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October 30, 2019

In Blog News

Sanders leads, Biden slumps in N.H. poll

Elizabeth Warren was in second place, while Pete Buttigieg was fourth and clinched a ticket to the POLITICO/PBS NewsHour debate in December.

Bernie Sanders

DURHAM, N.H. — Former Vice President Joe Biden suffered a precipitous drop in the latest New Hampshire poll, falling to the lowest point his campaign has seen this cycle, while Sen. Bernie Sanders recaptured his first-place spot narrowly over Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Sanders (I-Vt.) was the first choice of 21 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by Warren (D-Mass.) at 18 percent, Biden at 15 percent and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 10 percent, according to the Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire and co-sponsored by CNN.

Gabbard also took another step toward qualifying for next month’s fifth debate in Atlanta: She needs either to earn 5 percent in one more early state poll or earn at least 3 percent in two more polls, national or early state, qualification closes on Nov. 13.

The UNH poll was conducted Oct. 21-27, surveying 574 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Biden has lost 9 points since the previous UNH poll, conducted in July. In that survey, Biden had a slight advantage over Sanders and Warren, who were tied for second place with 19 percent each.

Biden’s “campaign is just not very good, and I think the age issue has hurt him,” said UNH professor Andy Smith, who conducted the poll. “If people think you’re the most electable candidate, but people don’t think you’re electable, then what else do you have? What is Joe Biden other than the most electable candidate?”

Biden does have a sizable edge in electability, the poll shows. More than 1 in 3 primary voters, 36 percent, say he’s the candidate with the best chance to defeat President Donald Trump, though that’s down from 45 percent who said he was the strongest general election candidate in the July survey. Eighteen percent say Warren has the best chance of winning the general election, and 14 percent say Sanders does.

The New Hampshire primary is notoriously volatile and difficult to poll, and Smith, the UNH pollster, highlighted the uncertainty, pointing out that only 23 percent of likely primary voters say they have definitively picked a candidate.

“The biggest takeaway is voters are nowhere near making up their mind,” Smith said. “There is a good chance [Biden] can recover from this. Nobody has locked this thing down.”