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Elizabeth Warren’s New Hampshire stumble and her plan to fight back

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — On the eve of Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, hundreds of Democrats packed a Unitarian church in this coastal city to listen to Sen. Elizabeth Warren make her final case.

With her usual energy and bounce, Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, told them she’s the candidate who can take the “fight” to President Donald Trump. Pews were filled. People cheered. A rainbow flag hung from from a balcony in the back. As Warren ripped Trump, the influence of money in politics and corruption with ease and clarity, the scene gave the impression of a liberal to be reckoned with.

But in conversations with several of the New Hampshire voters at Warren’s last get-out-the-vote event before voting started, it was clear they weren’t all fully committed. Some were last-minute shopping, and with Warren sliding in the polls, they were also considering the frontrunner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the two surging Midwesterners, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Richard Lemmerman, a 60-year-old investor from Hampton, N.H., sitting toward the back of the town hall, said he’d probably write in his vote for billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, calling him the “strongest possibility to beat Trump.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth, D-Mass., speaks at a town hall campaign event, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Portsmouth, N.H.

As for Warren? “She’d make a great secretary of state, a great attorney general. I just don’t think she’s going to be a good president,” Lemmerman said. 

New Hampshirites’ lack of enthusiasm showed in Warren’s final standing, a disappointing, distant fourth place, at 9.2%, not even mustering double-digits, and well below Sanders’ first-place 25.8%, Buttigieg’s 24.5% and Klobuchar’s 19.9%. After earning eight national delegates in Iowa, she left New Hampshire with 0.

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