Progressive Senator Bernie Sanders led New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, and former front-runner Joe Biden trailed badly in a bruising setback that raises doubts about the viability of his campaign.
In the second nominating contest to find a challenger to Republican President Donald Trump in November, Sanders had 27%, while Pete Buttigieg, the moderate former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was at 24% with 65% of precincts reporting.
Senator Klobuchar, looking for a breakthrough after a strong debate performance on Friday, was in third with 20%.
Biden, the former vice president, was a distant fifth in the early results with 8.5%, behind Senator Elizabeth Warren with 9.4%.
Biden, sensing the disappointing result, left New Hampshire for South Carolina before the results started rolling in.
The results began to thin the field of Democrats seeking the right to take on Trump in the Nov.
3 election, with businessman Andrew Yang and Senator Michael Bennet dropping out after the polls closed and it became clear they would finish well out of the running.
The moderate Biden was limping to his second consecutive disappointing finish after a fourth-place result in Iowa.
He is certain to face growing questions about his ability to consolidate moderate support against a surging Buttigieg and Klobuchar.