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 SandersSanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Trump's debate performance was too little, too late Final debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit MORE (I-Vt.) surged to the lead in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress Buttigieg says it's time to 'turn the page' on Trump administration Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus cases surge in the Midwest; Trump hits campaign trail after COVID-19 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 BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFinal debate: War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit Biden defends his health plan from Trump attacks Progressives blast Biden plan to form panel on Supreme Court reform 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.