Presidential Candidates Flock to New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention

Presidential Candidates Flock to New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention

“Everybody else and the pundits can ride polls; I’m not on that roller coaster,” she told reporters after her speech. “I am working hard, we are steady, I don’t get high with the polls, I don’t go low with the polls. The reality is, my measure of the outcome of our work and the success of our work is based on what we’re seeing, what we just saw out there in this convention center, and what I see when I am going to each one of these events” in New Hampshire.

Senator Cory Booker, too, found himself brushing off his standing in the polls when speaking to reporters after giving an energetic speech that connected in the room. His candidacy has been something of a mystery to veteran New Hampshire activists, who note his extensive on-the-ground campaign organization, endorsements and ability to deliver a fiery speech — yet his poll numbers remain stagnant.

“Cory Booker has gained some really good supporters, but I don’t see his poll numbers picking up in a way that suggests he’s resonating,” Ms. Larsen said.

Certainly, the convention is an imperfect test of the state of the New Hampshire primary. While it offers a window into the mood of the most plugged-in activists, it is not necessarily representative of the entire electorate that will turn out on Primary Day — and it also drew many attendees from out of state, from places including Massachusetts, New Jersey and even, in at least one case, California.

Still, New Hampshire voters are discerning, relishing their responsibilities as voters in the nation’s first primary contest, following the Iowa caucuses. Given the huge cast of candidates, many voters were in no mood to commit this early.

“I think of it like getting an ice cream sundae and trying to decide what toppings you want to put on your ice cream, because they’re very good choices, but I just can’t make up my mind,” said Jeanne Brown from Goffstown, N.H., who attended a Warren event in Bow, N.H., over the summer. “You know, I don’t know if I want the gummy bears or the sprinkles.”

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