Memorial Day Survey

May 30, 2016

Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump is locked in a tight race with presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.

 The Senate Race between Incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte and Democratic Challenger Maggie Hassan continues to show a tight race.

R. Kelly Myers

Marlin Fitzwater Fellow, Franklin Pierce University


Portsmouth, NH. – If the election for US President were held today between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the race would be very competitive with Trump (44%) and Clinton (44%) each receiving the same level of support.

These results are based on a recent Franklin Pierce University / Boston Herald Poll conducted by RKM Research, May 25-28, 2016. The survey is based on responses from 405 randomly selected likely voters. Interviews were conducted by landline and cellular telephone. The sampling margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.

Favorability Ratings:

One of the most fascinating aspects of this year’s race for President is how unpopular the two front runners are with voters. Both of the two likely Presidential nominees are viewed negatively by almost two-thirds of voters, and positively by only about one-third.


Donald Trump receives a favorable rating of only 34 percent, and an unfavorable rating of 62 percent. Likewise, Hillary Clinton receives a favorable rating of only 35 percent, and an unfavorable rating of 61 percent.2

Presidential Vote Choice:

As expected, the race splits down party and ideological lines. There is also a large gender gap, with Trump winning among men 55 to 35 percent, and Clinton winning among females 54 to 32 percent.


Firmness of Presidential Vote Choice:

Despite their unpopularity, most of Clinton’s supporters (71%) and Trump’s supporters (78%) said that they have made a firm choice who they intend to vote for.


Reason for Holding a Firm Choice in the Presidential Race:

Voters holding a firm choice in the Presidential race were asked about the basis of their support. Sixty-four percent of Clinton voters said that they support her and her ideas, while 35 percent support her candidacy because they oppose Trump.

Trump, on the other hand, benefits is little more from voters’ opposition to Clinton. Forty-eight percent of Trump voters said that they support him and his ideas, while 47 percent support his candidacy because they oppose Clinton.


Are you not firmly committed to one of the two leading candidates because:

Voters who are not firmly committed to either candidate were asked to identify the reason they remain uncommitted. Many Democrats (28%), Independents (35%) and Republicans (29%) who are uncommitted said that they do not really like either candidate.

Thirty-two percent of uncommitted Democrats said that they usually vote Democratic, but they are not happy with voting for Clinton.

Twenty-three percent of uncommitted Independents said that they are waiting to see if a third-party candidates enters the race.

Twenty-nine percent of uncommitted Republicans said that they usually vote Republican, but they are not happy with voting for Trump.


Do you think that Bernie Sanders should drop out of the race for the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, or stay in the race until the Democratic convention?

Interestingly, 77 percent of all voters think that Bernie Sanders should stay in the race, while only 16 percent think that he should drop out of the race.

Interestingly, Republicans (84%) are more likely to think Sanders should stay in the race than Democrats (65%), suggesting that Republicans think that by staying in the race, it makes it politically more difficult for Clinton to focus her attention solely on the general election.


If the election for the US Senate were held today, and Kelly Ayotte were the Republican candidate and Maggie Hassan were the Democratic candidate, which candidate would you vote for?

The race for US Senate remains very tight. Forty-eight percent of voters support incumbent Senator Kelly Ayotte, while 47 percent of voters support Governor Maggie Hassan, making the race a statistical tie.

If the 2016 primary election for Governor were held today, would you vote for:

Likely Republican and Democratic primary voters were asked who they are most likely to vote for in the gubernatorial primary. On the Democratic side, none of the candidates stand out. In fact, 74 percent of likely Democratic primary voters are unsure who they intend to vote for. On the Republican side, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu would receive 44 percent of the vote, far ahead of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (10%) and Executive Councilor Jeannie Forrester (7%).

Do you think the US Senate should hold hearings and then have an up or down confirmation vote on Judge Garland’s nomination before the next presidential election?

Voters were asked if they think the US Senate should hold hearings to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court and then have an up or down vote on President Obama’s nominee Judge Merrick Garland before the next presidential election. Sixty-three percent of voters think the US Senate should hold hearings, while about one-third (32%) oppose holding hearings. The strong support for holding hearings suggest that candidates on record opposing the hearings could be vulnerable on this issue.

Most Important Issues in This Year’s Elections

Voters were read a list of 20 issues and asked to identify the three most important topics in deciding who to support in this year’s elections. Among Democrats, the top issues include education (36%), the economy (28%), income inequality (28%), healthcare (27%) and the environment (25%). Among Republicans, the top issues are the economy (48%), national defense (30%), terrorism (29%) and immigration (23%).8


The results outlined in this report are based on a survey conducted by RKM Research on behalf of Franklin Pierce University and the Boston Herald. All interviews were conducted by paid, trained and professionally supervised interviewers.

The survey is based on a probabilistic sample of 405 likely voters in New Hampshire. Interviews were conducted by landline and cellular telephone, May 25-28, 2016. The sampling margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.

The data are weighted to adjust for probability of selection, respondent gender and respondent age.

In addition to sampling error, all surveys have other potential sources of non-sampling error including question wording effects, question order effects and non-response.

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President and Chief Consumer Scientist, Kelly Myers Kelly Myers, President and Chief Consumer Scientist