UNH Survey Center
Involved and Informed Voters: That's What Makes New Hampshire Unique
By Tracy Manforte
UNH News Bureau
EDITOR'S NOTE: We ask users to properly attribute this copyrighted information to the New Hampshire 2000 Survey, sponsored by the Library and Archives of New Hampshire's Political Tradition, the NH Business and Industry Association, Fidelity Investments, the NH Charitable Foundation, the NH Small Business Development Center, and the University System of NH. For more information, contact Ross Gittell, associate professor at UNH's Whittemore School of Business and Economics, at (603) 862-3340 or Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center, at (603) 862-2226.
DURHAM, NH -- New Hampshire voters were highly involved and informed in the 2000 presidential primary. Not only was turnout high, but voters were active in other aspects of the campaign as well.
These are the findings of the New Hampshire 2000 Survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. One thousand four (1004) New Hampshire residents were interviewed between June 16 and June 28, 2000. The potential sampling error for the survey is ±3.1%. The New Hampshire 2000 Survey, is sponsored by the Library and Archives of New Hampshire's Political Tradition, the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association, Fidelity Investments, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, and the University System of New Hampshire.
Exciting races in both the Democratic and Republican primaries drew a record number of New Hampshire voters to the polls this year. The New Hampshire Secretary of State's office reported that in the 2000 New Hampshire primary 85% of Republicans and 74% of Democrats went to the polls. This is approximately 50 percent higher than national averages. But in New Hampshire, political engagement goes well beyond voting. Nearly 3/4ths of New Hampshire residents paid "a lot of attention" or "some attention" to the presidential primary in 2000. Less than 10% said they paid "no attention" to the primary. Registered voters paid even greater attention, more than 8 of 10 said they paid "a lot of attention" or "some attention" to the primary.
Ross Gittell, associate professor at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and research director on a project for the Library and Archives of New Hampshire's Political Tradition commented that "New Hampshire residents interacted and listened to the candidates during the nomination process at a level unmatched in any other state."
A 1999 survey conducted by the Library and Archives of New Hampshire's Political Tradition found that nearly 20% of New Hampshire adults said they had shaken hands with a presidential candidate sometime in the past.
New Hampshire residents also participated in the primary in other ways, 13% said they attended a rally, speech or other event on behalf of one of the primary candidates and 9% made a campaign contribution to one of the candidates.
Andy Smith, the Director of the UNH Survey Research Center observed that "the state's citizens truly stand out in attention paid to the presidential nomination process." The NH 2000 Survey data support and add detail to the results from the "Vanishing Voter Project" by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. That project identified New Hampshire residents as having the highest level of involvement in the 2000 presidential nominating campaigns, 10% higher than the next engaged state, Arizona.
Upper income residents and those with higher levels of education are most likely to report making a campaign contribution during the 2000 New Hampshire primary.
Majorities of all demographic and economic groups report watching at least one of the presidential debates held during the 2000 New Hampshire primary.
Respondents to the NH 2000 Survey were asked:
A lot of attention 34%
Some attention 40%
Not much attention 17%
None at all 9%
NH 2000 Primary Campaign Activities
Activity Yes No (N)
Watch a debate in NH 68% yes, 32% no, (N=1003)
Attend rally, speech, event 13% yes, 87% no, (N=1004)
Shake hands with candidate 10% yes, 89% no, (N=1003)
Make campaign contribution 9% yes, 98% no, (N=999)
Visit the UNH Survey Center Website at www.unh.edu/ipssr/survey-center.
July 31, 2000