With 1.3 million residents and just four of the 538 electorate voters called upon to nominate the President, tiny New Hampshire is the smallest of the swing states. In other words, there is little chance that his vote, November 3, decides the outcome of the match between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Unless, of course, if the election was played out in a handkerchief.
Nevertheless, the“State of Granite” is particularly pampered at each election: surveyed more than reason by candidates from Nashua to Concord, questioned relentlessly by journalists in Manchester and Portsmouth, endlessly scrutinized by analysts… This is due to a particularity: its 42% of voters registered on the electoral rolls as “Independent”, more numerous than those stamped “Republicans” or claimed “Democrats”. Independent as echoing the New Hampshire motto, Die or Live Free, Live Free or Die.
Economically right-wing, socially left-wing
This makes the state a laboratory. We examine the temperament, the motivations, the behavior and the voting intentions of these voters who are rarer elsewhere, but almost everywhere decisive because by voting sometimes on the right, sometimes on the left, sometimes elsewhere (for libertarians or environmentalists) , sometimes not at all, they largely decide the national result.
The profile of these non-aligned?
They are both fiscally conservative – New Hampshire has no income tax and sales tax – and morally progressive. At each election, they swing between the two ”, explains political scientist Andrew Smith, director of polls at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham.
New Hampshire voted for Bill Clinton in the 1990s, then for George Bush in 2000, Barack Obama in 2008. But not for Donald Trump in 2016! Hillary Clinton won the state with a short head, 47% against 46.6% for the populist billionaire … a vote in accordance with national universal suffrage, therefore with the popular will ” betrayed “, by a convoluted electoral system, which Republican strategists know better how to take advantage of. For the second time since the turn of the century, the Republican candidate lost the popular vote but won the White House.
The number of freelancers explodes in the United States
This year ? Trump led the race in March, with 44% of voting intentions compared to 42% in Joe Biden, until the coronavirus and the brutal recession drastically reversed the trend. In the latest UNH poll, carried out from October 9 to 12, the outgoing president has not really retreated (42.5%), but he is confined to the centrist Biden who flies (53.5%) . Everyone is fueled in their own camp and it is the independents who make the difference. Two in three support the Democrat.
The observation is all the more interesting given that on a national scale, the number of independents has continued to grow: only 6% of American voters were registered as such in 2000, they were during the mid-elections. 2018 mandate more than 28%, underlined last year the analyst Rhodes Cook, in Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, flagship publication of the Center for Political Studies at the University of Virginia.