Despite his lead in the polls, former Vice President Joe Biden still has work to do to convince many New Hampshire primary voters to support him in 2020, according to voters INSIDER talked to.
- "I’m all for a candidate who can bring a polarized country together right now, but I don’t know necessarily whether I agree with Biden on all of his values yet," one female college student told INSIDER in Concord, NH.
- Many New Hampshire voters are slow to make up their minds in the primaries, weighing their options after hearing directly from multiple candidates.
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CONCORD, NH — Former Vice President Joe Biden is a known quantity across the country and particularly among New Hampshire voters, who are some of the most important in the nation given the state’s early primary.
And he’s currently leading the 2020 Democratic field in the state in most polls.
But Biden still has work to do to convince many New Hampshire primary voters to support him in 2020, according to INSIDER’s conversations with attendees at two campaign events on Tuesday. The events — one in the tiny mountain town of Berlin and the other at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Concord — attracted predominantly white crowds.
"I’m all for a candidate who can bring a polarized country together right now, but I don’t know necessarily whether I agree with Biden on all of his values yet," said Kate Richards, a Concord, NH native and rising sophomore at Bates College.
Richards pointed to Biden’s controversial treatment of Anita Hill during her 1991 congressional testimony concerning her sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Ryan Buchanan, a 33-year-old Democratic State House representative from Concord, told INSIDER he’s skeptical Biden is progressive enough to win his vote.
"You don’t become a senator from [Delaware] unless you’re supported by corporate America," Buchanan told INSIDER, noting that Biden’s home state is particularly friendly to corporations. "And I think we’ve had enough of that in American history."
Several attendees said climate change was their top issue — and a few female voters said they’re particularly concerned about the future of reproductive rights.
Many New Hampshire voters are slow to make up their minds in the primaries, weighing their options after hearing directly from multiple candidates.
But others don’t need any convincing.
Jack Polidoro, a retired research biologist and registered independent who favors a Biden-Kamala Harris ticket, has had dozens of candidates sign baseballs for him since 1996.
He already has a baseball signed by Biden — and even one by Jill Biden. But he came back for more on Tuesday evening in Concord — this time he brought a glossy photograph of the former VP’s face.
Sandy Bergquist, a retired teacher and Biden supporter from Lancaster, NH, said the former vice president has the experience and "know-how" she wants in the White House. Bergquist’s affection for Biden only deepened on Tuesday when he paused his event in Berlin, NH to carry over a chair for Bergquist, who was sitting on the floor.
"I never dreamt that anything like that would happen," she told INSIDER after the event.
Here’s what New Hampshire voters told INSIDER about Biden and the 2020 primary:
Ryan Buchanan, 33, Democratic State House Rep. from Concord, NH: "My biggest concern isn’t that Trump gets re-elected. My biggest concern is that we go back to the politics that led to Trump getting elected. Because the next guy who’s gonna come along and exploit that is going to be a lot smarter and a lot worse than Trump is."
Sandy Bergquist, retired teacher from Lancaster, NH: "[Biden] will bring the stability and the calm and the know-how. He’s been in the Senate, he knows what it’s about, he’s not the same man he was 40 years ago. He has moved along with the times, but we need him."
John Coutier, 20, registered independent. "The tariff thing with China is really affecting our company. We’ve had to lay people off. [Trump]’s trying to do the right thing, but at the end of the day it’s going to end up hurting us. I think Biden would try to reason with China.”
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