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New Voters to Influence NH Primary

Published Wednesday Feb 5, 2020

The New Hampshire primary often defies prognosticators, but one outcome already is nearly certain: Many voters will participate in the February 11 primary for the first time.

According to the Carsey Institute of Public Policy at the University of NH in Durham, more than 20% of potential primary voters in 2020 were either not old enough to vote in 2016 or resided somewhere other than New Hampshire.

The authors of the study were Kenneth M. Johnson, senior demographer at Carsey and sociology professor at UNH; Dante J. Scala, professor of political science at UNH and fellow at the Carsey School; and Andrew Smith, director of the Survey Center at UNH and professor of political science at UNH.

The three also noted other factors that could influence the outcome of the 2020 primary, including recent migrants, and "undeclared" voters who may opt for a Democratic ballot given the lack of choice on the Republican ballot.

The very large field of Democratic candidates, plus overall Democratic voter enthusiasm, will likely boost participation, the three authors say, adding they expect a record Democratic turnout, and that eclipsing the 2008 mark, is quite plausible. 

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