New Hampshire primary exit polls for 2024 elections


Exit poll percentages may change as CBS News collects more data.

Less than half an hour after the last polls closed in New Hampshire, CBS News projected that Donald Trump won the Republican primary, defeating his last opponent for the nomination, Nikki Haley. In the 2024 New Hampshire primary Tuesday, an unhappy electorate, economy and immigration were the top issues for the state’s voters. One in five of them made up their minds in the last few days. Most had decided before then, according to CBS News exit polling. You can find the latest in our New Hampshire primary election results tracker.

This is a more moderate and more “independent” primary electorate, compared to Iowa.

Republican primary voters said they’re dissatisfied with the country and the economy.

New Hampshire Republican primary voters are unhappy with how things are going in the country, including about a third who are angry about it, according to early exit polls. 

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And their outlook about life for the next generation of Americans is pessimistic: more than half think life for them will be worse than it is today. 

Eight years ago, when GOP primary voters went to the polls to select a nominee, more expected life for the next generation to be better than worse. 

Some of this pessimism stems from economic anxiety: most have negative views of the nation’s economy. And while six in 10 voters say their family finances are holding steady, few feel they are getting ahead. 

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Top issues: economy and immigration

On the issues, the economy and immigration are the top issues for New Hampshire primary voters. These are the same issues that were most important to Iowa GOP caucus goers. 

Immigration is a driver, particularly for Trump voters.

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President Biden and Democrats are focusing on the issue of abortion in the run-up to the general election, but it’s not at top of mind for Republican primary voters. 

Trump’s legal challenges: what do New Hampshire primary voters think?

The New Hampshire GOP electorate is divided on whether Trump is fit for the presidency if he’s convicted of a crime. There’s more concern in New Hampshire, compared to Iowa.

As Trump’s legal woes mount, New Hampshire Republican primary voters express relatively more concern than Iowa caucusgoers did about Trump’s fitness for presidency, were he to be convicted of a crime.

They are more currently split on whether Trump would be fit for the presidency if he were convicted.

More Iowa Republican voters dismissed Trump’s legal woes: 65% said if Trump were to be convicted of a crime, he would still be fit for the presidency, according to entrance polls. 

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Trump voters overwhelmingly think he would be fit for the presidency if he were to be convicted.
Most Haley voters disagree. They don’t think he would be fit to serve as president if that were to happen.

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Underpinning these views is that in this New Hampshire electorate currently, relatively more are inclined to believe Joe Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election. In Iowa, two-thirds of Iowa caucusgoers didn’t believe Biden legitimately won. 

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Who voted in the New Hampshire Republican primary?

  • MAGA:  A third of voters (35%) currently identify as “MAGA,” compared to nearly half who did in Iowa.
  • Independents: 45% of voters in New Hampshire currently identify as independents, compared to just 16% in Iowa. 
  • Evangelicals: Only about one in five voters are White evangelicals in New Hampshire, compared to 55% in Iowa. 
  • Moderates: There are more ideologically moderate voters in New Hampshire; about a third call themselves moderate, compared to just one in 10 voters in Iowa.

Still, overall, most primary voters are conservative.

Closeness of the race

Independents came out in large numbers, not just in comparison to Iowa, but also in comparison to New Hampshire in 2016. Fewer than half of those voting in the GOP primary identify themselves Republicans — a shift from 2016 when Republicans were the majority of the electorate. Independents are breaking for Haley.

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The last few days seemed to have shifted the momentum towards Haley. Of the one in five voters who made their decision in the last few days, most identify themselves as independents, and two-thirds were voting for Haley.

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White Evangelical voters — who voted strongly for Trump in Iowa and are doing so again in New Hampshire — make up a much smaller proportion of the electorate Tuesday night. They made up a majority of Iowa voters, but are just one in five voters in New Hampshire.

But the electorate is still mostly conservative — and that is favoring Trump — and while late deciders have moved the race in Haley’s direction, most voters said they made their decision before the primary season began. Most of those voters decided on Trump.

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Groups supporting Trump

Trump leads with groups who have traditionally backed him, such as conservatives and MAGA voters

He leads Haley among voters without a college degree and among White evangelicals.

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Voters who were looking for a candidate who fights for people like them overwhelmingly backed Trump. 

Those who think immigration is the most important issue and those who favor a national abortion ban also supported Trump.

Trump was also the heavy favorite of those who don’t think Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election.

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Groups supporting Haley

Haley leads Trump among independents, as well as “undeclared” voters. She also has a strong lead among moderates, non-“MAGA voters,” as well as college graduates.

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More than twice as many voters picked temperament as their top quality in New Hampshire, compared to Iowa, these voters are overwhelmingly choosing Haley.

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She also leads among voters who don’t think Trump would be fit to be president if convicted of a crime. They make up nearly half of those voting, and she leads among voters who think foreign policy and abortion are their key voting issues.

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