Bernie Takes Early Lead In New Hampshire Democratic Primary; Potential Tight US Senate Race if Gov. Sununu takes on Sen. Shaheen

Democratic Primary

The first New Hampshire Democratic Primary Poll since Sen. Bernie Sanders announced he’s running for president finds Sanders at a slight advantage with 27% of the vote, former Vice President Joe Biden with 25% and Sen. Kamala Harris at 12%. No other candidate clears double digits. The NH poll was conducted February 21-22 of registered voters, the Democratic primary ballot test had a sample of n=405, +/-4.8%.

Among voters ages 18-34, Bernie Sanders has a large lead with 44% of the vote. Joe Biden follows at 11%, Elizabeth Warren has 9%, and Kamala Harris is tied with Beto O’Rourke with 8% apiece.

Voters 35-54 years old prefer Biden (30%), then Sanders (26%). Harris takes 14%, Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes 10%, and Warren receives 7% of the vote.

Among voters aged 55-74 years, Joe Biden leads with 30%, followed by Sanders (18%) and Harris (13%), with Warren and Klobuchar tied in fourth with 8% apiece.

Among voters aged 75 and older, Biden leads with 39%, followed by Warren (18%), Klobuchar (11%), Sanders (10%) and Harris with 8%.

Republican Primary

While President Trump has a 52% disapproval and 43% approval in the Granite State, he has an 80% approval and 14% disapproval among GOP primary voters. This would help explain why in the ballot test between Trump and former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, Trump has 82% of the vote and Weld has 18%. The Republican primary ballot test had a sample of n=328, +/-5.4%.

US Senate 2020

In a potential US Senate match up for 2020, current Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D) is tied with Governor Chris Sununu (R) at 44% each, with 12% of voters undecided. Shaheen leads among independents 44% to 39%. The NH poll had a sample of n=910, +/-3.2%.

2020 Ballot

President Trump trails in all his head-to-head matchups against potential Democratic nominees, his toughest opponents being Biden and Sanders, who both lead Trump 55% to 45%. When Trump is up against Warren he trails 52% to 48%, but when Howard Schultz is added to the ballot, Trump takes a 2-point lead (45% to 43%) with Schultz at 12%.

To a lesser extent, Schultz also tightens a race between Trump and Sanders from a 10-point lead to 6 points, 48% to 42%, with 10% voting for Schultz.

Ideal Candidate

Voters were also asked about which characteristics they seek in an ideal candidate. The most highly prioritized characteristic is truthfulness, as cited by 42% of respondents, followed by being on the same side of the issues at 25%. Experience (14%) and authenticity (13%) were the third and fourth most highly prioritized characteristics. The poll also finds the following preferences among voters regarding potential characteristics of a presidential candidate:

  • 85% of voters agree that the president should make efforts to work with the other party, 6% disagree and 9% are unsure.
  • 70% of voters agree that the president should be transparent about their financial background. 11% disagree, and 19% are unsure.
  • 68% of voters want the president to be an aggressive leader. 10% disagree, and 22% are unsure.
  • 50% of voters want a president that has held elected office before. 22% disagree, and 28% are unsure.
  • 42% of voters don’t want candidates to talk about their religious beliefs, 20% do want them to talk about their religious beliefs and 38% are unsure.
  • 38% think a woman should be either president or vice president, while 15% disagree, and 47% are unsure.
  • Military experience is a non-issue for a plurality (45%) of respondents. While 30% are not looking for military experience, 25% are.

Caller ID

The New Hampshire Emerson College poll was conducted February 21-22, 2019 under the Supervision of Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=910, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3.2 percentage points. The data was weighted based on 2016 voter model, age, party affiliation,. 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=605) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk and Dynata (n=305). Visit our website at ​​.  

Follow us on Twitter ​@EmersonPolling


Transparency Initiative