Expert: Not uncommon for voters to make up their minds at the last minute

CONCORD, N.H. — A polling expert with many years experience tracking the New Hampshire primary says it is not uncommon for voters to make up their minds at the last minute.

And Andrew Smith of the University of New Hampshire was not surprised by what he saw in this Boston Globe poll, which again, shows a tight, four-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Smith says at this point, Biden, Warren, Buttigieg or Sanders could win in New Hampshire.

The only other candidate he sees with a chance to make a mark here, either by coming in first or second, is Amy Klobuchar.

But, and this is a big but, you can’t predict anything at this point because very often races are decided by events that happen in the closing days.

He points to the 2008 race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as a classic example of that. Obama was up by nine in polls heading into the primary.

And then?

“Hillary Clinton had a moment where she seemed to tear up when she was asked how she kept going in this campaign... and the dynamic changed and made it look like the boys were beating up on the girl again,” Smith said.

Hillary Clinton wound up winning that primary by two percentage points.

I asked Andy Smith whether this campaign for the Democratic nomination reminds him of any other. He said in 1984, when you had an establishment Democrat, Walter Mondale, facing an insurgent, Gary Hart.

Hart won that battle, but narrowly lost the war. The nomination went to Mondale.

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