Buttigieg catches up with Sanders in New Hampshire due to polling surge

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Pete Buttigieg is soaring – and has caught up with Democratic presidential nomination rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.

That’s the story from the latest poll numbers in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House.

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A Suffolk University survey for the Boston Globe and WBZ-TV released Thursday night indicates the former South Bend, Ind., mayor has closed in on the populist senator from Vermont among likely voters in next Tuesday’s presidential primary in the Granite State, with former Vice President Joe Biden slipping.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks to reporters in Manchester, NH on Feb. 6, 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont speaks to reporters in Manchester, NH on Feb. 6, 2020

Suffolk University is conducting a daily tracking poll in New Hampshire and their latest survey – conducted Wednesday and Thursday – showed Sanders at 24 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, a slight edging down of just of 1 percentage point from the previous night’s survey. Buttigieg stands at 23 percent, up 4 percentage points from the previous poll. And Buttigieg is up 8 points over two nights.

Sanders’ 1 point edge over Buttigieg is well within the survey’s sampling error.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts registers at 13 percent, edging up two points from Wednesday’s survey.

Biden’s dropped to 11 percent, down 3 points from the previous night and four points over two nights.

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The latest poll was released a couple of hours after the final results from Monday’s Iowa caucuses – delayed due to a reporting debacle –  indicated Buttigieg with an extremely slight win over Sanders, followed by Warren in third place and Biden in fourth.

“Pete Buttigieg has poached elderly voters from Joe Biden, who has disappointed them by finishing fourth in Iowa,” Suffolk University Polling Research Director Davide Paleologos told Fox News. “Now, Biden’s polling fourth in New Hampshire and the electability argument against Donald Trump is unconvincing to these elderly voters who are now voting for Buttigieg, in part because they don’t feel comfortable supporting Sanders or Warren.”

Voters over 65 have been a core group of support for Biden, the former unrivaled front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The poll indicates Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 6 percent and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at 4 percent, billionaire environmental and progressive advocate Tom Steyer and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang each at 3 percent. Michael Bennet of Colorado and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick each registered at 1 percent

New Hampshire voters are traditionally known as late deciders and the poll spotlighted that tradition. Eleven percent said they remained undecided with Tuesday’s primary closing in. And 45 percent of those backing a candidate said they could change their minds before Tuesday’s primary.

The Suffolk University poll interviewed 500 likely Democratic presidential primary voters in the Granite State on Wednesday and Thursday, using live telephone operators. The sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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Earlier Thursday, a new Monmouth University survey showed Sanders at 24 percent support among likely Democratic presidential primary voters in the Granite State, with Buttigieg at 20 percent, Biden at 17 percent at 13 percent and 9 percent for Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Yang each stand at 4 percent, with Tom Steyer at 3 percent, and Michael Bennet and Deval Patrick registering at 1 percent or less. Five percent of those questioned in the poll – which was conducted Monday through Wednesday – said they’re undecided.

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