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New NH poll: Biden leads Trump in the race for president

Former Vice President Joe Biden has an eight-point advantage over President Donald Trump among likely voters in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released today by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion.

New Hampshire, which has four electoral votes on the line, emerged as a sweeping state that was fiercely contested in the 2016 presidential election. Four years ago, Hillary Clinton defeated Trump by less than 3,000 votes, a difference of less than half a percent.

An independent non-partisan poll released today found Biden leading with 52 percent likely voters in New Hampshire, followed by Trump with 44 percent and 3 percent for third-party candidates. Only 1 percent of voters say they are undecided. In a poll conducted by the Center for Public Opinion in October 2016, 14 percent of likely voters planned to vote for third-party candidates, while Hillary Clinton had a six-point advantage over Trump.

“At this point in 2016, there were almost five times as many third-party or undecided voters, indicating an unstable race. This year is very different. Voters have decided and have been for some time. It’s the kind of thing that happens when a race become a focused referendum on the current holder, ”said Joshua Dyck, director of the Center for Public Opinion and associate professor of political science.

Today’s poll found that Biden is the leader among 95 percent of likely voters who identify as Democrats, and Trump among 90 percent of those who identify as Republicans. Biden leads with 50 percent of independents, and Trump follows with 35 percent. More information on which voters support candidates based on gender, education and more is available at http://www.uml.edu/polls.

The poll found that 55 percent of likely voters disapprove of Trump, and 46 percent of that group strongly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the president’s job. Among Democrats, that disapproval increases to 96 percent. Sixty-two percent of independents and 10 percent of Republicans polled said they disapproved of his performance.

The survey questioned whether the next Supreme Court judge should be appointed by the current president or the winner of the 2020 election. Fifty-eight percent of likely voters in New Hampshire said the 2020 winner should appoint Deputy Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, compared with 42 percent who said he is the current president.

When asked which candidate and their allies cheated to win the election, less than half said they were Biden and his allies (41 percent), compared to 56 percent who said Trump and his allies were cheating. Seventy-four percent of Democrats say Trump and his allies cheat “very much” compared to 46 percent of Republicans who said Biden and his allies “cheat a lot”.

“These numbers point to serious questions of electoral legitimacy, especially if the election is close,” Dyck said.

In the race for the U.S. Senate and governor of New Hampshire, current Jeanne Shaheen and Chris Sununu lead their challengers in double-digit numbers.

Shaheen leads Republican Corky Messner among likely voters by 19 points, 56 percent to 37 percent, 6 percent still undecided and 1 percent said they would vote for another candidate. Ninety-six percent of Democrats support Shaheen, along with 52 percent of independents and 17 percent of Republicans.

Sununu is led by Democrat Dan Feltes with 26 points, 60 percent to 34 percent, 6 percent undecided and 1 percent saying he will vote for the second candidate. Sunun has the support of 92 percent of Republicans, as well as 70 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats.

A survey of likely voters from New Hampshire also found:

The majority (54 percent) think it is not safe to reopen local public schools for personal instruction (21 percent say it is definitely not safe, 33 percent say it is probably not safe, 30 percent say it is safe, 16 percent say it is safe) . Asked who they think will win the 2020 presidential election, 45 percent said Biden will win and 40 percent that Trump will win. More than two-thirds (68 percent) said the country is on the wrong track, compared to 32 percent who say the country is going in the right direction. The New Hampshire Secretary of State announced the exemption of COVID-19 from the absentee voting law earlier this year, allowing for concerns about COVID-19 as a valid excuse to seek a ballot in absentia in the state. Among likely voters, 31 percent say they plan to vote by mail, while 69 percent plan to vote in person.

The non-partisan poll of 657 likely voters in New Hampshire was independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which has more than 13,000 students, alumni and employees from the state of Granite. The Center for Public Opinion presents events and surveys on political and social issues to provide opportunities for civic engagement, experiential learning, and real-world research.

The survey was designed and analyzed by the Center for Public Opinion, and YouGov published it from September 17-25. It has an error margin of plus-minus 4.6 percent. Detailed survey results – including the top line and full methodology – are available at http://www.uml.edu/polls.

In addition to researching likely voters in New Hampshire, the Center for Public Opinion today released polls in two other states. Findings include:

In North Carolina, Trump and Biden are associated with 47 percent support from likely voters. In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham leads Republican incumbent President Thom Tillis 49 percent to 43 percent. Incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper leads Republican challenger Dan Forest from 54 percent to 41 percent. (A poll of 921 likely voters in North Carolina was conducted Sept. 18-25 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.) In Texas, Trump clearly has a 3-point advantage over Biden, a 49 percent to 46 percent probability of voters. In the race for the U.S. Senate, Republican President John Cornyn rose 50 percent to 40 percent over Democratic challenger MJ Hegar. (A poll among 882 likely voters in Texas was conducted Sept. 18-25 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.)

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UMass Lowell is a national research university offering its more than 18,000 bachelors, masters and doctorates in economics, education, engineering, fine arts, healthcare, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell provides high-quality educational programs and the personal attention of leading professors and staff, who prepare all students for leaders in their communities and around the world. http://www.uml.edu

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