New Hampshire Poll Sees Highs for Buttigieg, Gabbard

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaking with attendees at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention hosted by the AFL-CIO at the Prairie Meadows Hotel in Altoona, Iowa. Photo by Gage Skidmore

A New Hampshire poll conducted by Quinnipiac University released on November 11th shows Joe Biden leading with 20%, followed by Warren at 16%, Buttigieg at 15%, Sanders at 14%, and a fifth place Tulsi Gabbard with 6%. This poll continues the trend of Biden and Warren fighting for first, and Buttigieg and Sanders fighting for third. While Buttigieg tends to underperform nationally, this along with his Iowa polling shows the strength of his campaign’s ground game. With 14% of likely voters still undecided, the field could look very different by the time the first primary opens up in Iowa on November 3, 2020.

This poll, conducted over landline and cell phone interviews, sampled less than 1,200 likely primary voters. The small sample size means longer interviews which translates to more data points wherein more interesting insights lie. For example, among voters aged 18-34, Bernie Sanders leads by ten points with 29% to Warren’s 19%. Among these voters, Andrew Yang would tie Biden for 3rd place at 12%. However among senior voters, Biden leads by fifteen. While Biden’s base skews older and Sanders’ base skews younger, Warren polls consistently second among age groups. Buttigieg peaks with voters aged 35-49, tying Sanders for first over Warren.

Pollers also asked about income level, revealing that South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg polls leads by four points among voters with an income of over $100k annually. With voters under $50k, his lead disappears and becomes Biden’s, though this group is the most undecided at 17%. In fact, most candidates poll better with incomes over $50k; Warren, Buttigieg, Gabbard, and Klobuchar. The exceptions are Biden and Sanders, who poll better among lower income voters, and UBI-proponent Andrew Yang, who polls consistently across incomes.

Yang’s base also skews male, with the entrepreneur gaining only 1% among women and 8% among men. Gabbard and Sanders also skew towards men, with Warren, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg skewing towards women. Bernie has struggled with the “Bernie Bro” reputation since 2016, though this poll shows his men-women gap shrinking from a November 6th Iowa poll. The Iowa poll had him with 23% of men and 12% of women, and New Hampshire gives him 19% of men and 11% of women, perhaps brought on by his Iowa rallies with New York House Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. 

Sanders also leads with eighteen points among voters who list their most important quality in a candidate as “caring.” He also leads with voters who most want an “honest” candidate, and Biden and Gabbard tie for second. His numbers fall among voters who want to “Beat Trump” and voters who want a “Good Leader.” Biden has a large lead on “Beat Trump”, but with “Good Leader” Buttigieg leads over Warren and third place Tulsi Gabbard. Gabbard also has higher numbers among voters who name the economy as their most important issue. She places second in this demographic, three points behind Biden and one point above Warren and Yang. 

These demographic wins surely encourage the Gabbard campaign, but the biggest bright spot comes from her 6% result helping her qualify for the December debate. She qualified for the November debate earlier this month, and as of this poll needs only one more to meet the polling threshold. Andrew Yang also uses this poll towards qualifying, needing two more qualifying polls. Some candidates have nothing to celebrate, as Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro still lacks any qualifying polls even for November’s debate. His 1% result here certainly does not help. 

Ten candidates have so far qualified for the November debate stage in Los Angeles: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Harris, Booker, Gabbard, Steyer, Klobuchar, and Yang. Of those ten, six have qualified for December: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Harris. The other four have until December 12th to qualify for that month’s debate. 

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Seth Wallace

Seth Wallace is a part-time libertarian activist based in Iowa City, Iowa. Apart from working on national and local elections, he is also involved in the local Young Americans for Liberty chapter.

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