Early reports about the voter breakdown in the New Hampshire Democratic primary may surprise some poll watchers: not only did Bernie Sanders win the New Hampshire Democratic primary, trouncing Hillary Clinton in a landslide so major that Clinton reportedly called Sanders to congratulate him on his win at 8:49 p.m. local time, less than an hour after polls officially closed — he also led Clinton among female voters. Sanders won 53 percent of the female vote compared to Clinton's 46 percent, according to exit poll analysis by ABC News. Among young women, Sanders' numbers were even higher: 69 percent of Democratic women under 45 backed him in the primary, a statistic which includes 82 percent of female primary voters under the age of 30.
Clinton's camp had been anticipating a loss in New Hampshire in the days leading up to the primary, with numerous news sources claiming that Clinton had already been strategizing about what to do next. They had also likely expected to lag behind Sanders among youthful female voters, as well — according to CNN, 64 percent of female Democratic voters under 45 back Sanders.
But the Clinton camp may not have anticipated doing quite so poorly with female voters, especially given that numerous Clinton supporters have framed voting for Clinton as a feminist act. Among women over 45, Clinton still reigns, leading Sanders by nine points, as per a Wall Street Journal/NBC/Marist College poll. However, poor polling among younger voters, as well as the media firestorm ignited by highly controversial remarks by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and feminist activist Gloria Steinem made about women who opt not to vote for Clinton, have made many who assumed Clinton was a sure win among female Democrats second-guessing.