A new 7 News/Emerson College Poll of New Hampshire Democratic primary voters finds Sen. Bernie Sanders maintaining his lead with 23% of the vote, followed by former Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 18%, former V.P. Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 14% each and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar at 10%. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is at 6%, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is at 5% and Businessman Tom Steyer is at 4%. All other candidates are below 3%. The data was collected January 13-16, 2020, MM, Democratic primary voters, n=657, +/- 3.8%.
Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, points out that “there was not much movement among the top four candidates in the last month, but Senator Amy Klobuchar jumped 8 points and is a competitor in New Hampshire.”
Sanders continues to lead with younger voters, garnering 28% support among voters under the age of 50. Buttigieg and Warren follow him in that group with support at 15%, Yang at 10%, Klobuchar at 8% and Biden at 7%. Conversely, among voters age 50 and over, Biden leads with 21% support, followed by Buttigieg with 20%, Sanders with 18%, and Warren and Klobuchar with 12%.
Among those who supported Sanders in the 2016 primary, 34% still support him, 19% support Buttigieg, 15% support Warren and 9% support Biden. Among those who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, Biden leads with 24% support, followed by Buttigieg and Klobuchar tied at 19%, Warren with 15% and Sanders with 10%.
Looking at ideology, Sanders leads with voters who describe themselves as “very liberal” with 34%, followed by Warren with 29%, Buttigieg with 18%, Yang with 8% and Biden with 5%. Among voters who describe themselves as “somewhat liberal”, Sanders continues to lead with 26%, followed by Buttigieg with 21%, Warren with 15%, Biden with 13% and Klobuchar with 12%. And among voters who describe themselves as “moderate” or “conservative”, Biden leads with 18%, followed by Buttigieg with 16%, Sanders with 15%, Klobuchar with 12%, and Steyer with 8%.
When asked if they would definitely vote for their chosen candidate, or if they could change their mind and pick someone else, 47% of all respondents are loyal to their chosen candidate, while 53% might vote for someone else. Within this question, 57% of Klobuchar supporters are committed, compared to 56% of Sanders supporters, 49% of Buttigieg supporters, 45% of Warren supporters and 44% of Biden supporters.
Regardless of who they intend to vote for in New Hampshire’s primary, voters were asked which candidate they believe is the most likely to receive the nomination at July’s convention. Despite coming in third in this poll, Joe Biden easily leads as the expected nominee at 44%, followed by 20% who expect Sanders as the nominee. 10% believe Buttigieg will get the nomination, and 9% say Warren.
Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, said “while Bernie Sanders remains in the lead in New Hampshire, it appears his supporters are doubting that he will be the actual nominee with only 49% expecting him to win the nomination. On the flip side, Joe Biden supporters are confident, with 87% thinking he will be the nominee.”
When voters were asked if it was more important to choose a candidate who has the best chance of beating Donald Trump, or a candidate who comes closest to their own views, 51% responded that it was more important to choose a candidate with similar views, while 49% responded that it was more important to choose someone who has the best chance of beating Trump. 80% of Biden supporters prefer a candidate who has the best chance to beat Trump, as compared to 68% of Klobuchar supporters, 46% of Buttigieg supporters, 45% of Warren supporters, and 42% of Sanders supporters.
Voters were also asked which candidate they thought had the best plan or approach to several different important issues.
- On healthcare, Sanders leads the field with 35%. Buttigieg trails significantly, receiving 19%, followed closely by Biden at 17%, while Warren had 12% support.
- When it comes to the economy, Sanders leads with voters, receiving 23%. Warren follows with 20%, while Buttigieg comes in third at 17%, with Biden closely behind at 16% support.
- And with which candidate has the best approach to foreign policy, Biden was the most popular choice with 36%, followed by Sanders with 23%, Buttigieg with 16% and Warren with 9%.
Healthcare was labeled as the single most important issue to Democratic primary voters, with 25% of people saying it was the most important issue. The plurality of supporters of Biden (32%), Buttigieg (26%), and Sanders (37%), all said healthcare was the most important issue. The environment was the second most important issue to Democratic primary voters, with 21% saying it was the single most important issue of the election. Among 18-29 year old voters, 37% said the environment was the most important issue.
The environment was the most important issue to supporters of Elizabeth Warren, with 37% of her supporters saying it was their number one issue. Sen. Amy Klobuchar supporters also listed the environment as their top concern, with 25% of her supporters labeling it as their top issue. Interestingly, among supporters of Tom Steyer, who has centered his campaign around climate change, social issues were the most important single issue, at 22% while the environment only had 13%.
Regarding potential war with Iran, 44% of respondents do not think that the killing of General Qasem Soleimani was justified, and 88% of respondents do not believe the U.S. will be going to war with Iran. Among the top candidates' supporters, 61% of Warren supporters thought the assassination was justified, compared to 57% of Sanders supporters, 48% of Klobuchar supporters, 39% of Biden supporters and 38% of Buttigieg supporters.
In terms of policy, a plurality of Democratic primary voters (32%) think that the Democratic party should stay where it is, followed by 28% who think the party should move slightly left in terms of policy, and 18% who think it should move significantly left. 13% think the party needs to move slightly to the right, and 8% say the party should move significantly to the right.
When asked if they think the rules enacted by the DNC to qualify for the debates were fair or not, 38% of respondents said that they are fair and 32% said that they are unfair.
Democratic voters in New Hampshire are also strongly in support of the Senate removing President Trump from office with 77% saying he should be removed and 23% saying that he should not be removed. In addition, 66% of Democratic primary voters have confidence in the way that Democratic leaders are handling impeachment.
The New Hampshire Emerson College poll was conducted January 13-16, 2020 under the Supervision of Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=657, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.8 percentage points. The data was weighted based on 2016 voter model of age, gender, and education. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=443) and an online panel provided by Dynata and MTurk (n=214).