Feb. 12--NASHUA, N.H. -- Pete Buttigieg surged to a runner-up finish in New Hampshire's primary, capitalizing on Iowa momentum and delivering another strong performance that will carry into Nevada and beyond, he told fired-up supporters Tuesday night.
"Thanks to you, a campaign some said shouldn't be here at all has shown that we are here to stay," Buttigieg said to a thunderous crowd.
"Now our campaign moves on, to Nevada, to South Carolina, and to communities all across our country, and we will welcome new allies to our movement at every step," Buttigieg said.
"Putting forward a new perspective is how Democrats win the White House, and we will win the White House," he added.
Buttigieg's backers say they're confident he has built enduring momentum.
"I'm so excited for him," said Eleanor Rizzo, 61, of Amherst, N.H., waiting in line at Buttigieg's primary night party at Nashua Community College on Tuesday as "Let's Go Pete" chants rang out.
"I feel like he has a good launching pad here," Rizzo said.
The 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Ind., swept into the Granite State last week having claimed victory in the chaotic Iowa caucus -- before any results were reported -- a strategic move that allowed him to build momentum all week in New Hampshire.
Both Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are now contesting the results in Iowa.
Buttigieg had long excited voters in the Granite State by pitching himself as the alternative moderate to former Vice President Joe Biden, and as the bold but pragmatic foil to neighboring U.S. Sens. Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, both of whom are running far-left campaigns.
"Some people have moved from Bernie to Pete," said Ray Newman, a state representative from Nashua.
"He's going to bring this momentum to Nevada and South Carolina," Newman added. "And as other candidates' momentum is slowing down, it gives him an opportunity there and can put the concerns about his electability to rest."
The Nevada caucuses are on Feb. 22, followed by the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.
Buttigieg has been struggling in South Carolina polls as his support among black voters is low, but he is "really making the effort with the African-American community," said Sarah Carroll, 48, of Quincy, Mass.
"He gives me hope again," she said. "I haven't felt it in a very long time."
Patricia Brandl, 51, of Wakefield, Mass., also said she's confident in Buttigieg moving forward. She said he can flip the Barack Obama counties that switched to President Trump in 2016, noting his success in certain counties in Iowa.
"It shows his electability," Brandl said.
Buttigieg has a "well-rounded package," Rizzo said.
"The first time I heard him speak, I said, 'That is my guy,' " she said.
Buttigieg has touted his campaign attracting Democrats, independents and "future former Republicans."
Carol Lee Collins, 58, a Nashua Republican, said she would consider voting for Buttigieg in the future.
"I've been very impressed by him," said Collins, who voted for Bill Weld in the Republican primary.
Buttigieg is the candidate who "can take on Trump," Newman said.
"Pete is so smart and will come right back with the facts," Newman said. "He can take him on."
Added Bill Preston, from California, "I think he can beat Trump, and I think he'll be a good president, I really do."
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