The Biggest Takeaway From the Democratic New Hampshire Primary

PHOTO: Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Derry, N.H., Feb. 3, 2016. PlayJoe Raedle/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
WATCH New Hampshire Primary Results: Everything You Need to Know

(And you thought we were done…)

Perhaps the only surprise last night was Bernie Sanders’ competitiveness among nonwhites and mainline Democrats. A further thought this morning, sparked by Rick Klein, was to look at those groups by age. Voilà: It’s about those pesky youngsters.

Overall, as we’ve reported, nonwhites in New Hampshire divided evenly, 50-49 percent, Clinton-Sanders. That was unexpected, given that nonwhites have been among Clinton's strongest groups in national polls.

Looking by age, we see that Clinton won nonwhites 30 and older in New Hampshire by 18 points, 59-41 percent. That means that nonwhites younger than 30 went heavily for Sanders – by more than a 2-1 margin. The sample isn’t large enough for precise numbers – nonwhites accounted for just 7 percent of Democratic voters in New Hampshire. But clearly it’s the young nonwhites who put Sanders on the map among nonwhites overall.

It’s a similar deal among mainline Democrats (as opposed to independents). They divided 52-48 percent, Sanders-Clinton. Clinton’s best group among Democrats in New Hampshire was the 65+ crowd – they backed her by 63-36 percent. Among Democrats younger than 30, by contrast, it was Sanders by a massive 79-19 percent.

It’s not just youngsters; Clinton also lost Democrats in the 30-44 age range. But it’s her smashing losses among young voters – including young Democrats and young nonwhites – that pose her most striking demographic challenge in the contests ahead.

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