Fox News Voter Analysis: Biden easily carries New Hampshire’s unofficial primary

Biden won the 'unsanctioned' Democratic primary in New Hampshire over Rep. Dean Phillips by 39 points

President Biden easily won the New Hampshire Democratic primary, carrying the traditional first-in-the-nation primary by 39 points over Rep. Dean Phillips. Biden’s comfortable win was more notable because his name did not actually appear on the primary ballot, forcing his supporters to write him in as their preference.

The election was technically an "unsanctioned" primary, as it was held despite the Democratic National Committee’s insistence that South Carolina hold the first Democratic primary this year. 

New Hampshire Democrats went ahead anyway, following a state law requiring the nominating contest be the first in a given calendar year. As a result, the DNC announced no delegates would be awarded based on the New Hampshire results.

Biden’s team announced in late October he would not participate, meaning he would not be on the ballot and instead be a "write-in" candidate only. Phillips campaigned heavily in the Granite State but was unable to make significant inroads.


President Joe Biden speaking

President Biden notably won New Hampshire's unofficial Democratic primary Tuesday night after voters had to write him in as their preference. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The results of the Fox News Voter Analysis, a survey of more than 900 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, show the contours of a resounding win for the incumbent. At the same time, the data suggest some areas of division within Biden’s coalition.

Biden won every major demographic group by double digits. He was particularly strong among voters over age 65, those with college degrees and women. The race was somewhat closer among men.

Biden won voters over age 45 by 52 points but was noticeably weaker among younger voters.

The president had strong support from across the center and left of the political spectrum, getting a similar share of the vote from political moderates (62%), those who described themselves as "somewhat liberal" (64%) and "very liberal" voters (58%).

Three quarters of primary voters approved of the job Biden is doing as president.

New Hampshire voters on Biden job performance

His job ratings on the economy (80% approve, 19% disapprove) and student debt (73% approve, 25% disapprove) were particularly positive. Primary voters gave him much less glowing reviews on immigration and his handling of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Despite their frustrations on these two issues, more than half (55%) said they would be satisfied with Biden as the eventual Democratic nominee – just 13% would be dissatisfied enough that they would not support him in November.

By contrast, 53% of Republican primary voters would be satisfied with Donald Trump as their nominee, with 35% dissatisfied enough not to vote for him. Fewer Republicans (39%) would be satisfied with Nikki Haley, with 32% unhappy enough not to back her in the fall. 

New Hampshire Dems on Biden being nominee

Even if they would be satisfied with Biden as the nominee, Democratic primary voters had clear concerns about his age.

Nearly half felt he is too old to serve another term as president, including more than a quarter (27%) of his supporters in the primary.

New Hampshire Dems on Biden's age

Almost all (83%) of those who thought he is not too old backed the president, while Phillips held a small advantage (+3 points) among those who felt Biden is too old for another term.

One thing primary voters could agree on: abortion. Almost all (94%) felt abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Nearly 6 in 10 said it was important the New Hampshire primary be the first in the nation, but the dispute with the DNC did not sink Biden, as he won by wide margins among those who felt it was important to be first (+28 points) and those who disagreed (+53 points).


The Fox News Voter Analysis is a survey of more than 900 New Hampshire Democratic primary voters conducted Jan. 17-23, 2024. Full methodological details are available here.

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