The race for New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate seat will be decided by a different group of voters than when Sen. Maggie Hassan was first elected, because more than one-quarter of people eligible to cast ballots were either too young or didn’t live here in 2016.
That’s the conclusion of a study by researchers at UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy.
“This figure underscores the rapid, substantial turnover among New Hampshire voters. … New Hampshire’s population is among the most mobile in the nation: two-thirds of residents aged 25 and older were not born in the state,” they say in their study, released Tuesday. “Given the narrow margins common in many recent New Hampshire elections, these new voters could have a significant impact on the 2022 election results.”
In round numbers, roughly 100,000 potential voters that were too young to vote in 2016 can now vote; more than 75,000 potential voters have died since 2016, while 200,000 potential voters moved in and 160,000 moved out. “That is a lot of change in a state with 1,100,000 potential voters” noted Kenneth Johnson, one of the authors of the report, in an email to the Monitor.
It’s not clear whether this change favors Hassan, a Democrat, or her Republican challenger, Don Bolduc.
Just over 8 percent of today’s potential voters were not old enough to vote six years ago and they tend to be more liberal than established voters. But about 19 percent of potential voters lived somewhere other than New Hampshire in 2016 and they “tend to be less liberal than young voters and more like the state’s established voters,” the study said.