Most Respondents Do Not Endorse President’s Approach to the Israel-Hamas War

New Hampshire state seal set against blue field with words "Election 2024"
The latest poll results from the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion found President Joe Biden leading former President Donald Trump 42% to 36%.


Media Contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations; Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations 

President Joe Biden is slightly ahead of former President Donald Trump in the race to win back the office among New Hampshire residents likely to vote in November, according to new poll results issued by the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and YouGov.

Of 600 likely New Hampshire voters surveyed, Biden leads Trump 42% to 36%, with less than six months until Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. Eleven percent of respondents support independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., while 9% are undecided and 2% say they will vote for another candidate.

Biden’s apparent lead comes among mixed results in other poll data, as respondents appear dissatisfied with all three major candidates and the president’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

Findings show 36% of respondents somewhat (23%) or strongly (13%) approve of the job Biden is doing as president, while 63% somewhat (22%) or strongly (41%) disapprove. Thirty-eight percent of respondents view Biden favorably while 55% view him unfavorably, 6% have no opinion of him, and 1% say they have never heard of him.

Trump and Kennedy fare no better:

  • 35% of respondents view Trump favorably, 61% view him unfavorably, 4% have no opinion of him, and 1% say they have never heard of him. 
  • 29% of respondents have a favorable view of Kennedy, 41% view him unfavorably, 27% have no opinion of him, and 3% have never heard of him.

Further, 58% of respondents are very (28%) or somewhat (30%) unhappy with the choice of presidential candidates, compared to 41% who are somewhat (26%) or very (15%) happy with the slate. Among self-identified independent voters, the total share of those unhappy with their ballot options is 71%, compared to 65% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans. 

“As is true of the national electorate, most New Hampshire voters polled are unhappy with the presidential ballot,” said Rodrigo Castro Cornejo, the Center for Public Opinion’s associate director and a UMass Lowell assistant professor of political science. “In a polarized America, split along partisan lines, both Biden and Trump will first try to activate their base, and, as November approaches, they will try to appeal to undecided voters. Even though undecided voters are a small portion of the electorate, persuading them will be particularly important in what we can expect to be a highly competitive presidential election.” 

Respondents Oppose Biden’s Israel-Hamas War Policies
Most respondents (65%) say Biden’s handling of the conflict will make them somewhat (28%) or much (37%) less likely to vote for him in November, compared to 35% of respondents who say his response to the war makes them somewhat (25%) or much more (10%) more likely to vote for him.

“The Israel-Hamas war sticks out as a political liability for Joe Biden. While it may not be the most important issue for voters, his handling of the war has damaged his reelection chances in a close race where everything matters,” said UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, the center’s director of survey research and an associate professor of political science.

More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents support an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza, while 44% want increased U.S. pressure to end Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Nearly one third (30%) do not want a change in U.S. policy and 27% would like to see less U.S. pressure on Israel.

Granite v. Bay Staters 
Poll results show capitalizing on the real or perceived culture clash between New Hampshire and Massachusetts residents may not serve Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kelly Ayotte, a former state attorney general and U.S senator. Ayotte is running for governor because she believes New Hampshire “is one election away from turning into Massachusetts and losing what has made [New Hampshire] a great place to live, work, and raise a family,” according to her campaign’s website. 

Respondents appear lukewarm to the claim. When asked how much New Hampshire is at risk of becoming too much like Massachusetts in the next decade:

  • 30% said the risk was great
  • 34% said there was somewhat of a risk
  • 36% said there was not a risk at all

The results are split along party lines. Among self-identified Democrats, 11% believe the risk is great, 37% say there is somewhat of a risk, and 52% say there is no risk at all. Among independents, 36% of respondents believe New Hampshire is at great risk of becoming too much like Massachusetts, while 33% say there is somewhat of a risk and 31% say there is no risk at all. Meanwhile, 49% of Republicans say there is great risk, 32% say there is somewhat of a risk, and 20% say there is no risk at all.

“In an increasingly nationalized political environment, it’s unclear whether Kelly Ayotte’s choice to run against Massachusetts liberals is the right strategy to put her into the governor’s mansion,” said UMass Lowell Professor Joshua Dyck, the center’s director and chair of the political science department. “We won’t have a better idea of where this race stands until New Hampshire voters get to know her potential opponents for the fall election. In the meantime, one thing she does have on her side is name recognition in a sea of relatively unknown candidates.”  

Other key findings:

  • Consistent with findings from previous UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion polling in October 2022 and December 2023, New Hampshire Republicans remain supportive of reproductive rights. In the current poll, more than half of Granite State Republicans surveyed (66%), believe there should be a right to get an abortion in every state in the United States. 
  • Most Republican respondents (71%) also remain stalwart in their belief that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. In addition, 61% of Republicans support full pardons for everyone arrested at the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. These two findings are consistent with UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion results from separate polls conducted of New Hampshire Republicans in January and Republicans nationwide in April 2024.

Poll results issued Wednesday are the result of an online-based survey conducted, Monday, May 6, through Tuesday, May 14, 2024, that carries a margin of error of plus/minus 5.24 percentage points. 

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.