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UNH Study Finds Demographic Shifts Make For Churn In N.H. Electorate Ahead of 2020


A new study from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School shows more than one in five potential 2020 New Hampshire primary voters will be new to the electorate. The study says that's just one of several factors in what it terms a changing political landscape.

Only five states have seen more population churn since 2016 than New Hampshire has. And an increase in younger voters, both new arrivals and people aging into the electorate, help explain why Democrats have been making political inroads in rural parts of the state. The study finds mostly suburban Hillsborough and Rockingham counties remain where Republicans are strongest. 

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Overall, since 2016, nearly a quarter of a million people have moved to New Hampshire from with the United States and abroad. Massachusetts remains the source of most migrants, but significant numbers are also moving here from other nearby states, as well as from the South. Another 175,000 people left New Hampshire since 2016.  The study found that new migrants to the state are slightly more likely to identify as Democratic or independent-leaning, rather than republican-leaning, than established voters here.

Since 2016 69,000 Granite Staters turned 18; 46,000 older residents of voting age died. A similar study four years ago showed a third of New Hampshire voters eligible to cast ballots in 2016 hadn't been eligible to vote in the 2008 primary.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.
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