Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is making significant changes to his staff in the early primary state of New Hampshire following rumblings of a Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) surge in the Granite State.
The Sanders campaign announced on Sunday that it replaced presidential campaign operations state director Joe Caiazzo with Shannon Jackson– a familiar face to Team Sanders. Jackson served as a senior adviser during Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid and ran his successful Senate reelection campaign last year. The campaign reportedly moved Caiazzo to the neighboring state, Massachusetts.
Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir did not indicate that the move had anything to do with Warren, instead emphasizing the importance of focusing on Super Tuesday states.
We’ve built a great team in NH and are in a really strong position there. The campaign is now building out our operations to include Massachusetts and Maine state directors as we increase our focus in Super Tuesday states. We are running a 50 state campaign, taking no state or voters for granted and expanding our operations to secure the Democratic nomination.
However, one committee member hinted that there is more to the move than Shakir is suggesting, telling Fox News, “they didn’t listen to anything the steering committee suggested.”
“The supporter also lamented that some ‘Bernie backers’ were going to Warren because the campaign ‘didn’t listen to them,'” Fox News added.
The change comes in the wake of growing concerns of a Warren surge in the early primary state, which Sanders won handily in 2016. A CBS News/YouGov Tracker released last week showed Warren narrowly leading both Joe Biden (D) and Sanders in New Hampshire. The top tier candidates were separated by less than two points, with Warren securing 27 percent, Biden seeing 26 percent, and Sanders garnering 25 percent:
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— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) September 8, 2019
A Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll released last week told a slightly different story, with Sanders in the front with a commanding 29 percent lead. The poll showed Biden in second place with 21 percent support, followed by Warren with 17 percent support.
Nevertheless, insiders say Warren is quitely growing a strong coalition of support in the Granite State, with many undecided delegates reportedly leaning toward Warren.
As Breitbart News reported:
The outlet [Politico] spoke to 100 delegates, many of whom – over half – said they had not yet picked a candidate. Among those who already made a decision, Warren led, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) coming in second and Biden placing third. However, Warren also appeared to have the edge among undecided delegates. One-third of them reportedly told Politico that they are leaning toward the Massachusetts senator.
“I think that Joe Biden is too old to be president,” Richard Post, an undecided delegate, told Politico, adding that Democrats need someone “who is younger” and “more attached to the future of the planet.”
Warren also finds herself taking some of the supporters who voted for Sanders during his last presidential bid
“She has the most thought-out policies, and I’m particularly in favor of Medicare for All,” previous Sanders supporter Jessica LaMontague told Politico. She added that Sanders is a “little too old and grumpy” – a common complaint among many former Sanders supporters.
The current Real Clear Politics average shows Sanders holding a narrow lead in New Hampshire, with 22 percent to Biden’s 21.5 percent and Warren’s 19.3.