Trump’s popular with New Hampshire Republicans, but the state is in play

0 0
Read Time2 Minute, 27 Second

President Trump remains popular in New Hampshire with strong support from Republicans — but the Granite State remains in play for 2020, pundits tell the Herald.

In 2016, Trump rolled in New Hampshire during the Republican primary — but Hillary Clinton took the state with a plurality and just a .45 margin.

Next November, the Granite State will yet again be “highly competitive,” said John Cluverius, political science professor at UMass Lowell.

“It was one of the closest states in 2016, and he outperformed the Republican Senate candidate back then,” Cluverius added. “His approval ratings are better in New Hampshire than nationwide, and Republicans there are much more tied to Trump. They’re not Massachusetts Republicans.”

Trump has about 90% support from New Hampshire Republicans, according to recent polls, and stands around mid-40% with Granite State voters overall.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is leading Trump in New Hampshire polls, but it’s still early, Cluverius said.

“Head-to-head right now is not very reflective of the general,” he added. “Hillary Clinton had a large lead at this point, but barely won New Hampshire.”

New Hampshire Republican activist Fran Wendelboe claims Trump is much more popular there than three years ago — the polls aren’t the full story, she said.

“They keep saying Biden would beat him here. I don’t believe that for a minute, not a minute,” Wendelboe said. “No one took Trump seriously in 2016. He was so far back in the polls. He sure shocked them all, didn’t he?”

The average voter in New Hampshire is fed up with the rhetoric from the Democratic Party, she added.

“You’re now a racist unless you say what we say,” Wendelboe said. “People are sick of being labeled racists. They’re sick of it.”

New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, who co-chaired a national veterans commission for Trump’s 2016 campaign, said Granite State residents are enthusiastic for Trump heading into 2020.

They’re excited with the economy and tax cuts, he said.

“You can see the motivation from Republicans,” Baldasaro said. “They’re motivated to come out and support him. None of the Democrats stand a chance.”

But Holly Shulman of the New Hampshire Democrats said Trump is doing much worse in the Granite State than in 2016.

“Residents here have seen all the promises he’s broken in the White House,” Shulman said. “They didn’t want him last time and definitely don’t want him this time.”

In the lead-up to Trump’s Manchester rally Thursday, the New Hampshire Democrats organization plans to revisit the communities where Shulman said the president “left a trail of broken promises” in 2016 on health care, good government and women, according to a press release.

“It’s clear a majority of people in the Granite State disapprove of what Trump is doing, and don’t appreciate his hateful comments to certain groups of people,” Shulman said.