Former President Donald Trump has upped his support over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the Granite State and President Joe Biden leads his Democratic Party challengers by more than 50 percentage points, according to a new poll conducted by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
But the latest poll also finds that a majority of New Hampshire voters believe a repeat of 2020 presidential candidates in 2024 would mark a “broken” U.S. political system.
Trump, according to the pollsters, is consolidating support amid the crowded field of more than a dozen GOP presidential candidates. He’s backed by 47 percent of New Hampshire primary voters, while DeSantis is the pick of 19 percent.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is nominally registering in national and other state polls, is supported by 6 percent of New Hampshire voters, followed by former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (5 percent), South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott (4 percent), with Ohio businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson all polling at 2 percent.
“Former President Donald Trump is looking to repeat his successful 2016 pathway to victory of scattering opposition among several opponents,” said New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Levesque. “As new entrants have emerged since our last survey in March, Trump has gained 5 points of support and now sits just shy of a majority …”
DeSantis’ fortunes have fallen in the Granite State, with the Florida governor’s support down 10 points since the institute’s poll in March, a poll that included potential presidential candidates. The latest survey features only declared candidates.
It’s early in New Hampshire and Iowa, the first-in-the-nation nominating states — at least for the Republican Party. And political winds, as always, are subject to swift change.
“I think it’s a little early to call New Hampshire and some of the doomsaying about DeSantis I think is a bit premature,” Dante Scala, a professor of politics at the University of New Hampshire, told National Review. Scala will join The Star News Network at 10:10 a.m. Thursday on NewsTalk 1040 WHO in Des Moines to talk about the race for New Hampshire.
“It’s no question though that Trump [has continued to attract] Republican voters here and nationally,” he added. “You can’t discount that. He’s the one to beat. But I do think there’s something to be said for the fact that it takes New Hampshire voters a long time to make up their minds. They may be parked with Trump right now, but it’s possible that . . . they might not be there — not all of them — when it is all said and done.”
The GOP colossi collided this week on the New Hampshire campaign trail, 30 miles apart. The timing didn’t sit well with Trump and his supporters.
DeSantis held an open forum Tuesday in Hollis, taking an array of questions from primary voters, something he was criticized for not doing during his last swing through the Granite State. As the governor’s event ended, a Trump luncheon was getting underway in Concord.
“This attempt to pull focus from our Lilac Luncheon only diminishes the efforts of Republican women in New Hampshire who are volunteers, working hard to provide opportunities for our membership to have access to all of the candidates,” Elizabeth Girard, president of the New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women, which hosted the Trump luncheon, said in a statement.
In a Democratic Party primary race which was supposed to be a coronation for Biden’s re-election bid, the incumbent is polling at 68 percent among New Hampshire primary voters. Environmental attorney and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is at 9 percent, while self-help author Marianne Williamson comes in with 8 percent.
Kennedy Jr. is banking on New Hampshire to lift his campaign. The son of the late New York U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bobby Kennedy recently delivered a “peace through diplomacy” speech at Saint Anselm College, marking the 60th anniversary of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy famous peace speech.
While well received, the speech didn’t seem to lift his New Hampshire numbers much. The Saint Anselm survey of more than 1,000 registered Granite State voters was conducted June 21-23, after Kennedy Jr.’s address. Kennedy Jr. has polled at nearly 20 percent in national surveys, but his support is buoyed by Republican and Independent voters, according to a Quinnipiac poll released earlier this month.
Kennedy Jr. was scheduled to take questions Wednesday evening at live town hall hosted by NewsNation.
The Saint Anselm College poll shows Biden with a 9-point edge (49 percent to 40 percent) on both Trump and DeSantis in New Hampshire.
While Biden and Trump are the clear favorites in the latest New Hampshire poll, voters in the first primary state don’t welcome a rematch of 2020, when Democratic Party nominee Biden defeated then-Republican President Donald Trump.
The Saint Anselm poll finds 83 percent of respondents do not believe the match-up represents “the best that each party can offer.” Among Republicans, 14 percent like the idea of a presidential election sequel; only 6 percent of Democrats do.
“Voters across demographics and parties believe a Biden/Trump matchup would be a clear sign that the party system is broken,” Levesque, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics director, said.
A CNN/SSRS poll earlier this month found more than one-third of did not hold a positive view of either candidate, a historic high, so to speak.
– – –
M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.