Students at the University of Connecticut said they are not too surprised by Bernie Sanders’ victory in the New Hampshire primary earlier this week, beating out young rival Pete Buttigieg by roughly 4,000 votes.
“I was not surprised by the results,” Vice President of UConn College Democrats and President of UConn Students for Bernie Charles Perosino said. “Bernie had a really strong ground game in NH and ended up winning the seven largest cities as well as overwhelmingly with younger and non-white voters.”
Fourth-semester accounting major Thomas Longo agreed, to an extent.
“I personally thought that if there was a year for him, it was 2016,” Longo said. “He ran a great campaign, put up a good fight against Hillary Clinton, and I’ll even give him, even though I’m not a supporter of him at all, that he was cheated out of the Democratic nomination in 2016.”
UConn political science professors Sam Best and Jeffrey Ladewig visited New Hampshire in the days leading up to the primary, hoping to see as many candidates as possible. Ladewig said the polls were pretty accurate.
“We weren’t too surprised (by the results),” Ladewig said.
Longo said Buttigieg’s strong performance in Iowa helped him do well in New Hampshire. Perosino agreed.
“Biden’s fourth place finish in Iowa was definitely a surprise to many, and I think that a lot of people who supported Vice President Biden because of his electability argument are now considering other candidates, with Pete benefiting from that,” Perosino said. “Going forward, I think that Bernie is the frontrunner right now, and his strength with non-white voters is likely to set him apart from Pete in many of the upcoming states.”
Regardless of who wins the nomination, Ladewig said they will need strong organization in order to beat President Trump.
“Trump has got world-class organization now in terms of online organization and databases and such,” Ladewig said. “He will have a very powerful organization and whichever candidate who goes against him will need the same.”
By organization, something Ladewig said Buttigieg excel at, Ladewig gave an example of his experience at “Breakfast with Bernie” to explain.
“It’s to help organize and push campaigns forward,” Ladewig said. “When we wanted to go to Bernie’s events we had to RSVP online. We got a lot of texts from Bernie after that.”
Ladewig said political tactics are always evolving, especially in today’s day and age.
“They’re always changing with technology. Change itself isn’t new, just this specific form that it’s taking is, of course, new,” Ladewig said. “The candidates that adapt to it better and more efficiently are going to get more out of it.”
Thumbnail photo courtesy of (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.