Today New Hampshire voters will once again play an important role in deciding who will become the next President of the United States. The Iowa Caucus was the first, but New Hampshire is traditionally more important in deciding who each party’s presidential nominee will be. Over the last 56 years, no one has won the Democratic or Republican Party nomination without finishing first or second in New Hampshire. So here is an overview of the latest polling from New Hampshire, along with some predictions regarding the results tonight. Included in this analysis are polls released over the last 24 hours from American Research Group, Emerson College, UMass Lowell/7News, CNN/WMUR, and Gravis.
The most recent poll from American Research Group (ARG) has Donald Trump in the lead with 33 percent of the New Hampshire vote. Behind Trump is John Kasich 17 percent, Marco Rubio with 14 percent, Ted Cruz with 10 percent, Jeb Bush with 9 percent, and Chris Christie with 8 percent. All other candidates are currently polling at 3 percent or below. The ARG poll is tracking poll, and over the last few days it has had Trump gaining 3 points and Rubio losing three points.
On the Democratic side ARG has Bernie Sanders leading with 53 percent of the New Hampshire vote compared to 44 percent for Hillary Clinton. over the past few days ARG has Sanders’ support remaining steady at 53 percent and Clinton gaining two points in support.
The ARG poll has a fairly small sample size of 418 likely voters, giving it a margin of error of 5.0 percentage points.
The Emerson College poll also has Donald Trump in the lead with 31 percent of the vote, compared to 16 percent for Jeb Bush, 13 percent for John Kasich, 12 percent for Marco Rubio, and 11 percent for Ted Cruz. All other candidates are polling in the single digits.
For the Democrats Emerson College has Bernie Sanders’ support at 54 percent compared to 42 percent for Hillary Clinton.
The Emerson poll has the second largest sample size (686 likely voters) of all the polls listed here, giving it a margin-of-error of just 3.4 percent.
The UMass Lowell/7 News poll has Trump as the leader with 34 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. Tied for a distant second are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13 percent, followed by John Kasich and Jeb Bush both with 10 percent. Over the last week this poll has had Trump’s support go down slightly from 38 percent while Rubio and Cruz remain most the same in the low teens.
The UMass Lowell/7 News poll has Sanders winning New Hampshire with 56 percent support and Hillary Clinton trailing with 40 percent support. Over the last week this poll has had Sanders support go down five points from 61 percent and Clinton support go up a good deal from 32 percent.
The UMass Lowell/7 News poll has a fairly small sample size of 464 likely voters, giving it a margin of error of +- 5.1 percentage points.
The CNN/WMUR has Trump with the lead at 31 percent, followed by Rubio with 17 percent support. Ted Cruz comes in third with 14 percent support, followed by John Kasich in fourth with 10 percent. Over the last month this poll has Trump’s support remaining steady in the low 30’s and Rubio’s support going up 6 points from 11 percent.
On the Democratic side the CNN/WMUR pol has Sanders with 61 percent support compared to Clinton with 35 percent. Over the last week this poll has Sanders support going up four points from 57 percent and Clinton going up one point from 34 percent.
The CNN/WMUR poll has the smallest sample size of all the polls listed here (just 362 likely voters. This gives the poll a large margin of error of +/-5.2 percentage points.
Finally the Gravis Marketing poll has Trump as the leader with 28 percent of the New Hampshire vote, compared to 17 percent for John Kasich, 15 percent for Marco Rubio, 14 percent for Jeb bush, and 11 percent for Ted Cruz. Over the last week Gravis has Trump’s support down slightly from 29 percent and Rubio’s support down significantly from 19 percent.
Gravis Marketing has not released a poll on the Democratic side over the last few days. The Gravis poll has the largest sample size of all the polls listed here (705 likely voters) giving it a margin of error of just 3.7 percentage points.
A Real Clear Politics average of six polls on the Republican side has Trump as the dominant leader with 31.2 percent support. Marco Rubio comes in second with 14.0 percent, followed by John Kasich with 13.5 percent, Ted Cruz with 11.8 percent, and Jeb Bush with 11.5 percent. The RCP average has Trump’s support fairly steady after falling earlier this week. Marco Rubio has taken a recent dip according to the RCP average, while Jeb Bush and John Kasich have been on the rise.
A Real Clear Politics average of six polls on the Democratic side has Bernie Sanders as the dominant leader with 54.5 percent support. Hillary Clinton trails with 41.2 percent support. Over the last week the RCP average has Sanders support dipping a bit from a height of 56.7 percent support, and Hillary on the rise from a low of 37.2 percent support.
Famous election analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com currently gives Trump a 69% chance of winning the New Hampshire Primary in his “polls-plus” forecast. Silver’s projection takes into 103 polls released over the last few months, weighing each poll both for recency and credibility. Silver’s projection also attempts to take into account the importance of outside factors like endorsements.
Silver gives Bernie Sanders a “greater than 99%” chance of winning the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. The projection takes into account 87 polls released over the few months in addition to endorsements.
Barring any major surprises, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders will be the two winners of their respective parties in the New Hampshire Primary.
However, what is often most important is not where one finishes, but how they finish compared to expectations. Both Trump and Sanders are expected to win, but the margin of their victory and who finishes second may matter a great deal more in how the media portrays the results in the coming days.
If John Kasich or Jeb Bush finishes second in New Hampshire it will be a major blow to the Rubio campaign that has struggled after Rubio’s rough debate performance a few days ago. Rubio has attempted to monopolize the moderate vote in the Republican primary, identifying himself as the only alternative to Trump and Cruz. However, a Rubio finish of third place or worst will encourage other moderate candidates to stay in the race longer, while also building on the narrative that Rubio’s “robot” moment from the debate hurt him.
If Clinton can garner 40 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, or even better pull within single digits of Sanders, she can sell her second place finish as a “comeback” given how far behind she was in the polls just a week ago. The Clinton campaign will also try to claim that Sanders should have won New Hampshire by a large margin since Sanders is from a neighboring state.
For what it is worth, the final prediction by this analyst for both primaries is as follows:
Donald Trump 32 percent
John Kasich 16 percent
Marco Rubio 12 percent
Je Bush 12 percent
Ted Cruz 11 percent
Bernie Sanders 52 percent
Hillary Clinton 45 percent