The battle of New Hampshire: Multiple candidates gain the Big Mo

Momentum - the Big Mo, as George H Bush called it - is the key prize from this first-in-the-nation primary election.

Winning in New Hampshire is meant to provide the slingshot to get a presidential candidate into orbit.

For Bernie Sanders, Tuesday night was indeed a precious, hard-fought victory.

One that he hopes propels him to the Democratic nomination and ultimately the White House.

His supporters are mostly young and seeking radical change, and they spoke of this as a first step to the Presidency and to major reform across America.

A win for the Bernie Sanders camp but there is still reason to be cheerful elsewhere. Credit: AP

But this win was not exactly convincing, especially since Senator Sanders is from neighbouring Vermont and performed far more impressively four years ago.

So somehow this was both a victory and a stumble at the same time.

It’s that sort of election.

Surging last night was Amy Klobuchar - the Senator from Minnesota.

She will now benefit from being the surprise package of New Hampshire, with all the momentum and fundraising potential that brings.

And there was yet another victor last night.

Don’t ask me how an election can have three winners, but that’s 2020 for you.

Amy Klobuchar picked up vital momentum. Credit: AP

Pete Buttigieg also sustained his improbable campaign with a strong second place.

His message of generational change caught fire again, just as it did in Iowa last week.

He’s only 38 years old, and the audacity of a former mayor running for the presidency of the US is quite something to behold.

So the story of this fascinating night is that there are possibly six tickets out of New Hampshire for Democratic contenders.

That’s how many candidates remain viable going forward.

Bernie Sanders was boosted by winning; Pete Buttigieg came in a close second; Amy Klobuchar was the surprise of the night; Elizabeth Warren retains strong support elsewhere; Joe Biden believes he can do well in South Carolina; and Michael Bloomberg is waiting in the wings with his billions.

Pete Buttigieg's audacious run for the White House is far from over. Credit: AP

So we can say this with confidence: the battle for the Democratic nomination has just begun.

Now the campaigns move on from snowy New England to the Deep South and the American West.

What a race it will be.

A contest for the soul of a disorientated and shell-shocked party, split along gender, ideological, and generational lines.

New Hampshire normally narrows the field. This year it seems to have thrown out multiple lifelines.