Biden and Sanders Tied in New Hampshire Primary Poll

February 4, 2020

By Alexis Soucy

February Poll by Saint Anselm College Survey Center Shows Final Look at First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary Voter Preference

  • Biden and Sanders head-to-head in New Hampshire primary, topping the field at 19% each
  • Buttigieg leads middle of the field with 14%, followed by Warren and Klobuchar tied at 11%
  • 11% of New Hampshire voters still undecided
  • 41% of voters say their choice could change before the primary

The February poll by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) includes a ballot test and voter attitudes in the final days before the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary.

The poll of 491 registered New Hampshire voters with an intention to vote in next week’s Democratic presidential primary was conducted by landline and cellular phone between January 29 and February 2, 2020.

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden lead the field in a virtual tie with 19% support among first-in-the-nation primary voters. Sanders is up 10 points from the Saint Anselm College Survey Center’s November poll. Biden is up four points, but his support has remained consistent since he entered the race last April.

After leading the November poll, Pete Buttigieg has dropped to 14%. He remains ahead of Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, who round out the top of the field at 11% each.

“Sanders’ rise is testament in part to the fact that hard campaigning in New Hampshire does persuade voters,” said NHIOP Executive Director Neil Levesque. “Although no campaign has been as effective at getting voters to events and at grassroots contact as Warren’s, Sanders’ is close behind, with 12% of voters reporting meeting him or attending an event.”

“56% report being contacted by Sanders campaign either by phone or a door knock,” Levesque continued. “By contrast, only 31% of voters have been contacted by the Biden campaign. The Sanders campaign’s hard work has given him momentum at the right time.”

Tom Steyer (5%), Andrew Yang (4%), and Tulsi Gabbard (3%) have some support in the Granite State, as does Mike Bloomberg (2%) who did not file for the New Hampshire primary. With a week to go until primary day, 11% of voters remain undecided.

While most voters have a preferred candidate at this point, only 59% say their choice is firm. The other 41% believe their choice could change before the primary election. Biden supporters are the least firm in their choice, followed by Klobuchar and Sanders supporters.

Biden (15%), Sanders (15%), Buttigieg (13%), Klobuchar (12%), and Warren (11%) are all in a tight race to pick up uncertain voters. 16% of respondents remain undecided in their second choice.

Biden continues to lead the field as the candidate seen best suited to take on President Donald Trump (35%), and the best candidate to unify both the Democratic Party (30%) and the nation (25%). On who would make the best president, voters are split between Sanders (18%), Buttigieg (17%), and Biden (17%).

Voters are slightly more interested in a candidate who can beat Trump than in a candidate who represents their policy priorities, 51% to 49% respectively.

There is high interest in the upcoming presidential election among Granite Staters, with 63% indicating they are extremely interested, 29% very interested, and 8% somewhat interested.

The poll was conducted in full before the Iowa caucuses. 52% of respondents indicated the caucus results would have no influence on their final voting decision, and only 5% indicated the caucus results would have been very influential.

Levesque says it is a fluid voter environment, not just between the current top two, but also for Buttigieg and Warren trying to regain their footing and Klobuchar looking to build on her momentum.

“Campaigns will have to be on their best game in this final week, as will candidates during the upcoming New Hampshire debate.”

The survey has a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.4% with a confidence interval of 95%. Data are weighted for age, gender, geography, and education based on a voter demographic model derived from historical voting patterns, but are not weighted by party registration or party identification.