
Young feted as longest-serving Republican in House history
U.S. Rep. Don Young was feted for becoming the longest-serving Republican in House history
9:22PM ( 3 hours ago )
China's Huawei launches court challenge to US security law
Chinese tech giant Huawei launches US court challenge to law that labels company a security risk and would reduce access to American market
9:11PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Democrats flex power by taking aim at money in politics
Democrats are moving to push through the House a comprehensive elections and ethics reform package they say will reduce the role of big money in politics, ensure fair elections and restore ethics and integrity to Washington
6:18PM ( 6 hours ago )
The Latest: Cohen says he'll 'continue to cooperate'
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, says he will "continue to cooperate" with investigators
5:39PM ( 7 hours ago )
Omar's Israel remarks expose Democrats' simmering divisions
Omar's Israel remarks expose Democrats' simmering divisions as House leaders plan resolution against anti-Semitism
3:23PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Elections
Ex-NYC Mayor Bloomberg won't run for president in 2020
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not running for president
8:38PM ( 1 day ago )
Sanders vs. Clinton: 2016 rivalry proves hard to overcome
The 2020 Democratic primary may be in full swing, but the bruising 2016 contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton never ended for some
7:08PM ( 1 day ago )
Inslee says he welcomes super PAC help in presidential bid
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee welcomes support from a super PAC even though many fellow Democratic presidential candidates reject them
5:32PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Cohen returns to Capitol Hill for 4th day of testimony
Trump's former lawyer returning to Capitol Hill for a fourth day of testimony, though behind closed doors
12:18AM ( 1 day ago )
As investigations swirl, Trump team ready to fight, distract
Trump's response plan to the ever-expanding congressional probes into his campaign, White House and personal affairs is coming into focus
6:59PM ( 1 day ago )
As investigations swirl, Trump ready to fight, distract
Trump's response plan to the ever-expanding congressional probes into his campaign, White House and personal affairs is coming into focus
5:34PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
A different kind of freshman marks Pelosi's new majority
New kind of freshman: A lot has changed in the 12 years since Speaker Nancy Pelosi last ran the House
12:35AM ( 14 minutes ago )
McSally says a superior officer raped her when in Air Force
Sen. Martha McSally, the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat, says she was sexually assaulted by a superior officer
12:33AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Lawyer says Ghosn is not entirely healthy, praises release
The lawyer for Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's former chairman, says his client isn't entirely healthy after more than three months of detention
12:23AM ( 26 minutes ago )
China's Huawei sues to challenge US security law
Huawei launches US court challenge to law that labels company a security risk and would reduce access to American market
12:13AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Report: Government kept tabs on journalists, 'instigators'
A San Diego TV station says the U.S. government ran an operation to screen journalists, activists and others while investigating last year's migrant caravan from Mexico
11:47PM ( 1 hour ago )