A new Suffolk/Boston Globe poll shows an extremely tight race for the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire to be held on February 12, 2020.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary in 2016, is on top with 16 percent support among likely voters. Senator Elizabeth Warren is second with 14 percent followed by Joe Biden with 13 percent, and Pete Buttigieg with 12 percent. All other candidates, including next-door neighbor and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who jumped into the race this month, are in single digits.
Pollsters say that there haven’t been this many candidates so closely bunched in decades.
Buttigieg’s rise was accomplished at the expense of Joe Biden.
While support for Sanders and Warren was essentially unchanged from the last Suffolk/Globe poll in August, Biden lost 9 percentage points, while Buttigieg gained 7 points.
“The narrative is changing in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center, which conducted the poll.
Earlier, he said, people were talking about a battle for progressive voters between Sanders and Warren.
“Now, add to that the war between Buttigieg and Biden,” Paleologos said.
In fact, Biden has fallen precipitously among a voting group he absolutely has to have to win: seniors and those 55-65 years old.
Since the last Suffolk/Globe poll, older voters in particular have shifted.Among voters over 65 years of age, Biden dropped from 28 percent in August to 12 percent today, while Buttigieg has vaulted from 2 percent to 17 percent and now leads the field among seniors.
Buttigieg also leads the field among voters 56-65, among whom he has 22 percent support.
The significance of Biden’s drop and Buttigieg’s rise is that older voters in New Hampshire are the most reliable voting bloc.
While the battle for young voters attracts a lot of attention, the numbers show that older voters remain the largest voting block.
Granite Staters over age 50 make up 54 percent of the electorate, according to the latest figures of New Hampshire’s registered voters.
“Historically 50-plus voters have been a determining vote and I suspect we’ll see the same in this election,” AARP-New Hampshire state director Todd Fahey told the Monitor.
One sixty-one-year-old voter may have written Biden’s political epithet:
I had pretty high hopes for Joe Biden. I wanted to like him and vote for him because of his time with the Obama administration and I thought he had the experience,” said Mahany. “But he just hasn’t had his stuff together, and he just hasn’t stepped up in the debates and I am not sure he ever will now.”
“He hasn’t had his stuff together” is about as damning a statement that could be made about a candidate.
Meanwhile. Elizabeth Warren’s momentum appears to have stalled and Bernie Sanders has taken full advantage. Warren’s unabashed enthusiasm for Medicare for all might be turning a lot of New Hampshire moderates away. Sanders’ cadres of radical leftists might carry him to victory in New Hampshire again.