Sanders, Buttigieg surge in New Hampshire as Biden, Warren slip: poll

Sanders, Buttigieg surge in New Hampshire as Biden, Warren slip: poll
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal Former Sanders spokesperson: Progressives 'shouldn't lose sight' of struggling Americans during pandemic 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE (I-Vt.) surged to the lead in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAgency official says Capitol riot hit close to home for former Transportation secretary Chao Transportation Secretary Chao resigns in protest Buttigieg is blazing trails for LGBTQ equality MORE in second place, according to a new Emerson College poll released Tuesday.

Sanders led the Democratic primary field with 26 percent support among primary voters, trailed by Buttigieg at 22 percent. Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed Biden's Sunday inauguration rehearsal postponed due to security concerns: report Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) each had 14 percent, while no other candidate broke double digits.

The poll suggests a significant shuffling of the primary field in the Granite State, with Sanders and Buttigieg both doubling their support compared to the same poll in September. That survey had Sanders at 13 percent and Buttigieg at 11 percent.


Meanwhile, Biden, who led in the September poll, fell 10 points, while Warren dropped 7 points. And in a sign the field could rejigger further, 55 percent of Democratic primary voters said there’s a chance they could change their minds ahead of the Feb. 11 primary.

“The Democratic voters have taken a look at Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren and they appear unsatisfied at this time which brought some voters back to Bernie Sanders while others are now moving to a fresh face in Pete Buttigieg, this demonstrates the fluidity of the race,” said Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling.

Sanders’s surge has been buoyed by support from voters under the age of 50, with 38 percent of such voters saying they back the Vermont Independent, compared with 16 percent for Warren, 12 percent for Buttigieg and 8 percent for Biden. 

Buttigieg’s rise was aided in part by voters over the age of 50, as 32 percent of such voters said they would back him, compared to 19 percent for Biden, 15 percent for Sanders and 11 percent for Warren.

Sanders, a staunch progressive, also has a lead among voters who identify as very liberal, while Buttigieg leads with primary voters who identify as somewhat liberal or moderate/conservative.


Sanders, who hails from neighboring Vermont, has banked on a strong showing in New Hampshire to propel his campaign well beyond the February primary.

The poll also comes as Buttigieg enjoys a surge in early state polls and on the heels of three consecutive Iowa surveys showing the Indiana Democrat leading in the Hawkeye State’s caucus, while another New Hampshire poll shows him edging out the competition in that state’s primary. 

The Emerson College poll surveyed 549 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters from Nov. 22 to Nov. 26 and has a margin of error of 4.1 percent.