Majority of Respondents Reject He Lost the 2020 Election, Favor Pardons for Jan. 6 Participants

Montage of state of NH map, the Presidential Range, a welcome to NH sign and people standing in line
UMass Lowell political science experts are available as sources to the media covering the New Hampshire primary.


Detailed poll results and analysis are available at UMass Lowell experts are available for interviews. 
Media contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations and Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations 
Former President Donald Trump appears poised to win the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary Tuesday by a 16-point margin over former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, according to new poll results issued by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and YouGov.
Of 600 likely N.H. Republican primary voters surveyed, 50% endorse Trump as the state GOP’s nominee, while 34% support Haley. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails at 11%, with 4% undecided and 1% responding they plan to vote for another candidate, poll results show. (Production of the poll by CPO occurred prior to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of his presidential campaign Sunday, Jan. 21.)
The findings halve Trump’s 32-point victory over Haley in the Iowa caucuses last week and show a tightening in the race, in contrast to responses to a UMass Lowell-YouGov poll issued in December. In that survey of 450 likely Granite State Republican primary voters, 52% said they would vote for Trump and 22% would vote for Haley, once the former president’s ambassador to the United Nations. 
“While the race is now closer, Donald Trump is clearly the frontrunner and the fundamentals of the contest remain the same,” said UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, the center’s director of survey research and an associate professor of political science. “Anything can happen in New Hampshire, but to win, Haley needs to be very good and very lucky.”
In the current poll, findings show Haley enjoys a 61% favorability rating among respondents – just a point behind Trump at 62%. Even so, 51% of respondents said Trump would be more likely to defeat President Joe Biden in the general election, while 31% believe Haley would more likely win that matchup. 
Trump voters are also the most stalwart among the candidates’ supporters, as 81% responded they would definitely vote for him, while 19% said they could change their mind. In contrast, 70% of Haley’s supporters signaled they would definitely vote for her, while 30% said they could change their minds. When asked who would win the N.H. Republican primary, 59% responded Trump, and 61% said he would go on to win the Republican nomination for president.
Impact of the 2020 presidential election
The poll also examined attitudes about the last presidential race. When asked whether Trump or Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, 56% of respondents replied Trump was probably (24%) or definitely (32%) the winner, including 64% of self-identified Republicans in the sample.
In addition, 58% of respondents said they strongly (34%) or somewhat (24%) support full pardons for all individuals who participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Forty-two percent of voters responded they strongly (26%) or somewhat (16%) oppose such pardons. 
“Donald Trump’s false claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 election continue to shape Republican electorates, including primary voters in New Hampshire,” said UMass Lowell Professor Joshua Dyck, the center’s director and political science department chair. “The looming Trump v. Biden rematch will certainly be a relitigation of 2020. As much as general election voters may not have an appetite for that as the central theme of 2024, Republican primary voters do.” 
The U.S. is not alone when it comes to such “election denialism,” according to UMass Lowell’s Rodrigo Castro Cornejo, the center’s associate director and assistant professor of political science, who is an authority on elections and voting behavior.
“In the last presidential election in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro voters delegitimized election results and even called for a military intervention. In 2006 and 2012, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador voters in Mexico refused to recognize the election results. Beliefs that contradict available evidence represent a major challenge for contemporary democracies that will likely be exacerbated in this election cycle in the U.S.,” he said. 
New Hampshire governor’s race
The poll also surveyed voters’ opinions on the Granite State race for governor. There, former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte leads former N.H. Senate President Chuck Morse in a potential Republican primary race by 32 points, 54% to 22%. One percent of respondents said they plan to vote for another candidate, and 23% are undecided. Ayotte leads across all demographic categories. 
The online-based survey was conducted from Saturday, Jan. 6 through Tuesday, Jan. 16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65 percentage points. New Hampshire primary voters begin casting their ballots at midnight on Election Day, Tuesday, Jan. 23.
The nonpartisan poll was independently funded by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, which has more than 16,000 students, alumni and employees from the Granite State. The survey was designed and analyzed by the university’s Center for Public Opinion and fielded by YouGov. Detailed poll results, including topline and full methodology, are available at
UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion presents events and polling on political and social issues to provide opportunities for civic engagement, experiential learning and real-world research. The center is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative. 
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