After the insanity of the Iowa caucuses last week, many 2020 presidential campaigns and observers are undoubtedly ready for the comparatively tame New Hampshire presidential primary, held today (though three small precincts already voted, lending support via write-in to Michael Bloomberg and to Sen. Amy Klobuchar).
Before this semester began, Dr. Collens’s Presidential Nomination Campaigns class traveled to Manchester, NH, where students worked 20 hours for the candidates of their choice. Candidates included Sen. Elizabeth Warren (9 students), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (3 students), former Vice President Joe Biden (2 students), President Donald Trump (2 students), and former Gov. Bill Weld (2 students). A pair of students who split their time among former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, so below they are called our “free agents.”
Each of these groups provides New Hampshire predictions below, in pairs or teams of three. Read on about their experiences in New Hampshire and a rationale for their predictions! Teams were assigned based on which candidate they supported during our trip in New Hampshire.
Warren A (McKenna Donegan and Lindsay Nugent)
New Hampshire prides itself on its status as the first primary in the nation, a status they’ve gone to great lengths to protect. New Hampshirites claim that their state is exceptionally civic minded and therefore deserving of this privilege, and what we saw reinforced this belief. The people we encountered while canvassing were engaged in the political process, giving deep thought to which candidates they would support, although some of the voters we called while phone-banking were less than diplomatic. However, our overall impression of New Hampshire was that the state’s residents were involved in the political process. Voters even filled up rooms for lower-tier candidates like Senator Michael Bennet.
Canvassing for Elizabeth Warren gave us insight into just how engaged New Hampshire voters are. Every person that we spoke too had either already decided to vote for a specific candidate, or had a few specific candidates in mind but were still undecided. Furthermore, we encountered some people who were actively volunteering for a candidate and had literature and lawn signs blanketing their homes. While phone-banking some were eager to disclose who they were voting for, while others were less than enthusiastic about receiving multiple calls a day.
Just as he commandingly won the state in the 2016 primary, we predict that Sanders will win this New Hampshire primary as well. Sanders won the state with 60.4% of the vote that year, against Hillary Clinton’s 38.0%. Though no one predicts any candidate to do as well as gaining 60% of the vote in a year crowded with many candidates, the polls have shown that Sanders has maintained his lead, even as Buttigieg has increased in the polls. A FiveThirtyEight poll predicts that Bernie Sanders has a 74% chance of winning on Tuesday. We predict that Sanders will end Tuesday having earned 26% of the votes in the Democratic primary.
Pete Buttigieg, one of the candidates we saw in New Hampshire, is rapidly rising in the New Hampshire polls after his strong Iowa finish. We predict that many moderates, some of whom were supporters of Joe Biden before his poor finish in Iowa, will see Buttigieg as the leader of the moderate wing of the Democratic Party and decide to cast their ballot for him. Buttigieg did well with white voters and moderates in Iowa, though he has done poorly among voters of color. That isn’t likely to hurt him in New Hampshire, however, as the state is overwhelmingly white. We believe that he will end up in second place with 22% of the votes.
Placing third in the New Hampshire primary we have Elizabeth Warren. After Sanders and Buttigieg’s strong showing in Iowa, we predict Warren will only garner 17% of the vote. Following Monday’s disappointing finish Warren began to shift her campaign strategy. Earlier this week she canceled $350,000 in planned television ads for later this month in Nevada and South Carolina, both of which vote after New Hampshire. Money has become a problem for the Warren campaign and this problem could only worsen after her third place finish in Iowa. Furthermore, the progressive wing of the Democratic party has coalesced around Bernie Sanders, and the moderate Democrats have backed Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, leaving Elizabeth Warren caught between the two.
Joe Biden, once seen as a major contender for the 2020 nomination, struggled in Iowa, placing in fourth. Reports have indicated that his campaign is taking these results as a wakeup call, and are deeply worried that further poor results in the upcoming primaries and caucuses could be a death blow to the campaign. Unfortunately his Biden, we believe that his troubles are only beginning. We predict his campaign to finish in fourth place, with 13% of the vote. In fifth place, behind Biden, we predict that Amy Klobuchar will finish with 8% of the vote. Despite an an endorsement from the New Hampshire Union Leader, as well as the support of three of the top four members of the State House of Representatives, her campaign will fail to attract moderate voters who are drawn to the name recognition of Joe Biden or the rising star of Pete Buttigieg.
Coming in 6th, 7th, and 8th respectively we have Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer. Both Yang and Gabbard drew relatively small crowds in New Hampshire and we expect this to carry over to Tuesday’s primary. We predict Tulsi Gabbard will finish with 4% of the vote, Andrew Yang with 3% and Tom Steyer with 1%. All three candidates performed poorly in Iowa, with Andrew Yang receiving 1% of the vote, Tom Steyer 0.3%, and Tulsi Gabbard 0%. We expect differences in vote totals in New Hampshire because this primary lacks Iowa’s 15% vote threshold and realignment process. Hence, despite all three candidates disappointing performance Monday, we do expect them to win some votes in New Hampshire.
Coming off of the craziness of Monday’s caucuses, it is important to keep in mind that anything is possible. We do expect Bernie Sanders to come out on top, but a much closer race is not out of the question. Pete Buttigieg has been rising in the polls all week, and this could give him the necessary boost to close in on Sanders lead. All we can say is, let’s hope that Shadow isn’t in charge of counting New Hampshire’s ballots.
Warren B (Rachel Clark and Tim Zehr)
Our time in New Hampshire was illuminating as to how campaigns actually work, instead of hearing about their strengths and weaknesses on one of the 24-hour political news stations. While there was no shortage of excitement and optimism from every campaign, we found the enthusiasm to be the strongest among supporters of the two progressive candidates, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Through phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, and general interaction with the people of New Hampshire, our biggest take away was that there is undeniable energy fighting for the candidates who are running on the notion of changing the current political system. While this ideological fight on whether to focus on simply defeating Trump or support candidates who want bold changes, our time in New Hampshire leads us to believe that voters lean more towards the latter of the two.
Senator Sanders appears to have emerged from the rubble of the Iowa debacle as the odds-on favorite to win the nomination. It would appear that Sanders’ campaign has hit its stride at the perfect time to propel the Vermont senator to the nomination thanks in no small part to the pact of extremely loyal supporters known as “Bernie Bros”. While the fanbase’s ability to go to war with other candidate’s supporters on Twitter should not be overlooked, the financial support they have shown, in addition to Sanders’ well-organized campaign, has proved to be a key difference-maker in setting Bernie up for a strong New Hampshire win in what was once anyone’s race.
Warren and Sanders have both secured for themselves a “home-field advantage” both being from New England, which has benefitted them in that their grassroots organization already has a strong base that can be quickly mobilized creating the solid ground game their campaign has been built on. However, we still don’t think that Warren could beat Sanders because of the momentum he got from the close finish in Iowa, but her solid third place coupled with one of the best ground games in the state could lead to swaying some of the large pool of New Hampshire undecided voters into her camp.
Mayor Pete had a great showing in the Iowa caucuses but was stripped of the media glory due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the vote counting. The difference between Pete and Bernie’s strategies in handling the confusion could prove to be a factor in the momentum gathered heading into New Hampshire. While Sanders waited for confirmed data, Pete took the bold approach of declaring outright victory. While it does appear that Pete is in line to become the poster-child of the center-left, we project that factors such as the Iowa disaster as well as seeing much more ground-level enthusiasm for the progressive wing will result in Mayor Pete sticking towards the middle of the pack in New Hampshire.
Next up is Biden. Oh boy, Joe. Biden’s coasting was apparent in the big fumble that Iowa was. The former VP has been playing the entire campaign as a frontrunner. Hiding Biden and hoping to get by on name identification alone proved to not be an effective long-term strategy as the Biden bid for the presidency is officially a longshot until we can see the impact of South Carolina and other more diverse states. We really don’t expect any recovery in New Hampshire, we predict that this is the beginning of the end for Biden. Biden only surged because of his perceived electability but after Iowa’s performance, all the moderates who were in his favor may swing to Buttigieg.
Klobuchar seems to be everybody’s second choice which explains why she’s the tail-end of the top runners. No one hates her, but no one particularly likes her either, she is close to joining the ranks of the forgotten candidates as the primary heats up. We expect her and Biden to keep pace with their percentages from Iowa, maybe slight drops but nothing too dramatic.
Yang gets a lot of notoriety based on his young, Twitter-savvy fanbase, however that doesn’t translate into voter turnout. Viral tweets about universal basic income are too little, too late to save this entrepreneur’s campaign for president.
Aside from memes made online about Steyer’s ties, or lack thereof, this campaigning is going nowhere and we expect him to get a small percentage.
Outside of a few disparaged Republicans, veterans, and other forms of old, white men, we don’t see Tulsi being a contender in NH or the rest of the primary.
Warren C (Chrissy DeMarco and Sami DeRagon)
After spending a week in New Hampshire volunteering with the Elizabeth Warren campaign, it was clear that most voters don’t know who they want. We don’t mean that in a condescending way, but as a way to understand the disarray of the Democratic primary to this point. A conversation we had with a voter when knocking on doors perfectly encapsulates this disarray. When we approached the woman, she told us that she was a fan of Warren, but was not planning to vote for her, citing her position on Medicare-for-All as the reason. The voter continued to explain that she preferred Buttigieg’s healthcare plan, because of his opposition to the abolition of private insurance. This voter had a close friend who relied on Medicare to survive her battle with a terminal illness, and had been led to believe that this friend would lose access to her current Medicare plan if Medicare-for-All was enacted.
Voters know what they want, but they don’t know who will give those things to them. The voting population has been talked to so much about the issues that matter to them, but not enough in language that they can follow. Voters have a lot of passion, they deeply care about the outcome of this election, but they are being spun in circles around the technical language of bills proposed, when that is not what matters. Voters do not care who can draft the most progressively worded bill, who can find the most common ground with the other side, or who can paint them the best picture of the future, voters care about electing people who will get things done.
Bernie Sanders is going to win the New Hampshire Primary. He has momentum coming out of the Iowa Caucus, and has a history of doing well with Independents. Sanders is going to gain momentum out of this success, despite coming in second, because there really was no winner of the Iowa Caucus. The New Hampshire Primary is very different than the Iowa Caucus because there is no realignment, meaning people vote once for their first choice and then they’re done. Sanders also has a history of doing well with non-affiliated voters in New Hampshire. In 2016, Clinton and Sanders virtually tied among registered Democrats in New Hampshire, but Bernie out performed Clinton roughly 3 to 1 among people not affiliated with a party. This popularity led him to a huge victory in 2016 and should lead him to victory again in 2020.
Due to impressive results in Iowa, it is likely Buttigieg will go into New Hampshire with enough momentum to come in second. Going into Iowa, he was not predicted to win either the state delegate equivalents, or the most votes, as he had been consistently polling behind Biden and Sanders. Due to the nature of the Iowa caucus, and the fact that Biden was not viable in far more precincts than his campaign predicted, Buttigieg was able to win by being a strong alternative to Biden during realignment. New Hampshire being a primary state will not provide Buttigieg with this advantage What will help him, though, is the fact that he ended with such good results in Iowa, not much negative media coverage, and has the money to campaign feverishly until the primary.
Elizabeth Warren did better than expected in the Iowa Caucus. Her polling numbers had been slipping leading up to the caucuses, and there was a strong chance of her not being viable in a lot of precincts. Warren getting 18% in Iowa will give her the momentum she needs to do well in New Hampshire. Having worked on her campaign for a week, we can say that the Warren Campaign in New Hampshire is well organized, ready to propel Warren to do well in New Hampshire. The people we talked to in New Hampshire really care about finding someone who can beat Trump in November, and Warren has argued that she is that candidate. It won’t be enough to bring her to victory, but she will have a strong showing in the Granite State.
There is no doubt that the Iowa caucuses were terrible for Joe Biden. Even according to the former VP himself, the results were a gut punch. Even taking these roadblocks into account, Biden’s results in Iowa are dismal, and will definitely affect his performance in New Hampshire. With the demographics of New Hampshire being so similar to Iowa, and his campaign still struggling to organize in a sufficient way, the results on Monday will likely be just as disheartening for the Biden campaign, and could impact the race going into South Carolina and Nevada.
Amy Klobuchar impressed in Iowa. Placing in fifth place is not typically a good result, but considering she only finished slightly behind Biden, she did very well. Going into New Hampshire, she has the opportunity to get even more votes. If Klobuchar is able to place in the top five in New Hampshire, specifically if she can trail Biden by only a few votes, she will be set to move on with some new momentum.
Yang, Gabbard, Steyer, Patrick, Bloomberg, and Bennet are all going to do how’d you expect. They do have some staunch supporters in New Hampshire, but most of the state is unaware of them. Those who are aware of them aren’t impressed enough to make them their first choice candidate.
Just like in Iowa, the New Hampshire Primary is still up for grabs and the results are hard to predict. We’ll just have to wait and see who comes out on top on February 11.
Warren D (Zach Coderre, Sam Hearn, and Kiley Lenahan)
In the wake of the chaotic and delayed release of results from the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire primary matters now more than ever. Since the start of the modern primary system, Iowa and New Hampshire have held an outsized level of influence in determining who the Democratic nominee is. Traditionally the momentum gained from winning the Iowa caucuses has been incredibly valuable, but because of the delayed results and confusion about who won there is a question of whether or not Iowa will be as impactful this year. With that in mind, New Hampshire could serve as the first asterisk free contest of the primary cycle. By utilizing FiveThirtyEight’s forecast as a baseline and adjusting it to factor in our on the ground observations in New Hampshire, the Iowa Caucuses mess, and the recent debate, we have predicted the outcome of the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
During our time working on the Elizabeth Warren campaign in Concord New Hampshire, we got an inside look at how central a role volunteers play on presidential campaigns. Through phone banking, canvassing and writing postcards, campaign volunteers, like us, are the ones who actually do the most outreach to voters. Candidate ads and events are important, but without a strong volunteer network to capitalize on the candidates message campaigns won’t get very far. For a state like New Hampshire, volunteers and campaign organization or “ground game” is essential to running a viable campaign.
While volunteers are crucial, they are only as useful as the effectiveness of the campaign. The organizers on the Warren campaign lived up to their titles by displaying strong organizational skills. They effectively used the increase in volunteers that they had for the time that we were there. We were trained quickly, but given all necessary information to do the tasks that we were assigned. Our time was spent on high impact practices such as door to door canvassing, making calls to voters to gauge vote preferences, encourage attendance at Warren’s campaign events, and asking individuals to volunteer themselves. Our observations of the Warren campaign’s strong organizational strengths helped to inform our prediction for how she would do in the New Hampshire primary along with the other candidates.
The results of the Iowa caucus were shocking, with Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders virtually tying, but it looks like a similar scenario could play out in New Hampshire. Sanders holds a bit of an edge due to the fact that he has organizers going over the border from his neighboring state of Vermont. Sanders is also the only candidate in this race that is familiar from the 2016 election, so voters are acquainted with many of his policies and his campaign. Buttigieg is trailing close behind and has held the second most events in the Granite State (following only Amy Klobuchar), which has made his campaign accessible to voters. Mayor Pete also secured a key endorsement from Annie Kuster, a New Hampshire Congresswoman, who has endorsed the parties last four nominees. New Hampshire favors Sanders over Buttigieg, but it could likely be a slim victory at the end of the day.
Iowa didn’t turn out the way that either Vice President Joe Biden or Senator Elizabeth Warren hoped for. Biden has led the race nationally since before he announced his candidacy and was the frontrunner in Iowa until just a few months ago, yet on caucus night he finished fourth. However, this shouldn’t be so surprising. The Hunter Biden story has seemed to take a toll on his chances to secure the nomination, and many voters are shifting their support to another candidate, like Klobuchar, Buttigieg, or Warren. In addition, while canvassing in New Hampshire, many voters expressed concerns that this “scandal” could become like Hillary Clinton’s email scandal and hurt his chances of winning the election. With respect to Warren, her third place Iowa finish helped her chances marginally at getting the nomination, but these gains could be erased by the recent news of a “toxic” work environment towards minorities in her Nevada offices. However, Warren’s “grassroots” organizing in New Hampshire and endorsement of more NH state representatives than any other candidate may help her out perform her current standing in the polls.
After finishing fifth in Iowa, Amy Klobuchar needs a strong showing in New Hampshire to prove that she can be a viable alternative for moderates who aren’t thrilled with Biden or Buttigieg. Klobuchar is currently trailing Biden by a little under four points in the RealClearPolitics New Hampshire polling average. Going into Tuesday’s race she may benefit from Biden’s admission during the debate that he likely wouldn’t do well in New Hampshire. That, combined with a strong debate performance and a $1 million haul on Friday night could help her outperform her polls. Unfortunately, Klobuchar has had good debate performances before without seeing it boost her polling and it is just as likely that Buttigieg benefits from any Biden shortcomings. For these reasons we have predicted that Klobuchar will end up finishing fifth in New Hampshire and will not benefit from a last minute surge.
The 2020 New Hampshire primary is likely going to be close and have a more significant effect on campaign momentum than previous years. Because of the wide field this election cycle, candidates aren’t currently winning states in a landslide. Given their low polling numbers, Steyer, Yang, Gabbard, Patrick, and Bennet are unlikely to be serious contenders in Tuesday’ primary, but will still draw support from other candidates. This only makes it harder to forecast the outcome, and, as we just learned from the recent Iowa Caucuses, electoral outcomes are hard to predict.
Team Klobuchar (Christina Noeldechen, Dana Wakeman, and Emma Willette)
After the disaster that was the Iowa Caucus, it is very difficult to predict the vote share that each candidate will receive in the New Hampshire Primary election. Usually, after the Iowa Caucus, the candidate that claims victory rides a wave of support into the New Hampshire Primary. However, since multiple candidates have given victory speeches after the caucus, and others have questioned the validity of the results, no one truly knows what to expect at the fast approaching New Hampshire Primary.
While results coming out of Iowa may have been delayed, this has done nothing to slow Senator Bernie Sanders down. When the results finally did come through, and only put Sanders a tenth of a point behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Sanders campaign should be expecting exceptional results from the New Hampshire primary. Having won over Hilary Clinton in New Hampshire in 2016, he has already been known to be a New Hampshire favorite. Sanders also reaches a larger demographic than Buttigieg, which will give Sanders the support he needs to close the narrow gap and beat out Buttigieg in New Hampshire. Coming out of the 2016 election, Senator Sanders recognized that his supporters were predominantly white males, and actively worked to diversify his demographic. Based on our experiences while phone-banking and canvassing, the Sanders team has definitely done a great job reaching out to voters. Many of the voters we spoke to were die-hard for Bernie, and if their minds were not made up, he was certainly on their list. Looking at Senator Sanders success in Iowa and the explicit support he has in New Hampshire, it looks like this primary is going to be a big win for the candidate.
Mayor Pete won the Iowa Caucus with about 26% of the vote, but Senator Sanders is extremely close behind. Due to his victory, he claimed that he can win in various parts of the country including in Trump country. Throughout our time in New Hampshire, many voters stated that their number one issue in deciding between candidates is electability as many are focused on beating Trump. Due to the Mayor’s inability to form a diverse coalition among people of color, he is not the most electable candidate. Many voters that we spoke with emphasized the importance of beating Trump, and due to Mayor Pete’s inability to court voters of color, he is not the most electable, which could cost Buttigieg the primary.
Iowa has a significant impact on the race with the press coverage the winner receives bringing tremendous momentum. With the muddled news cycle due to the delayed release of Caucus results, it was believed that Sanders would benefit more from Iowa, but Buttigieg is now within the margin of error of Sanders. Also, during our time in New Hampshire, many people stated that they supported Mayor Pete or that he was on their list, which shows us that he will do well in the primary. We predict that he will receive 19% of the vote because of the home field advantage given to the New England candidates, Sanders and Warren and with Sanders also having a significant organizing power with his staff and volunteer support.
Despite Senator Elizabeth Warren’s third place loss in Iowa, her campaign is still hard at work advocating for her success in the New Hampshire Primary. We predict Senator Elizabeth Warren will receive at least 20% of the vote. A comeback for Warren is definitely not out of the picture after the Iowa Caucus. In 2008, Hillary Clinton placed third in Iowa but won in New Hampshire. Warren is a strong candidate, but her campaign is even stronger. Warren’s all-volunteer local campaign is widely regarded as the most organized and disciplined. Additionally, the sheer number of one-on-one voter interactions she has had including taking tens of thousands of pictures with New Hampshire voters, sometimes staying for hours after an event.
Similarly, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s base is motivated to help lead a successful campaign. Both Senators are strong women, and consistently emphasize their success. After working on Amy Klobuchar’s campaign while in New Hampshire, we recognized the love and importance her presence has on the New Hampshire constituents. That is why we believe Klobuchar will receive 13.5% of the vote share.
Canvassing and phone-banking for Klobuchar have revealed that she may not be everyone’s first choice, but definitely their second to Warren or other candidate. Constituents in New Hampshire believe Warren has a better shot than Klobuchar, and that is evident in recent data collected regarding vote share. However, the support and dedication Klobuchar’s base has was incredible to watch in action. The only true difference between Klobuchar and Warren are their political stances. Both campaigns are hard at work fighting for their candidates, and it most definitely shows.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was expected to cruise through this election process, having an incredible amount of endorsements, however Iowa has proven to the Biden campaign that he is going to have to work harder to convince voters that he is in step with the electorate. The durability of the former VP’s candidacy came into question as he came out of Iowa in fourth place. It is seeming to be unlikely that Biden will be able to make his comeback in New Hampshire as the majority of voters who we spoke to during our time canvassing either did not have Biden as their top choice or were not considering him.
We look forward to seeing how our predictions fair as well as to see who wins the momentum as the campaigns move into Nevada, South Carolina, and beyond.
Team Biden (Kyle Creech and Natalie Valachovic)
On February 11, 2020, the nation’s first primary to be the democratic nominee for president will take place in New Hampshire. Some candidates are more experienced in this state election than others, potentially giving them the upper hand when it comes to getting more votes. Such as Vice President Biden; this isn’t his first campaign in New Hampshire, the small white state that has the country’s first presidential primary election. Two times prior to this year, in 1988 and 2008, Biden’s campaign has set up shop in New Hampshire knocking on doors, calling voters and trying to gain support to become the presidential nominee.
This past January we worked for Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign for a week in Manchester, New Hampshire. During this time we knocked on doors, called voters, and went to different political events across New Hampshire and was exposed to how the people of New Hampshire feel about this election. When talking to potential voters a key point to bring up was Biden’s experience in the White House already. This was because both Democrats and some Republicans, have a shared goal of beating President Trump and showing why they are the best candidate to do so. We also had to write handwritten postcards telling potential voters why we volunteer for Biden, Biden’s experience and ability to beat Trump was an important selling point.
Phone banking in New Hampshire gave us an inside on what voters were thinking if they ended up picking up the phone. With Mayor Pete doing well in Iowa, this could mean a tough competitor for Biden in New Hampshire. Some voters on the phone in New Hampshire said they would vote for Buttigieg over Biden because he is younger. This caused Biden’s age not being looked at as coming with experience in the White House, but as a turn away for voters.
As of now, Sanders is polling ahead in New Hampshire with Buttigieg and Waren following behind. Following the momentum from Iowa could be a reason Sanders is polling well among voters. If Iowa can show support for someone so far left as Bernie Sanders, voters can see this is a strength. The same can explain the polling for Pete Buttigieg, with a strong outcome in Iowa gaining popularity and attention.
Elizabeth Warren could also do well as she has been a prominent political figure in New England for many years. Having a base already in this area could give her the strength in numbers she needs to pull pass the two front runners from the Iowa Caucus.
Amy Klobuchar has fight left in her as well for the New Hampshire Primary, seeing as after her performance in the debate Friday night she received two million dollars worth in fundraising within twenty-four hours. Talking to voters in New Hampshire on the phones also shed some light on this candidate’s support. Some people mentioned that if Biden and Sanders are out, they see a lot of potential in Klobuchar bringing Republicans and Democrats together. Overall, if the New Hampshire Primary holds on to the momentum of the Iowa Caucus, Sanders and Buttigieg will go far to be the top candidates for the nominee. Joe Biden’s subpar performance in Iowa does not show much promise, and if New Hampshire shows the same fate for him, his campaign could lose major donors. The first primary election in the country will hopefully give more clarity to the competition, as Iowa’s confusing caucus style leads many to be confused.
Team Trump (Nick Desautels and Cristian Spariosu)
After the disaster that was the Iowa Caucus, it is hard to imagine that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is already moving to another state. This state, however, should be much more straightforward. Because New Hampshire has a primary, rather than a caucus, it should be much easier to determine a winner. The one thing that may be similar, however, are the results.
New Hampshire is a very unique state, however its values seem to be very aligned with the results of the Iowa caucus, at least in the democratic field. Polling has repeatedly shown that the top four candidates in Iowa line up very closely with what they should be in New Hampshire. Consistently, Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner of this race. We predict he will receive somewhere around 25% of the vote due to his sheer popularity among young voters, as well as his geographical advantage which comes from his home state, Vermont. The highly respected Senator is seen as an outsider in the Democratic party that has unique ideas that the left believes to be much needed in our nation. Universal healthcare, as well as free college tuition in state institutions, will likely resonate with many voters. Not to mention, the personality that Bernie brings to the table may be one that can match the notorious Donald Trump.
A close runner up, we saw first hand that Mayor Pete Buttigeig has a massive number of supporters across the state, and we think he could get around 23% overall. Mayor Pete has a very strong ground game in New Hampshire. similar to how he did in Iowa, and this will land him the second spot in the polls. Just like in Iowa, Buttigieg has the ability to cater towards the LQBTQ community as well as veterans. As a major bonus, Mayor Pete has been fighting for moderates in New Hampshire.
The next two, Warren and Biden, both had a decent amount of support. That being said, Warren is steadily increasing in popularity, while Biden is lagging behind in this state, and doesn’t appear to have much momentum, especially after Iowa. Elizabeth Warren slides in with her geographic advantage being a Massachuesetts Senator. She also brings the ability to cater towards women voters. Many people believe that her progressive ideas and courage such as striving to take down big corporate monopolies emboldens her as our nation’s next leader. We predict that she will get 18% of the vote.
Joe Biden took a nap in Iowa and might continue to do so in New Hampshire. Despite the strength of his name recognition, the former Vice President under the Obama era has been underperforming in the polls and many believe that his campaign needs a course correction after he got a mere 15% in Iowa. That being said, with such little time to adjust, we predict that Biden will perform similarly, gaining 15% of the vote. We will have to wait and see if Joe will get gut-punched in New Hampshire.
The rest of the group take a huge drop, and though they may have niche followings in the state, candidates such as Yang, Gabbard, and Klobuchar are not likely to be top tier competitors in this race.
Though much of this prediction comes from data we have found, some of it also comes from our experience in the state in early January. While there, we got to see numerous candidates, including Mayor Pete, Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard, and we had our eyes opened to the very strong political culture in the state.
Though we had a lot of good experience with the Democrats, our best experience was working for the Trump campaign, which took most of our time on the trip. While working for the President’s campaign there, it became evident how strong his support was. Despite a few people cursing at us, most people we talked to were big fans of Trump, and were happy to give their support when we came to the door.
Beyond just the voters, we had a great experience with the campaign representatives who we worked with. Despite the campaign office being flooded, our efforts were well organized, with a local Dunkin Donuts serving as our headquarters, and our hotel room serving as our call center. Through them we were able to immerse ourselves fully in the political culture there, which included devouring a ridiculously massive burger called the Trump Tower. Overall, the experience was incredible, and it has led to a fantastic opportunity as well, as we both returned to Manchester to assist with a Trump rally yesterday.
Team Weld (Nick Discala and Matt Powers)
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first in the nation New Hampshire Primary, and politics is still as local as it was 100 years ago. The voters of New Hampshire are not only engaged, but they are committed to exercising their right to vote and they take the campaign process incredibly seriously. Voters turned out to candidate events, both large and small, to hear candidates’ respective pitches. Michael Bennet, the senior Democratic senator from Colorado who has consistently polled at 0%, drew a crowd of 50 plus voters in Manchester. Tulsi Gabbard, who has also polled in the lower tier, drew a crowd of 100 plus in Derry and Andrew Yang drew an eclectic crowd of 150 plus voters at a Londonderry school. These candidates, who most likely will not win the primary, still were given time and consideration by New Hampshire voters.
However, it became apparent to us which candidates were spending the most time and money in the surrounding area, as well as how these candidates were being received by registered voters. It is hard to gauge whether their financial and physical presence in New Hampshire will amount to a favorable outcome in the primary. For example, Tulsi Gabbard had a significant number of billboards in New Hampshire, but it is very unlikely that this will propel her to a top five finish.
Additionally, while we were doing literature drops for the Weld campaign, there seemed to be a larger amount of Warren and Klobuchar literature than any other candidate. It was evident that New Hampshire people take their role in the primary process seriously, as they poured out to candidate’s events and wore their stickers and buttons proudly. Despite the enthusiasm for some of the minor candidates, our first-hand experience in New Hampshire demonstrated to us that there will most likely be no dark horse candidate winning a significant amount of delegates at this year’s New Hampshire primary.
Our prediction has Senator Bernie Sanders winning the New Hampshire Primary with about 25% of the vote. Sen. Sanders won the state’s primary four years ago by a comfortable margin. His victory however was against only one other candidate, Hilary Clinton. This year, Sen. Sanders is facing off against eight other candidates which should mean that his predicted victory should be a much narrower margin. Our main reason for placing Sen. Sanders as the victor was due to his incredible organizational strength in the state. Recent reports showed that Sen. Sanders had over 14,000 volunteers canvassing for him in the Granite State. This strength, we believe will propel him to victory.
Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is poised to take second place with a strong 20% of the vote. Mayor Pete, who seems to have narrowly won the Iowa Caucus, has recently harnessed some momentum heading into primary day. However, Mayor Pete’s newfound momentum has painted him as a target for the Sanders campaign. Recently, Sen. Sanders has launched a series of attacks on the Mayor on his perceived closeness with millionaire donors. These attacks, we believe, we prove effective in mobilizing the young, liberal base against Mayor Pete which will deny him a victory.
The other three frontrunners, Biden, Warren, and Klobuchar, we believe will all obtain double digit support. After a disappointing fourth place finish in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden is hoping for a strong showing in New Hampshire to ensure continued financial support. In order to do this, Biden recently, like Sen. Sanders, has gone on the attack, attacking rivals that his campaign views as a threat to their chances in New Hampshire. We predict that Biden will take around 16% of the vote, placing in a strong third.
Behind him we place Sen. Elizabeth Warren at around 14%. While Sen. Warren has previously polled well among young people and progressives, we believe that the consolidation of progressive support by Sen. Sanders, has left little room for Warren to expand past her base. Lastly, Sen. Amy Klobuchar will receive around 10% of the vote according to our prediction. Klobuchar’s strong support from older, more moderate voters typically would point to a stronger finish. However, we feel that moderate voters have consolidated around Biden and Buttigieg and have left few voters for Sen. Klobuchar to pick up.
When looking at the lower tier candidates, it is unlikely that any of them reach the threshold needed to receive delegates. We are confident that Yang will finish at the top of the lower tier candidates with a respectable 7%. While Yang’s projected performance seems like a win for him, he likely would finish higher than 7% if it weren’t for some difficulties within his campaign, which includes the firing of the national political director, national policy director, and the deputy national policy director. However, this likely won’t be enough to deny him of more than a few percentage points in the New Hampshire primary due to his effective ground game and his unwavering group of loyal supporters.
Gabbard, Steyer, and Bennet will follow Yang in that exact order. Despite Tulsi’s lackluster performance in Iowa, her focus on New Hampshire will be enough to give her a solid 5% of the vote. She has put more time and money into campaigning in New Hampshire than in Iowa, which can be seen by her frequent visits and number of billboards. Tom Steyer, who also had a lackluster performance in Iowa, will most likely not get over 2% of the vote due to his inability to attract a large group of supporters. Bennet, who originally wasn’t even likely to get 1% of the vote, appears to have improved his stock by gaining endorsements from two high profile figures in New Hampshire.
Free Agents (Kylie Gilbride and Grace Varcadipane)
Live (free) or die is the motto of the great Granite State, but also a way of life for the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates. The frontrunners in the New Hampshire primary can definitely be narrowed down to Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Here, we will explain why we predict these five candidates are the most serious contenders in the race, as well as our own experience on the New Hampshire campaign trail.
Our experience had some unanticipated changes along the way, causing us to campaign for three different candidates: Buttigieg, Gabbard, and Klobuchar. We started off the week with Mayor Pete, expecting to come across promising insight to how the behind the scenes are actually work. To our surprise, we saw a serious amount of disorganization within the Buttigieg campaign, leaving us with little choice whether to remain there for the week or not. We felt that our best bet was to leave the Mayor Pete headquarters and put our efforts elsewhere to see how other campaigns operate since we did not do much besides canvass for one afternoon.
The day we decided to move on from the Buttigieg campaign we also attended a Tulsi Gabbard town hall, where the opportunity to join the team for the following day presented itself. Excited and eager for a new experience, we phonebanked for the Gabbard campaign for the majority of the day. Phonebanking was interesting in the sense that we were able to converse with constituents, some openly offering their support for Tulsi while others felt compelled to degrade the campaign and the candidate herself.
Since our experience was anything but conventional, we decided it would be beneficial to our learning to try out another campaign for our final day in New Hampshire. We were ecstatic to join the Klobuchar team for the day, where we were enthusiastically greeted by staffers. Phonebanking at this campaign, however, was significantly more engaging because Klobuchar supporters were exceptionally more willing to have positive conversations, despite their loyalty, or there lack of, to this candidate. We had an outstanding time with the Klobuchar team, certainly making this the most favorable campaign we experienced.
Similar to Iowa, we predict that Buttigieg will narrowly beat Sanders for the top spot. Coming in at 26%, we predict that he will be the frontrunner of the New Hampshire Primary. The win in Iowa most definitely helped his campaign, and voters seem to notice. If he wins New Hampshire, this won’t just be a surge in popularity, but voters will view him as more credible.
Being on the ground canvassing neighborhoods, it was clear to see many voters were eager to show off their Bernie attire, with lawn signs and bumper stickers. Predicting that he will be at 25%, we believe that voters will stick true to their feelings, despite Buttigieg’s ‘big’ win in Iowa.
The New Hampshirites we talked to were either dead set on Bernie or in between Warren and Biden. The candidates were worried that the traction they had been gaining wasn’t enough to defeat the sitting president in the upcoming election. We predicted that Warren will have 19%, going above the 15%, which we’ve predicted Biden doesn’t reach.
We’ll have to see what happens on Tuesday, unpredictable things sure do happen in New Hampshire.