The first primary contests are now less than one month away and all eyes will be on Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. A great deal of focus will be placed on who is leading in national and state specific polls but expect the race in New Hampshire, and potentially the other early states, to remain competitive down to the last minute.
A January 5 Wall Street Journal article points out that exit polls from the last four presidential elections show that the number of primary voters in New Hampshire who decide their candidate in the final three days or on Election Day has increased each election, especially among Republican voters.
In 2000, 14% of Republican primary voters decided their candidate on Election Day, which increased to 19% in 2008 and 21% in 2012. The number of Republicans who make up their mind within the final three days has also increased – 26% in 2000, 39% in 2008 and 46% in 2012.
Also keep in mind that New Hampshire allows undecided voters to select their party on Election Day. No matter where a candidate stands today, the latest CNN/WMUR New Hampshire primary poll shows that only 18% of likely Republican primary voters said they have definitely decided for whom they vote, while 56% are still trying to decide.