7/17: New Hampshire 2016 Could Be Swing State

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in a close contest against potential GOP rival, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in a 2016 general election matchup in New Hampshire.  Clinton has single-digit leads against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  She has a wider lead over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  But, only against Cruz is Clinton supported by more than 50% of New Hampshire voters.  Clinton does better than each of her potential opponents among independent voters.  The gender gap in all of these matchups is wide.

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Clinton is well liked by a majority of New Hampshire residents owing to her strong standing among women.  Vice President Biden has a higher negative rating than positive score among residents in the state.

New Hampshire residents give mixed reviews to Republicans Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Scott Walker.  The ratings for Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz are all upside down with more residents viewing them negatively than positively.

The morning line for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary has Hillary Clinton the overwhelming choice of Democrats over Joe Biden.  Both Clinton and Biden are popular among most Democrats in the state.

On the Republican side, there is no clear choice among the potential 2016 New Hampshire Primary electorate for their party’s nominee.  More than one in five GOP’ers are undecided, and only Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush have low double-digit support.  Each potential GOP contender is viewed more favorably than unfavorably by Republicans in the state.  Rand Paul is the most popular among GOP voters.

“New Hampshire always gets a lot of attention because of its status as the first-in-the-nation primary and 2016 will be no exception,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “It may be a frequent stopping off point for the general election, as well.”

Poll Points

  • Democrat Hillary Clinton is in a competitive contest against potential GOP rival Rand Paul, 46% to 43%.  She has a narrow lead over Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio, 47% to 42%, in each instance.  Clinton does better against Scott Walker, 48% to 39%, and Ted Cruz, 51% to 38%.
  • Clinton is boosted by her support among independent voters and is backed by the majority of women in each matchup.
  • Statewide, 53%, of residents have a favorable view of Hillary Clinton including 60% of women.  42% of state residents have an unfavorable opinion of her.  Biden is viewed positively by 39% of New Hampshire residents, but 48% have a negative opinion of him.
  • Residents in the state divide about how they view several of the potential GOP candidates:  Marco Rubio who has a 31% positive rating and a 28% negative score; Rand Paul who receives a favorable rating of 39% and an unfavorable score of 38%; and Scott Walker, with whom voters are least familiar, is liked by 24% of residents and disliked by 23%.
  • Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz all have ratings that are upside down.

Dems:  Clinton Strong Frontrunner

  • Hillary Clinton outpaces Joe Biden 74% to 18% among the potential New Hampshire Democratic Primary electorate for 2016.
  • Most Democrats in the state, 94%, have a positive opinion of Clinton.  Just 4% view her negatively.  Joe Biden is also liked by most New Hampshire Democrats.  79% have a favorable view of him, and 14% have an unfavorable opinion of him.

GOP:  No Pace Horse

  • 22% of the potential New Hampshire Republican Primary electorate are undecided in their preference for a 2016 GOP presidential nominee.  Paul at 14%, Christie at 13%, and Bush at 10% are the only potential candidates who have double-digit support.
  • The contest is no clearer when the potential Republican electorate is asked for a second choice.  Rubio is the backup pick of 16%, Bush garners 13%, Christie and Paul each attract 12%, and Ryan is the second choice of 10%.
  • 71% of state Republicans have a positive opinion of Rand Paul and only 15% have a negative impression of him.  Although each of the potential GOP candidates are more popular than unpopular among New Hampshire Republicans, Paul has the highest favorability rating.  A majority of state Republicans like Bush, 65%, Rubio, 58%, and Christie, 52%.  50% have a positive view of Cruz and Walker.

Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables