WASHINGTON – If 2020 was supposed to be the year Sen. Bernie Sanders built on his momentum from the last presidential race and captured the Democratic nomination for president, the surge that would make that possible is not appearing in the party’s early contests.

The data out of Iowa and New Hampshire show a candidate that, so far anyway, seems to be hitting a ceiling, locked into a particular segment of the vote, and campaigning in an electorate that look like it’s not especially well-designed for him.

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The results from the first two nominating votes show a flat vote for the Vermont senator.

Sanders captured 26.5 percent of the vote in Iowa, compared to second-place finisher Peter Buttigieg’s 25.1 percent of the vote. In New Hampshire, the numbers looked remarkably similar. Sanders won 25.8 percent of the vote to the 24.5 percent won by Buttigieg. And remember Sanders is from neighboring Vermont, so he probably should have enjoyed a home-town edge.

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