CONCORD, New Hampshire – Former President Donald Trump secured a major victory in the New Hampshire Republican primary, with even the majority of Nikki Haley’s supporters acknowledging that the GOP belongs to Trump. However, despite the unwavering support for Trump, some Republican voters expressed concerns about his extreme views and impending legal trials.
On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won in New Hampshire with strong support on the economy, but many voters have concerns about his age (he is 81) and his handling of the situation in the Middle East. The New Hampshire primaries are unique because undeclared voters can choose to vote in either party’s primary, drawing in voters who are not necessarily party loyalists.
More than 4 in 10 GOP primary voters were not affiliated with a party, compared with about 2 in 10 in the Democratic primary. Among those affiliated with the Republican Party in the state, Trump won handily.
In terms of demographics, Trump won in small towns and rural communities, areas where about two-thirds of primary participants resided and where most GOP voters lack a college degree.
Haley, on the other hand, drew support from groups that could be crucial in November, but those groups were distinct minorities in the GOP electorate. She beat Trump among primary participants who were not formally affiliated with any party and those who were uncomfortable with Trump. However, her supporters were in the minority in the GOP electorate.
Compared with Iowa caucusgoers, New Hampshire Republican primary voters have slightly more doubts about Trump. About half of GOP voters are very or somewhat concerned that Trump is too extreme to win the general election, whereas only about one-third say the same about Haley.
The vast majority of Republican voters in New Hampshire, about 8 in 10, believed Trump would win the nomination, a finding that came after his dominant showing in Iowa. Only about 2 in 10 say Haley will be the nominee.
Biden’s New Hampshire victory provided key insights into the Democratic coalition. About half hold a college degree, and there was almost universal support among Democratic voters for abortion to be legal in most, if not all, cases. About three-quarters called discrimination against Black people a major problem.
The survey also revealed that more than 8 in 10 Democratic voters in New Hampshire approved of Biden’s economic leadership, highlighting newfound support for his agenda.
New Hampshire’s primary voters have already shown an awareness of the strengths and liabilities of the leading candidates, but there are still many factors at play that will continue to shape the narrative of the 2024 election.
The survey was conducted among 1,968 New Hampshire voters participating in the Republican primary and 903 Democratic primary voters, providing crucial insights into the political landscape as the 2024 election cycle unfolds.