Donald Trump’s polls in New Hampshire are nothing if not consistent.
The latest Granite State Panel, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, puts the incumbent president down 13 points to Democrat Joe Biden, continuing months of underwater polling for President Trump in the Granite State.
At the same time, the poll also bolsters the belief among Trump backers that he’s lost people he can get back: older voters and Republicans.
According to the poll released Thursday, 53 percent of likely New Hampshire voters support Biden, 40 percent support Trump and 4 percent would vote for a different candidate. In 2016, Trump got 46.5 percent of the vote in his loss to Hillary Clinton, while third-party/other candidates got a combined total of 6.7 percent.
Despite his double-digit lead, however, Joe Biden isn’t particularly popular among Granite State voters. Just 40 percent have a favorable view, while 45 percent view him unfavorably. So, why is he so far ahead? Because Trump’s unfavorable number is a dismal 59 percent and his approval is just 38 percent.
If Trump is hoping to turn that around, he’s in a tight spot. With just under 100 days until the election, 82 percent of respondents say they have definitely made up their minds (45 percent Biden, 36 percent Trump), and just seven percent say they are truly undecided.
Trump supporters are undeterred. The same day the UNH poll was released, the New Hampshire Trump campaign held a pro-law enforcement rally outside Manchester City Hall, and the president himself participated in a “tele-rally” with supporters in Maine and New Hampshire.
“If you look at the energy we have here in Manchester today, and at every in-person event we’ve held here in New Hampshire post-COVID. The polls just don’t compare with what we’re seeing here on the ground,” RNC spokesperson Nina McLaughlin told NHJournal. “The president is 100 percent in this fight, we’ve been on the ground, we’ve been building an unparalleled data operation and an amazing grassroots organization.
“You can feel it — Granite Staters are ready to give the president their electoral votes,” McLaughlin said.
Democrats dismiss this as wishful thinking, and it’s true that a Trump win in New Hampshire would be an upset whatever the polls say today.
Beginning in 1992, only two New England states have ever given an electoral vote to a Republican candidate: New Hampshire in 2000 for George W. Bush, and one of Maine’s four EVs when Trump won the Second Congressional District.
Half of New England’s governors may be Republican, but New Englanders rarely cast votes for GOP candidates at the federal level. Of the 33 members of Congress from New England, just one — Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — is a Republican. And she’s currently trailing her Democratic challenger in the polls.
At the same time, Trump has connected with older, blue-collar voters who’ve often supported Democrats in the past and made him competitive in New Hampshire and Maine. And the UNH poll has some signs of hope for Team Trump.
First, Biden’s got a 94 point lead among Democrats, while Trump is up by just 78 percent among Republicans. And while 96 percent of Hillary Clinton voters say they’re backing Biden this November, just 86 percent of Trump voters are sticking with him.
If these numbers don’t turn around for Trump, he’ll lose New Hampshire and lose it badly. But if Trump had his GOP support up around 90-plus percent and were still losing by 13, he’d be in worse shape. It’s much easier for Trump to get Republicans to come home and support their party’s ticket than it is to get Democrats to cross over.
More good/bad news: Trump is down by 22 percent among voters 65 and older. While Joe Biden may perform better among these voters than Clinton did, Trump won them by nine points nationwide last time. There’s no reason he can’t be competitive among these voters again.
If Trump needed young people to change their minds about him, this election would be over. But senior citizens, sitting at home watching violence in the streets, attacks on the national anthem and calls to “defund the police” could be in play this November.
Which may explain why Team Trump was on the streets holding a “Back the Blue” rally in a state with one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
“They’ve got an issue that works and that resonates in the suburbs, and they’re not going to let it go,” one NHGOP insider told NHJournal.
And, Trump supporters are quick to point out, Biden’s already underwater with Granite Staters before the barrage of negative attacks even begin. “Yes, people hate Trump’s tweets,” one campaign source told NHJournal. “But voters hate Biden and the Democrats’ policies even more.”
Will it be enough to flip New Hampshire red for the first time in 20 years? Team Trump keeps saying the Granite State is on their target list, along with Nevada, Maine and Minnesota.
How’s it looking? In the most recent poll of the Gopher State, Trump was down by 13 points there, too.