New Hampshire primary sees notable turnout of moderate, unaffiliated voters: Exit primary polls

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Strong turnout by non-GOP voters and the relative abundance of moderates stand out in the preliminary exit poll results for Tuesday’s New Hampshire GOP primary.

Under New Hampshire law, the primary election is open, allowing independents to vote for either the Democratic or Republican candidate.

Voters registered as “undeclared,” rather than Republicans, account for 47% of turnout based on preliminary poll results — the record so far was 45% in 2012.

Moderates represent 31% of voters, compared to 9% in the Iowa caucuses last week. Only 24% are very conservative compared to 52% in Iowa. The percentage of white evangelicals is 19%, compared to 55% in Iowa.

Photo: A voter fills out his or her ballot on January 23, 2024, in Loudoun, New Hampshire.

A voter fills out his ballot on January 23, 2024, in Loudoun, New Hampshire.

Tasos Katopoudis/Getty Images

Using self-reported partisanship, 45% of New Hampshire voters in these preliminary poll results describe themselves as independent, which is close to the 2012 record of 47%.

It is worth noting that 8% consider themselves Democrats, which is double the previous record in the state’s Republican primaries.

That leaves just 47% of Republican primary voters identifying as Republicans in these preliminary poll results — which, if they hold, will set a new low. The share of self-identified Republicans has dipped below half of the state’s GOP primary voters only once before: 49% in 2012.

A quarter of New Hampshire voters in these preliminary results say they finally made up their minds in the past week or less, and 16 percent are first-time voters in the GOP primary.

A relatively modest majority of New Hampshire primary voters, 56%, say in these preliminary results that they are satisfied with former President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee, but 55% say they are satisfied with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. , Trump’s main remaining opponent.

PHOTO: Voters cast their ballots on primary election day at a polling place in Littleton, New Hampshire, on January 23, 2024.

Voters cast their ballots on Primary Election Day at a polling place in Littleton, New Hampshire, on January 23, 2024.

Herb Swanson/EPA via Shutterstock

About 32% of New Hampshire voters consider themselves part of the MAGA movement compared to 46% in Iowa.

Forty-nine percent of voters say they deny the 2020 election compared to 66% in Iowa. And 47% say that if Trump is convicted of a crime, they would consider him unfit to serve as president — compared to 31% of voters in Iowa who said the same. He denies all wrongdoing.

Another question points to Haley’s position as the main anti-Trump choice: 77% of Trump voters in these preliminary results say they strongly favor their candidate rather than like him with reservations or mainly dislike him. By contrast, only 33% of Haley’s voters strongly support her, and 39% basically dislike her rival.

PHOTO: Voters fill out their ballots on Jan. 23, 2024, in Loudoun, New Hampshire.

Voters fill out their ballots on January 23, 2024, in Loudoun, New Hampshire.

Tasos Katopoudis/Getty Images

From a list of four issues, the economy (34%) and immigration (31%) dominated in importance, compared to foreign policy, which was mentioned by 17%, and abortion 11%.

On abortion, 27% of voters say they favor a federal ban, a sharp difference from the 61% who favored it in Iowa, according to preliminary exit poll results.

Economic sentiment is poor, with 69% saying the economy is in neither good nor bad shape. Relatedly, 77% are dissatisfied or even angry with the way things are going in the country today. A majority of voters, 56%, say they expect life to be worse for the next generation of Americans — a significant increase from 20% in 2020 and 33% in 2016.

Exit poll results may change as the night progresses

This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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