Former President Donald Trump, whose hold on early primary and caucus states has been questioned in some polls, holds a massive 41-point lead in a fresh New Hampshire primary survey and has tightened the gap in a head-to-head fight with President Joe Biden.
In a new survey from Emerson College, based in neighboring Massachusetts, Trump leads the GOP field with 58%. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds second with just 17%, and Gov. Chris Sununu is third with 7%.
Over the weekend, Sununu predicted that Trump would lose the Granite State primary, still slated as the first for the Republicans next year. He also said Trump would lose the presidential race.
But Emerson College Polling Executive Director Spencer Kimball said, “Gov. Sununu is unable to surpass 10% among any demographic groups.”
Polls of New Hampshire Republicans have been mixed this year. A recent University of New Hampshire survey had DeSantis in the lead, and pollster Rick Shaftan’s state survey had DeSantis as the preferred choice among Republicans.
The survey tested potential 2024 head-to-head contests with Biden and found Trump trailing 42%-38%. That is a much closer race than the outcome of the 2020 contest when Biden beat Trump in New Hampshire 53%-45%.
One issue could be the age of the candidates. Biden will be 82 and Trump 78 on Inauguration Day 2025. Kimball tested that issue and found that age hurt Biden more.
“A majority of New Hampshire voters, 57%, think Biden’s age of 82 would be an obstacle to being an effective president, 6% think it would help him be an effective president, while 37% think it would not matter that much. A plurality of voters, 46% think Trump’s age of 78 would not matter that much, while 36% think it would present an obstacle to being an effective president, and 18% think it would help him be an effective president,” said the survey analysis.
By Paul Bedard