AP VoteCast: After Iowa, many NH Dems worry about fairness

AP VoteCast: After Iowa, many NH Dems worry about fairness
Gina Hammett, of Hinsdale, N.H., leaves the Millstream Community Center, in Hinsdale, after casting her vote in the New Hampshire presidential primary elections, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Only 14% of New Hampshire Democrats said they were “very confident” that the process for picking a presidential nominee would be fair, a sign of possible doubts lingering in voters minds ahead of the state’s Tuesday primary.

The trouble in tabulating results after last week’s Iowa caucuses, an issue that has yet to be fully resolved, may have rattled the faith of some voters amid uncertainty about who is the Democratic front-runner.

Close to half of New Hampshire Democrats were “somewhat confident” that the selection process was fair, while about 4 in 10 were not confident about the fairness of the primaries and caucuses, according to preliminary results from AP VoteCast.

AP VoteCast is a wide-ranging survey of more than 3,000 Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

A muddled field of candidates came out of the nation’s first nomination contest in Iowa, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg running neck and neck in state delegate equivalents.

The New Hampshire primary is an opportunity to provide some clarity regarding their status, as well as the viability of the campaigns of former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Broader questions about fairness in U.S. society have been a central concern for the Democratic candidates.

An overwhelming share of New Hampshire Democrats — nearly 8 in 10 — view the economy as unfair. But there is little consensus on which candidate would do the best job of stewarding the world’s largest economy.

Sanders and Warren have each campaigned to overhaul an economy they say caters to billionaires, separately proposing wealth taxes to fund programs for the middle class and poor.

About 2 in 10 say Sanders is most capable on the economy and nearly as many say that of Warren.

But there are also New Hampshire Democrats who want to put the economy in the hands of one of the two billionaires seeking the nomination. Roughly 1 in 10 say they trust former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is worth more than $60 billion and not on the ballot in New Hampshire. About the same amount choose billionaire investor Tom Steyer.

Roughly 1 in 10 say Buttigieg would be best able to handle the economy.

New Hampshire Democrats take a different perspective on which candidate is best on foreign policy.

About a third say Biden is the best candidate on that issue, followed by 2 in 10 preferring Sanders and 1 in 10 choosing Buttigieg or Warren.

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AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,046 voters in New Hampshire was conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The survey is based on interviews with a random sample of registered voters drawn from the state voter file. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.

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