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National pollster weighs in on N.H. primary

NASHUA – On the eve of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, presidential hopefuls flocked to the Granite State, making last-minute stops in hopes of securing support for their 2020 White House bids.

President Donald Trump also stumped in the state Monday night, hosting a rally at Southern New Hampshire University Arena in Manchester. Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence campaigned for the president in Portsmouth.

With the flurry of activity came much speculation from state and national pollsters.

John Zogby, founder of the Zogby International poll and partner of Zogby Strategies, shared his outlook on the primary with The Telegraph.

“New Hampshire loves to surprise,” Zogby said.

Zogby is an American public opinion pollster, author and public speaker, who expects U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to come out on top once polls close today.

Sanders biggest advantage, Zogby said, is that he hails from neighboring Vermont.

Sanders won New Hampshire by 22 points over former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.

Zogby also said, Sanders is leading in most major polls. However, the other advantage Sanders has is that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s, D-Minn., star seems to be rising, taking votes away from former Vice President Joe Biden.

Klobuchar, Zogby noted, in effect, may be taking some votes ultimately away from Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg in the independent voter lane. While Zogby thinks Sanders will be New Hampshire’s No. 1 pick, he also weighed in on the Granite State’s other neighboring state’s candidate, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The political expert said that since December, Warren has been declining, not only nationwide, but declining in New Hampshire in particular.

He also said the most recent national polls have Warren down 11 or 12 points, with Joe Biden on a slow and steady decline.

As for Sanders, Zogby said his numbers look to be stabilizing in the mid-20s in three out four of the last polls in New Hampshire.

“After Iowa, Buttigieg got a bounce into New Hampshire, and in every poll, he’s either a close second or actually tied with Sanders,” Zogby said.

However, depending on how the New Hampshire primary results go, Zogby does suspect some candidates could potentially drop out of the race.

“I think if Elizabeth Warren loses badly, it’s very hard to see her continuing seriously,” Zogby said. “If Amy Klobuchar loses badly, same thing.”

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.

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