New Hampshire primaries may be hampered by snowy weather conditions

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg holds a narrow lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., heading into Tuesday's New Hampshire primaries. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Feb. 9 (AccuWeather/UPI) — New Hampshire’s presidential primaries are right around the corner, scheduled for Tuesday, and the weather could impact the voter turnout and overall election results.

In the Iowa caucus results the week prior, Pete Buttigieg received 13 delegates and 26.2 percent of the votes, compared to Bernie Sanders’ 12 delegates and 26.1 percent of the votes. However, several news outlets were unable to declare a clear winner because of inconsistencies in this year’s process.

Prior to the Iowa caucus, Sanders held the lead with 24 percent, followed closely by Buttigieg at 20 percent, according to a study from Monmouth University.

However, according to a Boston Globe/Suffolk University Poll, Buttigieg actually trails by just one point at 23 percent, with the margin between him and other candidates being over 10 points.

FiveThirtyEight’s live polling average chart shows Sanders holds a lead in the state polls as of noon on Saturday, and he has held onto this chart since overtaking Biden on Jan. 16.

With young voters, Sanders has a significant lead with 42 percent, while Buttigieg trails with 11 percent. With voters over 50, the numbers are more closely tied; however, Sanders still leads with 23 percent, followed by Buttigieg at 21 percent.

“[The Iowa Caucus] won’t tell you to a great extent who will win the nomination, let alone the presidency,” Drake University political science professor and longtime political analyst Dennis Goldford previously told AccuWeather. “They have a better chance to tell you who will not win the nomination. In other words, if you don’t do well in Iowa in the past at least, your money dries up, it’s hard to continue.”

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire — the smallest swing state — by less than 1 point, according to Politico.

Some 276,385 people in the state are registered as Democrats, compared to 288,464 who are registered as Republicans. The vast majority of voters in the state are undeclared, 415,871.

While the last presidential election was a close call, both of the states’ congressional districts went Democratic in the 2018 midterms, and the most recent elections have given the Democrats senate seats.

According to research conducted by AccuWeather in 2016 that analyzed weather trends and their correlation to voting data, difficult weather conditions, including winter weather, can affect voter turnout with swing voters especially.

Research shows that women are less likely to vote when conditions are colder, and voters between the ages of 18 and 24 are more likely to vote when the weather is warm and sunny, which could affect Sanders’ numbers, as he is the popular candidate among young voters.

AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossio said New Hampshire has had a rather warm winter season so far, with cities like Concord reaching up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit above average.

“It’s been a relatively warm winter, basically across much of the east,” Rossio said.

However, the rising temperatures are expected to shift for the primaries on Tuesday, hovering in the 30s.

“It’s not going to be brutally cold by any means, but it’ll be chilly,” he said.

He predicts that any precipitation that occurs will be in the form of light snow in the late afternoon through the evening, and could continue into the night.

“As long as voters went out early, it will probably be dry,” Rossio said. “But it probably gets more dicey later in the day.”

He said in the evening when people start to get out of work, the snow could affect road conditions.

Rossio further stated that he believes the likelihood of snowfall to be around 40 percent, and the southern part of the state along the coast, which is also the most densely populated, will get hit the most.


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