Roll Call Split, But N.H. Delegates Insist Electing Clinton is a Priority

Jul 27, 2016

The New Hampshire delegation during Tuesday night's roll call vote.

Back in February, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton by 22 points in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

But in the end, when the roll call took place on the floor of the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, the Granite State was a tie: Its 32 delegates to the convention ended up splitting evenly between Sanders and Clinton.

In years past, New Hampshire’s Democratic delegates have united around the nominee.

The morning of the roll call, the Sanders delegates huddled for more than an hour to decide how they would vote. Ultimately, they all opted to stick with Sanders but also pledged to support Democrats up and down the ticket heading into the elections this fall.

Clinton’s boost in that final outcome came largely from the state’s eight superdelegates, all but one of whom ended up siding with her.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley was the last superdelegate to weigh in – and at the very last moment.

As a DNC vice chair, Buckley wasn’t allowed to publicly endorse a candidate during the primary. And even on the morning of the roll call, he told reporters he hadn’t made a final decision. Once the vote was cast, here’s what he had to say.

“Ever since 1984, the chair of the party has always supported the nominee of the party. And that’s how I decided.”

Buckley also introduced the New Hampshire delegation on the convention floor ahead of the roll call, where he described New Hampshire as a place “where we bring Democrats together.”

He also noted that the state was “home of Unity, where Hillary Clinton endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, and home of the city of Portsmouth, where Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

For State Sen. Donna Soucy, who announced the Clinton delegate count for New Hampshire, being there to witness Clinton’s nomination as the first-ever female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party was like coming full circle.

“I was a guest at the ‘92 convention,” Soucy recalled. “I remember seeing then about-to-be First Lady Hillary Clinton, and really being an admirer back then and I really saw great potential in her leadership at that time, and obviously have been a fan ever since.”

Kurt Ehrenberg, who served as the senator’s political director during the New Hampshire primary, announced the results for his fellow Bernie delegates. In the end, he wasn’t too let down.

“I feel great,” Ehrenberg said after the nomination wrapped up. “You know, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion for many, many weeks at this point.”

For him and other New Hampshire Sanders delegates, the roll call was bittersweet – but Ehrenberg was adamant that electing Clinton has to be a priority from here.