Gender at the New Hampshire Primary

Betsy Fischer Martin | Feb 12, 2020


Primary night in New Hampshire was full of surprises. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s campaign picked up momentum when she came in third, and Senator Elizabeth Warren came in fourth. The primary failed to propel the long-struggling campaign of Tulsi Gabbard.

But what do we know about the New Hampshire women who voted in the hotly contested Democratic primary?

In terms of turnout, women, once again made up a majority of Democratic primary voters – totaling 58% of the electorate compared to 42% for men.

2020 Dem New Hampshire Primary Turnout


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

Generally, we know women are not a monolithic voting bloc, and do not always necessarily vote for women candidates.

Overall, Pete Buttigieg did the best among female Democratic primary voters, picking up 26% of their vote. The next highest vote getter among women was Amy Klobuchar at 23% followed by Bernie Sanders at 22%, Elizabeth Warren at 11% and Joe Biden at 9%.


Women Support


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

And what about the gender gap – how did women differ from men in who they supported?

Men were more likely than women to support Sanders (a 9 point gap), Gabbard (a 4 point gap) and Yang (a 2 point gap).  And on the flip side, women were more likely than men to support Klobuchar (a 7 point gap), Buttigieg (a 4 point gap), Warren (a 4 point gap).

Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

If Klobuchar got the biggest lift out of New Hampshire, Warren may have suffered the biggest setback because of one crucial demographic. Throughout her candidacy, polls have indicated that a core element of Warren’s support has come from college-educated white women.

But after Senator Klobuchar’s strong debate performance Friday night, many voters in this demographic shifted into the Klobuchar camp. This make sense, because our in our electability research, voters rated a strong debate performance as an indicator of electability. This group proved decisive to Klobuchar’s strong performance in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Primary: White College Graduate Women


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

For all the female candidates, though, perceptions about electability still loom large. One in three Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire thought that having a woman as the nominee, would make it harder to beat President Trump in the general election.

Among all Voters: If the Democratic Nominee is a woman…


Source: National Election Pool/Edison Research

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump won with 86% of the vote. 85% of men and 87% of women voting in the New Hampshire Republican primary voted for Trump.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter to keep track of all things gender and politics.

[gravityform id="2" title="false" description="false"]

Join the Conversation