Sanders and Clinton Both Lay Claim to New Hampshire Ahead of Primary

Clinton focuses on New Hampshire, despite Sanders' lead in the polls.

February 04, 2016, 2:29 PM

— -- The big question next Tuesday night will be who will win the New Hampshire primary.

But the question the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates seem to be wrestling with in the meantime is which of them has the stronger claim to the Granite State.

Sanders, who hails from neighboring Vermont, is being careful to emphasize that a win in New Hampshire is not a foregone conclusion and Clinton is trying to demonstrate that she is not giving up on a state that has been kind to her and her family in the past.

Sanders is leading in the latest CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll with 57 percent support among Democrats compared to 36 percent for Clinton.

Despite his lead in the polls, Sanders said Wednesday that he’s still an underdog because he’s running against the “most powerful political organization in the country.”

“This is her fourth campaign in her family, here, in New Hampshire,” Sanders said. “The point is that we are going to work as hard as we can to win and, after we do hopefully well here, we’re going to go on to Nevada and South Carolina and do as well as we can all over this country.”

Top Sanders adviser Tad Devine echoed his boss just a day earlier.

“She’s got some advantage, too,” Devine told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. “The Clintons have been here for decades. They have huge support. The entire political establishment practically is supporting her candidacy here.”

New Hampshire has treated the Clintons well in the past. In 2008, Clinton won the primary against then Sen. Barack Obama after she lost to him in the Iowa caucuses.

That year, New Hampshire was also the place where Clinton had one of the most revealing moments of her presidential campaign. She teared up in Portsmouth while talking about how important the election is, not only to her, but for the country, which was obviously received well by the voters.

In 1992, her husband took second place in the New Hampshire primary. It wasn’t a win, but he was still able to declare himself the “Comeback Kid” after the primary results were announced, gaining national attention and more support.

Clinton said at the CNN town hall event some suggested she skip campaigning heavily in New Hampshire because Sanders had an obvious lead.

“Absolutely not, New Hampshire has been so good to me and my family and I love campaigning in New Hampshire,” Clinton said, recalling her response. “I love this process, so you’re going to have to put up with me.”

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