Battleground New Hampshire

Summary

  • New Hampshire is a likely battleground state in the 2024 race for President of the United States
  • A three-way General Election contest would make New Hampshire a “Toss-up”
  • Both President Biden and former President Trump will need to spend ample time and resources in New Hampshire in order to win the 2024 Presidential campaign

Background

Politics in our closely divided nation could become even more unpredictable in the coming months, placing the Granite State at the center of America’s political drama yet again. The current 270toWin.com consensus electoral map shows the likely Democratic nominee for President of the United States starts with 226 electors, and the likely Republican nominee starts with 235 electors. Seventy-seven electors from six states are identified as Toss-ups. Under this scenario, New Hampshire and its four electors are identified as Leaning Democratic.

Assuming the Democratic nominee will be incumbent President Joe Biden and the Republican nominee will be former President Donald Trump, it might be tempting to view the 2024 race in New Hampshire as a replay of the 2020 campaign in which Biden received 52.7% of the vote to Trump’s 45.4%. However, recent events suggest the election will be considerably more complex than that.

Enter Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has announced that he has submitted the requisite number of petition signatures to qualify to appear on the New Hampshire ballot. A Marist College poll from mid- January shows Kennedy earning 12% of the vote in New Hampshire, with Biden earning 44% and Trump earning 41% – a much narrower margin than the 2020 outcome.

To put that into context, the last Republican to win New Hampshire was George W. Bush, and his victory is largely attributed to Green Party candidate Ralph Nader earning 3.7% of the vote and siphoning off 22,000 from Al Gore.

Biden Staffs Up

The Biden-Harris campaign recognizes the danger, and after refusing to participate in the New Hampshire primary, it is now standing up a General Election campaign that features premier talent. Last week, the Biden-Harris campaign announced seasoned Democratic consultant Liz Purdy will serve as senior adviser and Aaron Jacobs will serve as state campaign manager. Jacobs managed Senator Maggie Hassan’s successful 2022 reelection campaign.

The Write-in Biden campaign that was conducted by prominent state Democrats during the New Hampshire primary was a success – but only against marginal (at best) competition. Biden’s dissing of the Granite State caused lasting ill will and 57% of Granite Staters disapprove of his performance in the White House. These two factors could combine to suppress Democratic turnout in November.

Given these factors, the Biden-Harris campaign will likely be forced to compete for New Hampshire’s four electors.

What About Trump?

Former President Donald Trump had a successful primary night, but he will have to work exceptionally hard to unite the Republican Party if he is to be victorious in November. The exit polls in New Hampshire painted the picture of two widely divergent wings of the party. Trump’s base is big and immovable. But 43.26% of people who pulled a Republican ballot on January 23 voted for former Ambassador Nikki Haley, and they hold opinions on hot button issues like the war in Ukraine and immigration policy that differ from Trump, to say the least. Uniting the party in New Hampshire may well be necessarily if Trump is to win the Presidency.

Conclusion

With a rapidly shrinking electoral map, the Granite State’s four electors could decide the outcome of the 2024 Presidential campaign. Both Biden and Trump will have to work diligently to notch a win in New Hampshire. And Kennedy waits in the wings as a spoiler.

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