FYI, Democrats: New Hampshire and Nevada Are Very Different

Karlyn Bowman

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.

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