Joe Biden is drawing crowds of anti-Trump independents in a crucial primary state, but they say he still has lots of work to do

Eliza Relman/INSIDERFormer Vice President Joe Biden talks to a voter at a Berlin, NH campaign event on Tuesday morning.
  • 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.
  • Many New Hampshire voters are slow to make up their minds in the primaries, weighing their options after hearing directly from multiple candidates.
  • Some attendees worried Biden lacked the progressive credentials to win over the party’s left flank.
  • 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.
  • “I’m all for a candidate who can bring a polarised 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.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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 local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers office in Concord – attracted predominantly older, white crowds in a state with little racial diversity.

Ryan Buchanan, a 33-year-old Democratic State House representative from Concord, told INSIDER he’s sceptical 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.

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.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

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.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

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.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Jack Polidoro, retired research biologist and registered independent 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.: “Who’s more qualified than [Biden]? I can’t think of anybody. I just want to see America go back to forward progress … A Biden-[Kamala] Harris ticket would be great — she kicks butt.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Mattison Howard, 16, an ACLU volunteer from Concord, NH: “I like Kamala Harris a lot, Elizabeth Warren definitely … Other than ACLU issues, climate change is a big issue for me.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Kate Richards (left) and Sophie Johnson, rising college sophomores from Concord, NH. Kate: “I’m all for a candidate who can bring a polarised country together right now, but I don’t know necessarily whether I agree with Biden on all of his values yet. Looking at past events, the Anita Hill thing stands out to me.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Katharine Dargis, 71, retiree from Bethlehem, NH who wrote in a Republican for president in 2016: “Joe Biden is a wonderful father, a truly kind man … wonderful children, wonderful wife. The poor Trump children are just cut adrift and it shows.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Carly Colby, 23, registered independent from Concord, NH, says she’s “super excited” about Joe Biden, but also likes Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “Women’s reproductive health is my number one issue, especially right now.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Elizabeth Lamy-Harris, 58, an equine assisted therapist from Henniker, NH who voted for Sanders in 2016: “I’m very impressed with Biden, and I couldn’t have said that coming in. I’m feeling better about his viewpoints on the environment … Every issue I was like, ‘Wow, that’s what I agree with.'”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

Michael and Dawn Lydon, retirees and ski instructors from Lancaster, NH. Dawn: “I’m listening to see what [Biden’s] new policies are. I know what his old policies are, but those have to be upgraded.”

Eliza Relman/INSIDER

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