How Klobuchar's surge affected the New Hampshire primary

After finishing fifth in Iowa's chaotic caucuses, Amy Klobuchar headed into New Hampshire's primary primary looking for a boost – and she got one. She exceeded expectations to land in third place with about 20% of the vote, beating former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Klobuchar heads into Nevada and South Carolina with some wind at her back, though those demographically diverse states may prove more challenging.

New Hampshire – a predominantly white swing state dotted with small towns – is the sort of place Klobuchar has argued she could reach due to her strong support at home in greater Minnesota.

Mapping the results by New Hampshire township reveals where Klobuchar performed best. While she only received the most votes in 25 towns, she finished second behind U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders or former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in about 75 other places. Here's a closer look at her performance in the Granite State:

Ranked placement by votes
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Bernie Sanders 9 76,324 25.7%
Pete Buttigieg 9 72,457 24.4
Amy Klobuchar 6 58,796 19.8
Elizabeth Warren 0 27,387 9.2
Joe Biden 0 24,921 8.4
Other  0 36,737 12.4

A split vote possibly helped Sanders

Some observers have wondered whether Klobuchar's surge may have peeled votes away from Buttigieg and benefited Sanders, who's New Hampshire win this time was slimmer than in 2016 and didn't reach a vote majority.

It isn't always clear whom a voter's second choice might be based on the ideology of their first choice, nor is it clear how Sanders would perform with fewer rivals on the ballot.

But it is clear that Klobuchar and Buttigieg – candidates perceived as moderate Democrats – drew more votes than the two progressive standard-bearers, Sanders and Warren.

Klobuchar's New Hampshire constituency was somewhat ideologically and demographically broad, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis, while some of her biggest boosts came from college-educated white women, older voters and those who were undecided until late. And similarly to Buttigieg, she did well with voters identifying as moderate or conservative.

Moderate candidates

COMBINED TOTAL 131,253 44.2%
Pete Buttigieg 72,457 24.4
Amy Klobuchar 58,796 19.8

Progressive candidates

COMBINED TOTAL 103,711 34.9%
Bernie Sanders 76,324 25.7
Elizabeth Warren 27,387 9.2

The road to Super Tuesday

In the next couple weeks, Nevada and South Carolina will hold caucuses and a primary, respectively, the final two contests before Super Tuesday on March 3, where Minnesota and about a third of Democratic delegates are up for grabs.

Klobuchar's polling in bigger states has been weak, according to Real Clear Politics averages, though many of those surveys were conducted before Iowa. As upcoming states are polled more heavily, Klobuchar could see further bumps in support.

To continue her momentum though, she will need to further expand her support base and draw votes from more diverse corners of the Democratic electorate.