New Hampshire has historically been very good to the Clintons – especially in the wake of bad losses in Iowa.
Bill's second-place finish in 1992 propelled him back among the Democratic front-runners after he got only a measly 2.5 percent in the Hawkeye state. And after a crushing defeat in the 2008 Iowa caucuses to then-Sen. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton's campaign got a much-needed shot in the arm when she won New Hampshire five days later.
But while New Hampshire was said to have "saved" Hillary's campaign in 2008 (though, of course, she ultimately didn't secure the nomination), it seems unlikely to do so again in 2016. Clinton supporters pointed to a new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll Friday which pegged Sanders's lead at just 9 points – a significant, but not insurmountable number – but other polls suggest Sanders has a much larger lead, as The Fix's Philip Bump pointed out today.
Meanwhile, it doesn't really look like the Clinton campaign is trying all that hard to secure a last-second victory there. Clinton is heading to Flint, Mich., on Sunday, just two days before the New Hampshire primary, as the Flint water crisis has been one of her main targets during recent stump speeches and this week's televised town hall and debate.
Flint could also be a potent issue for her in the lead-up to the South Carolina Democratic Primary on Feb. 27. (Clinton's ability to highlight the plight of poor African American voters in Flint could resonate well among the South Carolina electorate, which was majority-black in 2008).
So while the Clinton family history suggests that Hillary might get a last-minute boost from New Hampshire voters, and it won't be a settled contest until the votes are in, she's still an underdog. But even a close second-place finish might be seen as a win – just as it was for her husband 24 years ago.