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2016 NH Primary Poll: Crowded GOP, but clear leader among DEMS

2016 NH Primary Poll: Crowded GOP, but clear leader among DEMS

Hillary Clinton Holds Huge Early Primary Poll Lead; No GOP Leader

Henniker, NH- Two very different story lines are shaping up in the early and quiet months before the 2016 New Hampshire Presidential Primary campaign takes shape.  Democrats have a clear frontrunner.  Republicans have a dead heat and a wide-open field, mixed with newcomers and familiar names.

New England College took the temperature of local voters on both sides of the aisle, to see what an early race might look like right now.  In a polling sample of 340 Republican voters, Florida Senator Marco Rubio leads a jam-packed GOP field with 17%.  Fellow Floridian Jeb Bush recorded 16%, followed by Senator Rand Paul at 15%, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at 12%, former Vice Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan at 12%, former candidate Jon Huntsman at 6%, conservative presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has 4% and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has 2%.  The margin of error in the race is 5.3%

“The Republican field is filled with possibility and voters are clearly open-minded about a top pick,” says NEC Polling Center Director Ben Tafoya.  “Although Senator Rubio was the top vote getter with 17%, just as many voters say they are unsure, at 17%.  Republican voters are keeping their options open. This is a wide-open field.”

The Democratic side of the ticket tells a very different story.  Vice President Joe Biden may hold the biggest title in the field, but he starts the 2016 New Hampshire Primary season far behind one of the biggest names in politics.

Among 314 New Hampshire democratic voters, Hillary Clinton scores an early and big lead in the NEC Poll.  65% of democrats say Clinton is their top choice for President.  Vice President Biden is a distant second with 10%.  Senator Elizabeth Warren received 5%, Andrew Cuomo garnered 4%, Governor Deval Patrick received 3% and Martin O’Malley got 0%.  13% are unsure. The democratic primary poll margin of error is 5.5%.

“Our polling is consistent with other surveys that show former Secretary of State Clinton as far and away the preference for Democratic voters in New Hampshire at this early stage,” said Tafoya. “If she does not run in 2016, the Democratic contest in the first in the nation primary will be wide open”.

“An open presidential primary is a very different political animal,” explains Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at NEC.  “Independent voters are the eternal wild card in this process.  They can pick either a Republican or Democratic Party ballot on Primary Day in New Hampshire, which makes things unpredictable.  Independents will watch both races to see where their vote will have the biggest impact.”

For additional information contact:

Ben Tafoya      P: 781-315-5920  Email: btafoya@nec.edu
Wayne Lesperance P: 603-401-0261 Email: wlesperance@nec.edu