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What are some issues driving voters to the polls in New Hampshire?

The economy, immigration and threats to democracy are at the top of voters' minds ahead of Tuesday's primary.
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 22, 2024

New Hampshire residents live by the motto "life free or die," and while this state prides itself on its natural, towering beauty, residents are also just as proud about their politics.

Joanie McIntire has lived in New Hampshire most of her life. She serves as the president of the New Hampshire Association of Realtors.

"There's so many great things about living here," said McIntire. "

Driven by high demand and low inventory, New Hampshire home prices grew by the third-highest percent in the nation in 2023.

"Affordability and housing is affecting our ability to do business. Supply is really low and demand is still there," said McIntire.

McIntire said that points to a larger issue of affordability in the Granite State. On average, residents are only making 66% of the income needed to afford a single-family home.

"It's affecting people's ability to buy a home. If you're a first-time home buyer, it's really tough to buy a home," said McIntire.

Political experts say that is part of the reason why voters in New Hampshire have the economy on their minds heading into Tuesday's primary.

David Paleologos serves as director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University.

"The old adage that Iowa picks corn and New Hampshire picks presidents is true," said Paleologos. 

He has spent decades polling New Hampshire voters ahead of primary races.

"It's the live free or die state, and New Hampshire takes its politics very seriously," he said. 

Suffolk's most recent poll released late last week showed Former President Trump outpacing Nikki Haley 50% to 34%. Ron DeSantis, who dropped out of the race Sunday, garnered just 5% of likely voters.

But it is the issues drawing those voters to the polls David Paleologos is most fascinated by.

"Immigration has been a dominating issue in New Hampshire, and you wouldn't think it, but it's become a major issue among these primary voters," he said. 

In a state far from the southern border, Republicans say immigration is among their top three concerns. Threats to democracy and the economy are also likely to drive voters to the polls on Tuesday.

"New Hampshire has been a staple in terms of getting the public, national voting electorate tuned in on the candidates," Paleologos said. 

What ultimately gets voters to the polls Tuesday remains to be seen.

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