Sanders, Warren, others coming to N.H. events

MANCHESTER – Sen. Bernie Sanders, shown in the latest Harvard Kennedy School poll to have a commanding 31 percent to 20 percent lead over chief rival Joe Biden in the Democratic primary race, is one of five Democratic hopefuls coming to New Hampshire this month for back-to-back CNN town halls.

The town halls, which begin at 7 p.m. and are likely to wrap up close to midnight, will take place Monday, April 22, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on the campus of St. Anselm College. Also featured are Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar, and South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

According to CNN, which announced the event Thursday, three of its top news anchors will moderate the town halls, which St. Anselm is co-sponsoring with Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

Chris Cuomo, a former morning anchor who now hosts Cuomo Prime Time in the evening time slot, will moderate Klobuchar’s town hall, which begins at 7 p.m., then Sanders’s, which is set for 9 p.m.

Longtime CNN evening anchor Anderson Cooper is scheduled to moderate the Warren town hall at 8 p.m., and then Buttigieg’s, which has the latest start time at 11 p.m.

And Don Lemon, who anchors CNN’s Tonight with Don Lemon and does correspondent work, is the moderator for Harris’s 10 p.m. town hall.

The town halls, which will focus on issues of importance to young voters, will be carried live on CNN, a network spokeswoman said.

She said the candidates, who are part of a large and still growing contingent of hopefuls vying for the opportunity to face President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election, will field questions directly from students and young New Hampshire Democrats.

The audience will consist of St. Anselm and Harvard Kennedy students, and a pool of young New Hampshire Democrats, she said.

Unlike the recent Harvard Kennedy School poll that gives Sanders an 11-point lead, a new St. Anselm College Institute of Politics Survey Center poll shows Biden – who has yet to officially declare his candidacy – leading the field, with 23 percent of likely primary voters currently supporting him.

Sanders is second with 16 percent, and Buttigieg, with 11 percent, is third, while Warren, at 9 percent, Harris, at 7 percent, and Beto O’Rourke at 6 percent round out the top six spots.

The poll also shows Buttigieg has seen a 33 percent increase in name recognition since February, and that Biden’s favorability has slipped slightly, from 80 percent in February to 70 percent this month.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, or @Telegraph_DeanS.