Sanders Leads Democratic Pack in New Hampshire

(CN) – Most New Hampshire residents are still undecided about which candidate they will vote for in the 2020 primary elections, but a growing number of voters are making up their minds, according to a pollreleased Monday by the University of New Hampshire.

The Granite State Poll found that 77% of Democrats are undecided about who they will vote for in the primary, but roughly 9% have made their selection. The number of Democrats who have a clear idea of who they plan to vote for has nearly doubled since February, when only 5% of voters had decided on a candidate.

The poll conducted between April 10 and April 18 surveyed 549 New Hampshire residents, including 208 Republicans and 241 Democrats.

Many Democrats are setting their sights on three candidates they consider to be likeable and progressive. When given a list of major Democrats who have declared their candidacies, 30% of those surveyed said they will vote for Senator Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., 18% prefered former Vice President Joe Biden and 15% of New Hampshire Democrats said they will choose South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Support for Buttigieg has sharply increased since February, when he only garnered 1% of support.

Support for Sanders has risen by 4% since February, but support for Biden has fallen “considerably since early 2018,” according to the poll.

Biden has not yet announced a run for office, but 28% of likely Democratic primary voters said he is the most likeable candidate, and 22% believe Sanders is the most likeable presidential hopeful.

Pollsters discerned a clear age divide among those who said they will vote for Biden and those who said they will vote for Sanders. Likely voters aged 65 and older are most likely to support Biden, while voters who are between the ages of 18 to 34 are most likely to support Sanders.

Most Democrats aren’t ruling anybody out yet, but 8% of those polled said they wouldn’t vote for Sanders “under any circumstances” and 5% would refuse to support Biden.

The poll found that half of likely Republican primary voters have yet to decide who they will vote for, and only 43% have “definitely decided” even though 80% said they approve of President Donald Trump’s job performance.

Massachusetts Governor William Weld, who ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket in 2016 and is challenging Trump in the Republican primary next year, has considerably less support than the president. If they could vote in the primary today, 76% of Republicans said they would vote for Trump and 5% would vote for Weld.

A majority of voters polled worry about electing a president who is older than 70.

Donald Trump, 72, is America’s second oldest president ever elected after Ronald Reagan, who was 73 years old when he was reelected in 1985. Bernie Sanders is 77 years old.

Looking ahead, nearly eight in 10 voters are interested in the primary and 75% intend to vote. Only 9% said they were “not very interested” in the primary, with 4% admitting they “probably will not vote.”

When given the open-ended option of choosing any candidate, 1% of Democrats mentioned Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and 1% said they would support actor and professional wrestler Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

The New Hampshire Primary is scheduled for February 11, 2020.

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