Bernie Sanders Is The Big Loser In Latest New Hampshire Polls

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Primary by a huge margin in 2016. This time, he's slipping in the polls as other candidates rise ahead of him.

While we’ve seen plenty of national polling since the two-night debate at the end of last month, there hasn’t been much reporting polling of the early primary states. That changed early this week with the release of two polls of the first-in-the-national primary state of New Hampshire, both of which show big changes that mirror what we’ve seen at the national level.

First up there’s a new poll from St. Anslem college:

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a narrow lead over the field of Democratic contenders in New Hampshire, but Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have surged into contention for the top spot in the first-in-the-nation primary state, according to a new poll released Monday.

The latest survey from Saint Anselm College finds Biden at 20.8 percent support among likely Democratic voters in New Hampshire, a 2-point drop from April.

Biden is followed closely by Harris at 17.5 percent support and Warren at 16.7 percent. The figures mark a 10-point jump for Harris and an 8-point jump for Warren.

The survey has a margin of error of 5.2 percentage points, putting Biden, Harris and Warren in a statistical tie for first place. 

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg held steady in the poll with 11.5 percent support. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I), who comes from nearby Vermont, has fallen nearly 6 points since April and now sits in fifth place at 9.9 percent support in the latest survey.

The rest of the field comes out like this:

  • Andrew Yang comes in seventh at 4.9%, the highest he has polled in any poll so far in the race;
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar comes in eighth place at 3%;
  • Marianne Williamson, who I guess is best described as a “spiritual adviser” who was a frequent guest on Oprah Winfrey’s old show, comes in ninth at 2%;
  • All other candidates come in under 2%, including former Congressman Beto O’Rourke who comes in at 0%.

Perhaps the biggest surprises here are Yang and Williamson, who both do better than they have in any previous poll. This is likely a reflection of the fact that both candidates have spent a considerable amount of time on the ground in the Granite State and therefore probably have better name recognition there than they do elsewhere in the country or among the Democratic electorate nationwide.

In addition to this poll, CNN has released a new Granite State poll that shows similar changes at the top of the poll:

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sit atop the field of Democratic presidential contenders among likely primary voters in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

Overall, 24% say they back Biden, while 19% each support Sanders and Warren. The five-point margin between Biden and the two senators matches the survey’s margin of sampling error.

Behind this top tier, 10% support South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and 9% back California Sen. Kamala Harris. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke each registered 2% in the poll.

No other candidate tested earned more than 1% support.

From this, we can look at the RealClearPolitics average for the state, which, like the recent polling, shows a much different race than the one that existed before the first debate:

  • Former Vice-President Joe Biden stands in first place with an average of 26.0%;
  • In second place, we have Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren with an average of 17.7%;
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in third place at 16.3%, but that’s mostly a reflection of his performance in previous polls;
  • California Senator Kamala Harris is in fourth place at 11.3%;
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place at 10.7%;
  • Andrew Yang is in fifth place at 2.3%;
  • New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke are tied at 2.0%; and,
  • Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is at 1.3%; and,
  • All other candidates come in at 1% or less.

The biggest surprise in both polls and the polling average is the performance, or lack thereof, of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. In 2016, fresh off what ended up being a very narrow loss to Hillary Clinton in Iowa, Sanders ended up pulling off a stunning win in the Granite State, beating Clinton by more than 60,000 votes and more than twenty percentage points. To a large degree, Sanders’ win three-and-a-half years ago can be attributed to both his ability to appealto a new swath of voters and the fact that New Hampshire voters were very familiar with him given that he had been a fixture in the politics of neighboring Vermont since the 1980s.

When the race started, Sanders and Biden were basically tied for first place with the rest of the field trailing them significantly. Much as we’ve seen happen at the national level, though, Sanders seems to be finding that it’s hard to get lightning to strike twice and he finds himself slipping while Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both slide. This comes at the same time that a new poll out of Iowa shows him falling into single digits and fourth place in the Hawkeye State. Similarly, a Fox News poll out of South Carolina shows him slipping there as well and polling in Nevada also shows him weakening. There are the first four contests of the race, and if Sanders underperforms ni all of them he may find that his campaign isn’t going to last as long as the first one did.

Obviously, these are still early numbers. The New Hampshire primary is still 211 days away and there’s any number of things could happen between now and ten to change the nature of the race. The extent to which the race has changed in the wake of the debate at the end of June is proof enough of that, and it’s probable that the debate at the end of this month will have a similar impact on the state of the race. One possibly “X factor” in the Granite State is Pete Buttigieg, who is polling just behind the top four and much stronger than he is nationally or in other states. Previous primaries in New Hampshire on both sides of the aisle have given us surprise performances, and Buttigieg could end up being that candidate for this cycle. As they say, stay tuned.

FILED UNDER: Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. grumpy realist says:

    Joe Biden is the “establishment” Dem candidate. Last time, Bernie was the “non-establishment-vote-for-him-because-you’re-pissed-off-at-HRC” candidate. Now? Unfortunately, there are a lot of non-Joe-Biden candidates running, many of them with nice new sparkly ideas and policies. Bernie is coming off as “ehh….seen that guy before, heard his harangues already…”

    Question is: where have all the Bernie Bros gone? I suspect they’re the same type of people who in the previous election were voting for Ron Paul….and even before that Ralph Nader.

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  2. Jen says:

    I’m always mildly suspicious of polling this early, because it can be so wobbly. For example, the Saint A’s poll has Harris in second, right behind Biden, but the CNN poll has her following Buttigieg.

    If I had to guess, this might be a function of who and where they found voters to speak with, but it’s still odd to me that she’s in either second place…or fifth.

    Buttigieg has been here frequently and he draws solid crowds.

  3. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @grumpy realist: Roughly half of the Bernie Bros that I knew ended up magically revealing themselves to really be anti-HRC rather than pro-Bernie.

    And a lot of them are now, four years later, saying things like, “I have no problem with a woman President, but I just can’t get behind Warren or Harris. I’d be cool with Biden, though.”

    It is almost as if there is something going on beyond policy positions, but I just can’t put my finger on what that thing could possibly be.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    Once again, the pollsters are missing the Tulsi Gabbard boomlet. 😉 Her lawn signs are popping up along the seacoast like dandelions in May.

    If it is over for Beto, it is also for Bernie. The plus size lady has stepped to the microphone for both of them and is holding a fork.

  5. Jen says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: I know! So weird. And Gillibrand “tries too hard,” and Klobuchar is “fine I guess but I’d rather she stay in the Senate, we need her there.”

    So strange…

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  6. Pylon says:

    @Gromitt Gunn:

    You can put your finger on it. Just not in public.

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  7. njhudelson@gmail.com says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Last election, in Indiana CD9 all you could find were campaign signs for Liz Watson, the challenger to “Tennessee” Trey Hollingsworth. Not a Trey sign to be found in New Albany (Trey’s adopted town), Clarksville, Bloomington, and even in the rural towns–all Liz, no Trey. Polls were showing Trey up by 10+ points, but how could that be with all the visible support for Liz?

    Trey won by 13 points.

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    Moderators, please de-moderate me.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Question is: where have all the Bernie Bros gone? I suspect they’re the same type of people who in the previous election were voting for Ron Paul….and even before that Ralph Nader.

    Depends how you define “Bernie-Bro.” The vast majority of Bernie voters ended up supporting Hillary in the general election. Of the tiny percentage who voted for Trump, half of them said they’d supported Romney in 2012, and only 25% of them reported voting for a Democratic candidate for Congress. In other words, Bernie-to-Trumpers were composed heavily of Republicans who voted for Bernie, rather than (as is often assumed) lefties who felt Hillary wasn’t “pure” enough. (That group was probably more represented among the tiny percentage of Bernie voters who supported Jill Stein or didn’t vote at all in the general election.)

    It’s easy for Twitter mobs to give a false impression of the general public. As you point out, Bernie functioned as a conduit for voters who simply wanted an alternative to Hillary. (I’ve mentioned the anecdote before: An old friend of mine who’s very right-wing is still registered as a Democrat because of where he lives. In 2016 I asked him who he’d voted for in the Democratic primary, and he told me he’d voted for Sanders. I asked him why, and he said “Because he’s not Hillary.”) Far fewer of those votes came from Bernie’s hardcore cultists than is often imagined.

    So when people talking about “the” Bernie-Bros, I have to ask who they mean. Only a minority of Bernie supporters didn’t vote for Hillary in the general election. That group is sometimes called the “Bernie-or-Busters.” They’re more or less the equivalent of the PUMAs in 2008, who were comparable in number, but much less noticed in the end because Obama won by such a wide margin.

  10. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Hey, I got nuthin against women; a lot of my friends are women.

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  11. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: Yah when am thinking of “Bernie Bros” am thinking of the “we’re cool, man–but we’re gonna vote for Trump!” types that littered these threads. I cheerfully voted for Bernie in the primaries and just as cheerfully voted for HRC in the general. Sometimes it really does come down to exactly how horrible the opposition is.

    (Then you’ve got people like Rod Dreher over at TAC who gives the impression that no matter how awful Trump gets he will still vote for him because “intersexuals” and “freedom of religion.”)

  12. EddieInCA says:

    Bernie is toast. He just doesn’t know it. Trendlines are your friend, and he’s going in the wrong direction. What will change that. Good riddance. Sooner he drops out, the better.

    Harris, Warren, Buttegeig are in it for a while.

    Booker needs to improve quick, or he’s toast, too.

    Beto is toast, but he knows it. He should have run for the Senate seat. However, after this dismal showing, he could win a house seat again, but not much more. His Senate chances are somewhere between zero and zilch for the foreseeable future.

    Klobaucher, Gillibrand, Gabbard, Inslee, Hickenlooper, Bullock, and the rest should get out now.

    Williamson, Yang and the rest should have never gotten in.

    It’s gonna be Biden/Harris.

  13. Scott says:

    @grumpy realist: I used to read Rod and thought he had some interesting ideas to consider. But now, he is just tiresome and one note. On the other hand, he seems to keep fleeing to Europe to enjoy all it has to offer.

  14. Scott says:

    @EddieInCA: I just don’t want to vote for a baby boomer or older. As a boomer, I think we need to get out of the way. I could really get behind Harris with Buttigieg as VP.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    Neil, you may want to ask for that demoderated post to be removed.

  16. EddieInCA says:

    @grumpy realist:

    (Then you’ve got people like Rod Dreher over at TAC who gives the impression that no matter how awful Trump gets he will still vote for him because “intersexuals” and “freedom of religion.”)

    I’m having a hard time figuring out how the guy who wrote “Crunchy Cons” and was such a liberal on some issues has gone full anti-gay over the last decade. He’s truly terrified that Gay and Trans people are coming for his entire existence.

  17. EddieInCA says:

    @Scott:

    I could really get behind Harris with Buttigieg as VP.

    A Black woman and a small gay man? Kiss Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and possibly Arizona goodbye. With Biden you win MI, PA, OH, WI, AZ, and possibly GA and FL.

    If the ticket is Harris/Buttigeig, I’ll vote for it enthusiastically. But I’d expect to lose most if not all of the midwest.

  18. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    A Black woman and a small gay man? Kiss Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, and possibly Arizona goodbye.

    Wisconsin and Arizona voted for a gay and bi woman, respectively, in 2018.

  19. EddieInCA says:

    @Kylopod:

    Okay. Fair enough. And you think they’ll do similarly in 2020? Genuinely asking.

  20. al Ameda says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Bernie is toast. He just doesn’t know it. Trendlines are your friend, and he’s going in the wrong direction. What will change that. Good riddance. Sooner he drops out, the better.

    It’s early but, Bernie seems really stale to me.

    He’s a Talking Point machine. Last time he had the advantage of being the ‘Not Hillary’ insurgent, he was playing with House money. This time, Elizabeth Warren has the energy and I think some the Bernie people are moving over there. Two of my closest friends wanted Bernie over Hillary in 2016, but the voted for Hillary because, well … Trump, and the Supreme Court stakes. This time around they’re both signed on to Warren.

  21. MarkedMan says:

    One problem I have with Bernie that others may also be picking up on: he always strikes may as that guy impatiently waiting for you to finish talking so he can expound his points. It’s not just that he’s not interested in what anyone else has to say, it doesn’t even occur to him that it matters.

  22. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Okay. Fair enough. And you think they’ll do similarly in 2020? Genuinely asking.

    I don’t know, I just think it’s funny to act like five states which voted for Obama twice are allergic to anyone but a straight white dude.

  23. Kari Q says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It’s not just that he’s not interested in what anyone else has to say, it doesn’t even occur to him that it matters.

    In 2016, Sanders reminded of all the older white liberal men I met when I was in college in the 80s. They would happily tell me what it was like to be a woman in a patriarchal society. They would tell Black people what it was like to be Black in a racist society. It never seemed to occur to them that the people they were talking at might know a little more about the subject than they did. I figured young people didn’t mind it so much because they hadn’t spent the hours I did listening to white men try to educate me about sexism when I had actually experienced it and they (the white men) never had. I try to keep that experience in mind when it comes to race and spend more time listening than talking.

    The Black people who I talked to about Sanders said it wasn’t that they disliked him, it was that they felt he had never listened to them long enough to know what was important to them, as a group. That, and that he seemed to think racism would disappear as soon as economic inequality was addressed and they felt that was naive. (I don’t know if Sanders actually thinks this, but it’s something I heard more than once from Black people I talked to).

  24. michael reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    If Harris misses the top spot she’ll own the #2 slot. She’d be the prosecutorial, tough guy type of campaigner and Veep.

  25. EddieInCA says:

    @michael reynolds:

    If Harris misses the top spot she’ll own the #2 slot. She’d be the prosecutorial, tough guy type of campaigner and Veep.

    I think she’s a badass. I agree. I think she’d destroy Pence in a debate.

  26. EddieInCA says:

    @Kylopod:

    I don’t know, I just think it’s funny to act like five states which voted for Obama twice are allergic to anyone but a straight white dude.

    I volunteered for Obama in 2008 and 2002, and in both it was Biden who was sent to Michigan, PA, OH, WI, IN, etc, over and over again. Obama had big rallies in each state, but it was Biden who spent most of his time in the Midwest. So yes, they voted for Obama, but Biden was on the ticket. If you think that a black woman can win the midwest in this environment, coupled with a gay man, then I hope you’re right if that’s the team it ends up being. But I very much doubt it based on the last 40 years.

  27. Scott F. says:

    @EddieInCA:
    The last 40 years don’t need to dictate the next 4 years.

    I’ve stated this before here, but frankly if the Democrats can’t win the White House in 2020 without Biden at the top of the ticket, we might as well let Trump win and start formulating how we rebuild from the ashes. Trump won in 2016 by drawing an inside straight and he’s done less than zero to build his coalition since he took office. Playing it safe isn’t the right choice – the left wants someone who will fight for the future of the country.

  28. Kari Q says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I think she’s a badass. I agree. I think she’d destroy Pence in a debate.

    The only downside to that is not seeing her destroy Trump in the presidential debate. She’s got my support, but I’d be happy with a Biden/Harris ticket.

  29. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I volunteered for Obama in 2008 and 2002, and in both it was Biden who was sent to Michigan, PA, OH, WI, IN, etc, over and over again. Obama had big rallies in each state, but it was Biden who spent most of his time in the Midwest. So yes, they voted for Obama, but Biden was on the ticket.

    I think you are overestimating the impact that the vp has on a race. Obama won WI by nearly 14 points in 2008 and MI by nearly 17 points. In 2012 it was 7 points in WI and 10 points in MI. Those types of margins cannot be explained simply by who visited the state at campaign events (and Obama visited those states plenty of times anyway). Political scientists have studied the effects of retail campaigning in presidential elections, and it just doesn’t appear to move the needle by more than a couple of points at best. That can have profound consequences in a close race (in fact, there are studies suggesting that Obama’s narrow win in FL in 2012 may have rested entirely on his superior campaigning in the state), but it doesn’t explain the big shifts we saw between 2012 and 2016.

    Also bear in mind that, contrary to the impression that is often given these days, it’s not only white working-class voters who live in those states; there’s also a sizable black population. If there’d been a mere 1% increase in black turnout in WI, MI, and PA in 2016, Hillary would be president now. Everything else could stay absolutely the same, and the black turnout would still be far below what it was when Obama was running. But it would have made all the difference.

    You also mention Indiana, and attributing Obama’s 2008 win there to Biden really misses the boat; key to his victory was his running up the totals in the Chicago Metro Area where he was popular. It’s unlikely he would have won the state if not for the Great Recession, but it’s also unlikely it would have happened with a Democrat who wasn’t from a neighboring state.

    You seem to forget how narrow, fluky, and at bottom avoidable Trump’s wins in WI, MI, and PA were, states that hadn’t voted Republican since the ’80s and had even backed losing Democrats like Al Gore and John Kerry. So your whole flippant “Say goodbye to” those states attitude, as if those states are filled with ultra-reactionaries who will flee the Dems if there isn’t a safe white guy on the ticket, is ridiculous. That’s not to suggest we should take them for granted. Far from it. And I have a feeling Ohio is slipping out of our hands regardless of who the nominee is, just as Arizona is doing the opposite. But we can win without Ohio, and with sufficient gains in the Sun Belt, we could even win big.

  30. grumpy realist says:

    @Kylopod: Biden comes off as being….nice, and even if he’s said some clangers every now and then they pale to nothing in consideration to the stream of racist howlers continuing to stream from Mr. Dennison’s mouth and his supporters.

    Any self-identifying social justice warrior type who claims he’s going to vote for Jill Stein this time around “because the Dems and the Repubs are all alike” is probably posting from Russia, anyway.

  31. Jen says:

    One other thing to keep in mind re: the question of Harris/Buttigieg, which I’ll just sign on and say I’d be absolutely thrilled to vote for, is that the electorate does change. When we’re talking about Obama’s numbers from 2008 and 2012, we need to bear in mind that 2020 is 12 and 8 years beyond those votes–people die, younger people come of age to vote. Of course everyone knows this, but small changes could have a pronounced effect because Trump appears to be running the same game plan as 2016. He’s essentially expecting the exact same voters to produce the exact same result.

    This is a pretty big gamble on his part, but understandable for someone who doesn’t really understand the electorate. This is the same mistake Bernie’s supporters make every time they suggest he would have won–it way oversimplifies voter dynamics. The fact is, the entire race would have been different.

    I’ll also point out again that Democrats win when they nominate candidates who inspire and instill a sense of hope and optimism. These are intangibles, but Mondale, Dukakis, Gore*, Kerry…quiet competence is not rewarded.

    Voters who came of age when Obama was elected are in their 30s now. Party loyalty tends to get baked in early, and as those voters become more reliable voters (as they age), we’ll start to see the effect in coming elections. The only real question is the out-sized weight of the electoral college vote in sparsely inhabited states.

    *Gore did win the popular vote by ~500,000+ votes. Not quite Hillary’s ~3,000,000 votes over her opponent, but noteworthy.

  32. KM says:

    Bernie is stale. He has nothing new, nothing energetic. He’s literally running on brand-loyalty right now in a race with better knock-off versions then the original. As noted above, he’s the older guy who in the conversation to talk at you, not to you – your side of the convo is completely unnecessary. It’s his turn, damnit and all these young whipper-snappers are butting in, stealing his ideas and not giving him his due. Why is Biden getting all the attention and not him? This has got to be incredibly frustrating for him – last time, he was the underground rockstar but now he’s not even opening-act.

    He’s not going to go quietly either. He’ll run as a spoiler or deliberately try to get folk to vote third party. This is almost certainly his last chance and he’s not going to take loss well.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I think she’s a badass. I agree. I think she’d destroy Pence in a debate.

    I agree she’s a badass. But seriously, Dan Quayle could destroy Pence in a debate.

  34. Kylopod says:

    @gVOR08:

    But seriously, Dan Quayle could destroy Pence in a debate.

    I don’t know about you, but I thought Tim Kaine got his ass handed to him by Pence. It was all lies, but it was effective.