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National Govt & Politics
Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum
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Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

Sanders still the New Hampshire favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

The major candidates for the Democratic nomination for President pinballed their way around New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday, bidding for a late rush of support in a key primary which could further winnow the 2020 presidential field, altering the makeup of part of the Democrat race.

I caught all of the top five candidates over the weekend all across the Granite State, two days of driving which provided a lot of answers to what's going on right now in the 2020 Democratic Party battle.

Let's go candidate by candidate on how things looked this weekend.

+ Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

It doesn't take long to recognize that Sanders has a strong base of support in New Hampshire. He has been campaigning up here for the past two elections. He is from next door in Vermont, and he won easily here in 2016 over Hillary Clinton.  Sanders should be the favorite on Tuesday. But the Vermont Senator is not acting like the favorite, as he bounced around this state Saturday and Sunday, capping it with a big rally at Keene State College, which the Sanders campaign said was the largest of this 2020 cycle. In recent days, Sanders introduced some new lines to his stump speech, accusing Pete Buttigieg of being beholden to big Wall Street donors, and taking aim at former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Sanders ends his Granite State campaign with a rally in Durham.

+ Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

If there is one candidate who could threaten Sanders for an upset victory, the most likely person is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Whether he can actually knock off Sanders on Tuesday is a different story, but it is clear that Buttigieg has been drawing bigger crowds after his top finish in the Iowa Caucuses. After getting almost 1,000 people to a rally in Keene on Saturday, Buttigieg blew that away with over 1,800 in Nashua on Sunday morning. "We can't wait to put that chaos behind us," Buttigieg told the crowd. "We can't wait to put the tweets behind us, right?" Buttigieg had help on Saturday from actor Michael J. Fox, who poked fun at President Donald J. Trump ("The 'J' stands for 'genius'), and Sanders ("Why are you yelling at me, Bernie?) Buttigieg finishes Monday night with a rally in Exeter.

+ Elizabeth Warren.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

I covered two Warren events in recent days. Both were well attended (500 and 750 people), and the Massachusetts Senator clearly has a strong core of support in the Granite State. But the polls have been middling of late for Warren, raising questions about where she might finish in a race which is basically in her back yard. Unable to get much of spark in last Friday's debate, Warren has been emphasizing organization and get-out-the-vote efforts in recent days. There was one odd moment at her Sunday rally in the state capital of Concord, when the words "New Hampshire" did not roll off of her tongue, as she was urging voters to help propel her to the White House. "And it is up to you, Massachusetts," Warren said, finally realizing a few seconds later that she had mentioned the wrong state. I was also struck by how several of the questions for her at the rally came from people who did not live in New Hampshire.  Warren finishes her Granite State campaign in Portsmouth.

+ Joe Biden.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

I caught up with Biden on Sunday at Alvirne High School in Hudson. This was of the most unusual campaign stops I have ever covered.  It started normally, as a woman who introduced Biden spoke of the medical troubles of her son, and why it was important for her to save the Obama health law.  The story though immediately sparked memories for Biden in dealing with the terminal cancer of his son Beau. The former Vice President clearly felt a wave of emotion - his voice quivered for a moment as he pulled himself together. Biden found his footing, but there was a hush over the event for a good 15 minutes.  Once he got going, instead of going after fellow Democrats - as he had in recent days - he turned his fire on President Trump. "What in God's name is happening to us?" Biden said, his voice rising. Later on, a woman in the audience laid bare the feeling of some voters. "I love you, a lot," she told Biden. "But I am undecided." On Friday, Biden didn't give New Hampshire supporters much to hope for, as he said at the start of the ABC News debate that he did not expect to win on Tuesday.  Biden wraps up his campaign efforts with a rally Monday night in Manchester, just as President Trump arrives for his own rally.

+ Amy Klobuchar.

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Sanders still the NH favorite as Buttigieg, Klobuchar show momentum

While Biden and Warren seemed to be unable to generate momentum at campaign rallies this weekend, that was not the case with Klobuchar, who saw her crowds suddenly spike after a positive debate performance on Friday night. Some tracking polls also indicated an uptick in support. "We went to four diners this morning," Klobuchar proudly told her final rally of the day in Salem. "I can barnstorm this state," she added, openly appealing to independent and more moderate Republican voters who are turned off by President Trump. "This election is a decency check on this President," Klobuchar said. A strong finish by the Minnesota Senator still remains a long shot, but it was obvious that a number of New Hampshire voters were giving her a serious look this final weekend. My experience in covering every New Hampshire Primary since 1992 tells me that you don't suddenly go from small crowds to drawing over a thousand people - just because.  Klobuchar ends her campaign with a rally in Rochester.

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News

  • Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol are continuing to investigate after they said a motorcyclist struck and killed two pedestrians Thursday evening. According to a witness, the motorcyclist was going an estimated 80 to 100 mph when it struck Anelsy Alba, 33, and her 6-year-old daughter, Sheyla Ruiz. The two were taken to a hospital where they later died. After the impact, the motorcycle continued moving down the road, hopped the center median into oncoming traffic and collided with a minivan. “It zoomed by me and then I saw it hit something and (it) exploded into several pieces,” the witness said. The mother and child did not use a crosswalk when they were crossing the street, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of the motorcycle, Bryan Smith, was taken to the hospital in serious condition. It is unclear if he will face any charges. Officials said the driver of the minivan is in good condition.
  • An Oklahoma sheriff’s office is looking for who left a dog mutilated and bound in a field. The Humane Society of Tulsa shared a post on social media on Thursday showing Atlas -- a dog who had been dumped with his ears cut and covered in glue and his legs strapped together. “Today’s one of those days when you question humanity,” the post read. “Not only was he dumped in a field with his back legs strapped together, glue (yes glue) had been poured into his ears and then fast food wrappers had been shoved into the ears and stuck into the glue. One ear canal is so bad it looks like he will need surgery. Some type of chemical had been dumped on his face/ears and it appears his ears have been partially burned or cut off.” The Humane Society said fast-food wrappers were found shoved in the dog’s ears and a BB pellet was found inside him -- indicating he might have been shot by a BB gun. “From the moment we met him, he wasn’t mean, vicious or protectively aggressive. He just wanted help and warmed up to us as he realized we were there to help,' the Humane Society said. Atlas might need to see specialists and get surgery so they are asking people to donate to help with his care. Anyone who might know something about who left Atlas in this condition is asked to contact the Creek County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Police in Johnson City, Texas, are making sure the alleged meth users in their community are healthy. The department is kindly offering to test meth after it “found out” that it could be “contaminated” with coronavirus, KSAT reported. If users want to have the stash tested, they are more than welcome to take it to the police department, but if they don’t want to risk leaving their home, the police will come to them. You can read the entire post below:
  • As the fears of the coronavirus continue to spread, a beer with a now-unfortunate name is feeling the effects of the outbreaks. Corona beer sales are down because of fears over the name’s similarity to the deadly virus. A recent survey of American beer drinkers found that 38% of those asked will not buy Corona beer and 16% are confused if Corona beer is related to the coronavirus, USA Today reported. 5WPR, the company that conducted the survey, also found that 14% of those who would normally buy Corona, won’t do it in public, CNN reported. Constellation Brands, which own Corona Extra in the U.S. among other brands, has taken a 6% hit in the stock market as the entire financial system falls because of coronavirus fears, CNBC reported. But the company’s spokeswoman, Maggie Bowman, said the survey is misinformation and that sales are still strong, USA Today reported. The company said that its customers “understand there is no link between the virus and our business,” CNN reported. The company is doubling down on that belief and is going to go through with the launch of a new product, a Corona-branded hard seltzer that some say is “ill-timed,” USA Today reported. The ad campaign says “Coming ashore soon.” But Corona is not the only beer that is apparently not selling. Anheuser-Busch InBev has said it’s going to be down about 10% for the first-quarter profit because of coronavirus. Because people are not going out in countries hit hard by the virus, beer is not selling, CNBC reported. More Budweiser is sold in China than in the U.S., CNBC reported.
  • It was thought that dogs could not contract the COVID-19 or the coronavirus that is plaguing people across the world, but a pet dog in Hong Kong has apparently tested positive for the coronavirus. The result, however, was weak, the government of Hong Kong said, according to Fox News. The positive test was confirmed by the government of Hong Kong in a press release. The dog is the pet of a patient who has coronavirus. The test resulted from “environmental contamination” of the dog’s mouth and nose. The animal is in quarantine. It does not have any symptoms. Officials with the Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department are now saying that the pets of patients who test positive should also be in quarantine for 14 days, Fox News reported. The country’s agriculture department doesn’t believe the pets can become infected or infect humans, Bloomberg reported. Still, the American Kennel Club says to wash your hands with soap and water after coming in contact with any pet and you don’t need to get a muzzle mask to protect an animal from the virus. But if you do see a change of health, call your veterinarian.
  • Roswell officers are out in force Friday morning after four people ran from a police chase and only two were apprehended.  While police do not believe the public is in any danger, officers are positioned at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School and near school bus stops as a precaution, according to a spokesman for the department. The vehicle pursuit took place about 3 a.m., the spokesman said in a news release. An officer spotted a stolen vehicle during routine patrols and a pursuit ensued after he called in backup. One of the officers positioned a patrol car to stop the fleeing vehicle, commonly known as a PIT maneuver, and four people ran from the vehicle in the area of Woodstock and Crossville roads, according to police. Two were captured with the help of police dogs, drones and the Georgia State Patrol’s helicopter. The names of those apprehended and details on their charges were not disclosed. “After hours of searching, two suspects remain on the run,” the spokesman said in the release. “We believe that the two suspects escaped the area in a secondary getaway vehicle.” Police are asking anyone who lives in the area and witnessed anything suspicious to call 770-640-4100.  In other news: