FYI, Democrats: New Hampshire and Nevada Are Very Different

FYI, Democrats: New Hampshire and Nevada Are Very Different

It's not 2016 anymore.

Nevada’s up next, of course, on Saturday, February 22. The electorates in the nation’s first primary and second caucus differ in significant ways, particularly in terms of their demography.  

-Only nine percent of voters in New Hampshire last Tuesday were non-white. In 2016 in Nevada, 41 percent of caucusgoers were. In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders did better among nonwhites than Joe Biden did, indicating that Sanders can perform well in primary contests with more diverse electorates.

-In New Hampshire this year, two percent of voters were Hispanic or Latino, compared to 19 percent in Nevada’s 2016 caucus.

-Fifty-six percent of New Hampshire voters were college grads; in Nevada in 2016, 46 percent were.

-Twenty-one percent of New Hampshire voters on Tuesday described themselves as very liberal. In Nevada in 2016, a third of caucusgoers gave that response.

-Seventeen percent in New Hampshire said they or someone in their household belonged to a union. In 2016 in Nevada, that was 28 percent.

Two important differences between the 2016 and 2020 Democratic nomination contests are the number of viable candidates in the race and the number of voters who had not made up their minds. In New Hampshire in 2020, with a multi-candidate field, half of voters made up their minds in the last few days. By contrast, most minds were made up early in the Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton contest. In 2016, only a quarter of Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire and 13 percent of Nevada caucusgoers reported making up their minds in the last few days.

This current multi-candidate Democratic nomination contest has less of a clear front-runner than the multi-candidate GOP contest four years ago. In Nevada, Trump walloped the field, 22 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Marco Rubio. Trump enjoyed a similar margin in New Hampshire, beating runner-up John Kasich by almost 20 points.  Four years later, in the multi-candidate Democratic primary in New Hampshire, Sanders won by a far less significant a margin over his second place finisher — enjoying a 1.3 percent edge on Pete Buttigieg.

New Hampshire Democratic primary voters wanted a candidate to bring needed change, and nearly 80 percent described themselves as “angry with Donald Trump.”

Trump won the New Hampshire GOP primary with 87 percent of the vote to neighboring state former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld (nine percent). Among those who voted in the GOP contest, the number of self-identified conservatives was at an all-time high.

This article first appeared at AEIdeas.

Image: A supporter holds up a sign and a U.S. flag as Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at his New Hampshire primary night rally in Nashua, N.H., U.S., February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Thayer