Granite State voters overwhelmingly believe Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, won last week’s presidential debate. The Republican now holds a slim lead over the incumbent president, who carried the reliably Democratic state by eight points in 2020.

That’s the finding of a new poll released Monday by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center. It sampled 1,746 New Hampshire registered voters on June 28 and 29 — the two days after the debate.

“After a remarkable six months that saw him swiftly dispatch his primary rivals and become the first former president to be convicted of a felony, Donald Trump has erased a 10-point polling deficit and now leads President Joe Biden by a narrow 2-point margin,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics Executive Director Neil Levesque said in a statement.

“However, with 17 percent of voters having an unfavorable opinion of both candidates, this race is likely to remain volatile all the way to the finish.”

According to the survey, Trump leads Biden 44 to 42 percent, thanks in part to Biden’s weakness with his party’s base and Trump’s relative advantage in favorability.

(From the Saint Anselm College Survey Center.)


While 89 percent of GOP voters are on board with Trump, just 82 percent of Democrats are backing Biden.

“Biden will need to firm up very liberal voters to win. He is currently getting only 67 percent of this ideological cohort, while 15 percent report that they are unsure for whom they will vote,” according to the survey memo.

And while Trump is still underwater with the New Hampshire electorate (42 percent favorable, 57 percent unfavorable), Biden’s numbers are even worse (39/59 percent).

Then there is Biden’s age.

When asked about the debate, 54 percent of voters who said they either watched the presidential face-off or followed the news coverage named Trump the winner, while just six percent said Biden. Another 39 percent said neither.

And 46 percent of all respondents said Biden’s age made them less likely to support him, while 45 percent said it made no difference.

Levesque tells NHJournal the implications of the new St. Anselm College poll reach beyond the borders of the Granite State.

“Now that Trump is leading in New Hampshire, there are two questions: What other bellwether states are now competitive, and how does this change the campaign plans? And what are the factors involved with the loss of support for the incumbent, and how do they turn that around?”

It’s possible the presidential race could also impact Democrats’ efforts to hold on to New Hampshire’s two congressional seats. According to the St. Anslem College survey memo, “The former president leads in the First Congressional District, 44-42 percent, which is in line with the Republican Party’s registration edge in that district. However, he also leads in the more rural Second, 43-41 percent, despite a 4-point party registration deficit.”

One bright spot for Biden: Among the so-called “double haters” — voters who dislike both candidates, and a group many pundits believe will play an outsized role in the final outcome — Biden is leading 30 to 13 percent.

And 43 percent of respondents said the fact Trump is a convicted felon makes them less likely to vote for him, though that’s partially balanced by 22 percent who say it makes them more likely.

A New Hampshire Journal poll released May 20 surprised many when it found Biden and Trump tied in a state Democrats have carried in seven of the past eight presidential races. While Democrats dismissed it as an outlier at the time, two subsequent polls from other pollsters also found the race within the margin of error.

Those polls may explain why Biden has made two — albeit troubled — trips to the Granite State in recent months. Several Biden surrogates have appeared on the stump as well. Over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Gabe Amo (D-R.I.) was canvassing for votes in Exeter and Nashua, and Jill Biden made a stop in March as well.

Another sign local Democrats may be losing confidence in Biden’s political fortunes. None of the Democratic candidates for governor or Congress have issued a statement of support for their party’s nominee since Thursday’s debate.