In this brief, authors Kenneth Johnson, Andrew Smith, and Dante Scala note a greater likelihood of volatility in the New Hampshire primary because there will be many new faces among the voters who flock to the polls on January 23. The New Hampshire electorate has experienced significant turnover since the 2020 primary. More than one-fifth of New Hampshire’s potential primary voters this year are new because in 2020 they were not old enough to vote or resided somewhere else. The ideology and political party allegiances of these young people and new migrants differ significantly from those of longtime residents. In particular, both groups are more willing to take sides, rather than adhere to the political center.

The storied tradition of the New Hampshire primary includes a number of surprise finishes that have confounded campaigns and pundits. As we await the results next Tuesday, one factor that may increase volatility is the number of new voters who choose to participate for the very first time.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Winter 1-17-2024


Issue Brief No. 178


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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