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Sanders leads in New Hampshire poll

  • Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shakes hands with supporters following his event at Plymouth State University on Sept. 29, 2019 in Plymouth, N.H. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images/TNS)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/27/2020 10:04:23 PM
Modified: 1/28/2020 10:06:39 AM

WEST LEBANON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., appears to have momentum — and a lead — heading into the Feb. 11 New Hampshire primary, according to a new poll released over the weekend.

Sanders enjoys 25% support among likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State compared with 16% for former Vice President Joe Biden, 15% for former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and 12% for U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The poll, which had a margin of sampling error of plus-or-minus 4.3%, found that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., had 6% support in the Granite State, followed by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang at 5% apiece.

Activist and former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer, who has blanketed the state with ads, was at 2%, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is not on the New Hampshire ballot, was at 1%, as was former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick were at 0% in the poll.

The CNN 2020 NH Primary Poll numbers, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, were released on Sunday. In the poll, 49% of likely Democratic primary voters also said they still are trying to decide who they will vote for.

UNH Survey Center Director Andrew Smith said many voters in the state historically don’t make up their minds until the final week of the primary.

“I still believe this is a very close race and given the history of the New Hampshire primaries, it is very possible that any one of the top four candidates, top five candidates, could wind up winning,” Smith said Monday.

Though Sanders leads in the CNN poll — and a Real Clear Politics average of several recent New Hampshire polls also shows him with a 7.2% point lead over his nearest rival — the UNH survey found 41% of respondents thought Biden had the best chance to defeat President Donald Trump compared to 20% for Sanders.

In addition, Sanders appeared to enjoy strong support on issues.

“Democratic primary voters trust Sanders most with handling the climate crisis and health care, their two most important issues,” the Survey Center said in a news release with the polling numbers.

On the Republican side, Trump continues to hold a huge lead over his two primary challengers, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh.

Trump had 90% support, to just 4% for Weld and 1% for Walsh, tracking with earlier polls in July and October.

Though Sanders has been tied up in Washington for Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, he managed to campaign in Iowa on Sunday, including holding a rally in Sioux City with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Warren got a major endorsement in Iowa, picking up the backing of the Des Moines Register.

But Klobuchar did well in New Hampshire, winning endorsements from both the New Hampshire Union Leader, a statewide newspaper based in Manchester, and the Keene Sentinel.

“What sets Klobuchar apart is her combination of experience and approach,” the Sentinel wrote. “Her record of getting things done without dividing is crucial to our nation at this point.”

Trump himself is going to do some New Hampshire campaigning.

He has scheduled a “Keep America Great” rally for Feb. 10, the evening before the primary, at the SNHU Arena in Manchester.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com.


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