Moderates Prevail Among Dem Voters in New Hampshire

February 12, 2020 by Dan McCue
Gina Hammett, of Hinsdale, N.H., leaves the Millstream Community Center, in Hinsdale, after casting her vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary elections, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont eked out a win in New Hampshire by appealing to young, liberal college students in the state, but his victory was far from an endorsement of the party’s far left.

In fact, with more than 98% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning (294 of 301), the combined vote for the more moderate Democrats in the race, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and former Vice President Joe Biden far surpassed that of the Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

As of 12:30 p.m., the total vote for the moderates was 155,456, while the vote for the left-of-center candidates was just 103,100.

An AP VoteCast survey of 3,111 voters conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the Associated Press and Fox News, found a majority of New Hampshire voters described themselves as moderates, while 22% said they were very liberal, 17% somewhat liberal and 6% described themselves as conservative.

A majority of voters who considered themselves “very liberal” supported Sanders, AP VoteCast found.

The 78-year-old Vermont senator also won support from voters younger than 45 and had a slight advantage among those without a college degree.

Roughly 3 in 10 of those who deemed the U.S. economic system “very unfair” favor Sanders to oversee the world’s leading financial power.

Meanwhile Buttigieg held a slight advantage with moderate voters, though roughly a quarter of moderate voters went with Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and about 1 in 10 went for former Vice President Joe Biden.

The survey suggests the scrum of conflicting ideologies could set up a bruising round of election contests in the weeks ahead, and also found that it is unclear whether Democrats will be able to set aside their differences and regroup ahead of the fall campaign against Trump.

The results from AP VoteCast suggest that Sanders’ younger and generally more liberal supporters distrust their fellow Democrats, a potential reflection of the Vermont senator losing the 2016 nomination to Hillary Clinton.

One factor driving this is the trouble the Iowa state party had tabulating results in last week’s caucuses, an issue that has yet to be fully resolved. The situation appears to have rattled some voters amid uncertainty about who is the Democratic front-runner.

Only 15% of New Hampshire voters said they were very confident  the party’s nominating process is fair, while 45% said they were somewhat confident and 39% said they were not confident at all.

The skepticism was clearest among Sanders’ backers, with about 6 in 10 saying they had little or no confidence in the Democratic primary process. Majorities of voters for every other top Democratic contender described the primary process as fair.

Yet after months of campaigns and debates, New Hampshire voters are still settling on the ideal moderate choice. Of the state Democrats who made a decision in the days before the primary, about half went to Buttigieg and Klobuchar.

Voters see liabilities in many of the Democrats vying to run against Trump. About 6 in 10 said a candidate with strongly liberal views would have difficulty competing with the incumbent president, evidence that Sanders and Warren may be struggling to make the electability argument outside their base.

But roughly 6 in 10 also said a gay nominee — Buttigieg — would face greater hardship in the general election.

At least 6 in 10 said they would ultimately be satisfied with Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders or Warren as their presidential candidate. Fewer — about half — said they would be pleased if Biden became the nominee.

As for the role gender played in Tuesday’s vote, AP VoteCast found men and women nearly equally divided in their preferences. The biggest percentage point difference between men and women’s preferences related to Sens. Klobuchar and Warren.

Three percent more women than men said they preferred Klobuchar (21% to 18%), while 4% more women than men said they preferred Warren (11% to 7%).

The most equal split among the sexes related to Sanders, who garnered the support of 26% of men and 26% of men.

Both Buttigieg and Biden did slightly better with men, with the former vice president appealing to 9% of men and 8% of women, while Buttigieg garnered the support of 26% of men and 24% of women.

Broader questions about fairness in U.S. society have been a central concern for the Democratic candidates.

An overwhelming share of New Hampshire Democrats — nearly 8 in 10 — view the economy as unfair. But among the roughly 2 in 10 who believe the economy is fair, there was an opening for a Democrat whose name was not on the ballot in New Hampshire. These voters gave a slight edge on leading the economy to Mike Bloomberg, the former New York City Mayor with a personal fortune in excess of $60 billion.

The AP VoteCast New Hampshire survey was conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The survey was based on interviews with a random sample of registered voters drawn from the state voter file. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2020 Elections

House Overwhelmingly Passes Legislation Making Lynching a Federal Hate Crime
Congress
House Overwhelmingly Passes Legislation Making Lynching a Federal Hate Crime
February 26, 2020
by Dan McCue

The House, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, passed legislation that would classify lynching as a federal hate crime. The Emmett Till Antilynching Act, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., passed on a vote of 410-4. The Act is named for Emmett Till, who was lynched in... Read More

Trump Facing Growing Coronavirus Crisis Amid Market Jitters and Administration Chaos
Political News
Trump Facing Growing Coronavirus Crisis Amid Market Jitters and Administration Chaos

President Donald Trump vowed to take on coronavirus Wednesday even as a plunging stock market and chaos within his own administration laid bare a potential major global crisis that could threaten his reelection battle. Returning from a trip to India, Trump scheduled a news conference for... Read More

New Jersey Declared White Supremacists a Major Threat. Here’s Why That’s Groundbreaking
State News
New Jersey Declared White Supremacists a Major Threat. Here’s Why That’s Groundbreaking

PHILADELPHIA — New Jersey says white supremacist extremism is one of the state’s greatest terrorism threats — higher than al-Qaida and the Islamic State — and in doing so has positioned itself as a national leader in countering domestic terrorism inspired by racism, experts say. Last... Read More

Former Georgia Lawmaker Stacey Abrams is Laying the Groundwork for the White House
Political News
Former Georgia Lawmaker Stacey Abrams is Laying the Groundwork for the White House

WASHINGTON — Stacey Abrams has her sights set on the White House, and the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives is already laying the groundwork for a future campaign. Promotion of her Fair Fight organization, which has a goal of eliminating voter suppression,... Read More

Coronavirus Spread in US is Inevitable, CDC Warns; It’s ‘a Question of When’
Health
Coronavirus Spread in US is Inevitable, CDC Warns; It’s ‘a Question of When’

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised communities to take precautions in the event that the coronavirus spreads — something officials believe to be inevitable. “Ultimately, we expect we will see coronavirus spread in this country,” CDC Director Nancy Messonnier said. “It’s not... Read More

Rivals Hammer Bernie Sanders at Crucial South Carolina Debate
2020 Elections
Rivals Hammer Bernie Sanders at Crucial South Carolina Debate

Evan Halper, Janet Hook and Arit John CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rival Democratic candidates moved urgently to blunt Bernie Sanders’ momentum Tuesday, charging in a crucial debate here that he is misleading voters about the cost of his ambitious agenda and warning that his nomination would cost... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top