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New Poll Finds GOP Voters in New Hampshire Sticking With Trump

May 14, 2019 by Dan McCue
President Donald Trump holds a "Make Our Farmers Great Again" baseball hat as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Seventy percent of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire plan to back President Donald Trump in the state’s 2020 primary regardless of who might be challenging him by then, a new Monmouth University poll revealed.

The poll, which was released Monday, also found that 55 percent of Republicans participating in the poll said Trump should be allowed to run unopposed for renomination.

“It’s a sign of how much Trump has won over the hearts and minds of the Republican base that likely primary voters do not actually want to see a contested primary,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement announcing the poll results.

One interesting aspect of the poll is that the degree to which someone described themselves as conservative appeared to control how strongly they felt Trump should be unopposed for re-election by fellow Republicans.

A wide majority of very conservative voters — 72 percent — said he should run unopposed, while the percentage slackened to 54 percent when poll participants described themselves as either somewhat conservative or moderates.

The number then dipped even further, with only 39 percent of nonconservative or liberal Republicans saying Trump should be unopposed for the Republican nomination.

While 34 percent said they’d like to see other Republican candidates mount primary challenges to the president, 25 percent admitted they didn’t have a potential challenger in mind.

Currently former Massachusetts Governor William Weld is the only Republican to announce a challenge to Trump for the nomination.

Only 12 percent of voters participating in the poll said they would definitely back Weld in the primary, while 14 percent said they’d at least consider him.

Former Ohio Governor John Kasich and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have both floated potential bids, but neither has taken the plunge.

Of the 9 percent who did have a possible primary challenger in mind, the names most often mentioned included Kasich, Weld, and Senators Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

Trump won New Hampshire’s “First in the Nation” primary three years ago with 35 percent of the vote.

He would nearly double that support today if likely GOP voters could go back in time and recast their ballots for the Republican nomination, the poll found.

In a 2016 do-over, 68 percent say they would now vote for Trump compared to 21 percent who would support one of the other candidates who ran and 10 percent who are unsure of what they would do.

“Most New Hampshire Republicans did not support Trump in the 2016 primary, but there seems to be few regrets now that he is in office,” Murray said.

Currently, 65 percent of New Hampshire GOP primary voters have a very favorable opinion of the president and another 21 percent have a somewhat favorable opinion of him.

Just 13 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Very favorable opinions of the incumbent come from 83 percent of very conservative voters, 66 percent of somewhat conservative voters, and 44 percent of nonconservatives.

Just 1-in-4 voters have a favorable opinion of Weld while nearly half have an unfavorable opinion.

Another 18 percent have no opinion of the former governor from neighboring Massachusetts and 10 percent have not heard of him.

Unfavorable opinions of Weld come from 65 percent of very conservative voters, 44 percent of somewhat conservative voters, and 32 percent of nonconservatives.

One-third of voters have a favorable opinion of Kasich while just under half have an unfavorable opinion.

Another 16 percent have no opinion of Kasich and 7 percent have not heard of the person who placed second in the 2016 New Hampshire primary.

Unfavorable opinions of Kasich come from 56 percent of very conservative voters, 43 percent of somewhat conservative voters, and 32 percent of nonconservatives.

Few voters are familiar with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Just 4 percent have a favorable opinion of him and 19 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Twenty-two percent have no opinion on the governor, and 54 percent said they have not heard of him.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from May 2 to 7, 2019 with 427 New Hampshire voters who are likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary in February 2020, out of 987 registered voters that were contacted for the poll.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percentage points.

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