A chorus of grassroots advocacy groups representing millions of people across the U.S. celebrated Sen. Bernie Sanders’ victory in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary Tuesday night as a “major victory for the progressive movement” that was fueled by the kind of diverse working class coalition necessary to defeat President Donald Trump in the general election.
“If you want to see how we’re going to beat Trump in November, look at what just happened in New Hampshire,” said Ryan Greenwood of People’s Action, which is part of a progressive coalition working to drive voter turnout for Sanders in key primary states. “Together we brought in a stunning result for Sanders and an agenda that puts people and planet first.”
“There are thousands of young people like myself who are so excited about the momentum of Bernie Sanders.”
—Alexandra Rojas, Justice Democrats
According to CNN exit polls, Sanders won more votes in New Hampshire from people under the age of 30 than any other Democratic candidate combined. Sanders also won 42% of Latino voters and 32% of voters of color overall, leading 2020 Democrats in both categories.
“The working-class and young voters of New Hampshire showed up in huge numbers tonight vote for Bernie Sanders after a massive grassroots effort to get out the vote,” the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) said in a statement. “We’re proud to be part of an unprecedented and growing movement that is working together to transform the United States.”
In an appearance on CNN late Tuesday as the New Hampshire results came in, Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, pushed back on the corporate media’s efforts to downplay the significance of Sanders’ performance in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.
“He’s getting 40% of the Latino vote. He’s also winning a majority of independents,” said Rojas. “I think that there are thousands of young people like myself who are so excited about the momentum of Bernie Sanders right now and are very confused actually that that is not one of the bigger stories… compared to what seems to be a focus on Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg.”
“I think this is still a huge moment for the progressive movement,” Rojas added.
Bonnie Castillo, RN, executive director of National Nurses United, also celebrated the victory and the nature of the campaign that made it possible.
The Vermont senator, said Castillo, is “the only candidate who is building a grassroots movement to win on the issues that matter most to working people and families across America.”
New Hampshire exit polls showed 60% of primary voters said they support replacing the private health insurance system with Medicare for All, a proposal Sanders has placed at the center of his presidential bid.
“The people of New Hampshire have spoken, and nurses are so moved to know that their support is with Senator Bernie Sanders,” said Castillo. “No one better embodies nurses’ values than Bernie. His platform is the strongest on protecting workers and strengthening the labor movement.”
The youth-led Sunrise Movement, which endorsed Sanders last month, hailed the senator’s win as a testament to the strength of his grassroots base and the importance of bold climate action among voters:
In his victory speech Tuesday night, Sanders attributed his New Hampshire primary win to the “unprecedented, multi-generational, multi-racial political movement” supporting his campaign.
“The reason I believe we are going to win, is that we have an unprecedented grassroots movement from coast to coast of millions of people,” Sanders told a crowd of supporters gathered in Manchester. “This is a movement from coast-to-coast, which is demanding that we finally have an economy, and a government that works for all of us—not wealthy campaign contributors.”