Older Voters Buck the Results in New Hampshire Primary

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Jim Smith exits a voting booth in Nashua, N.H.

Older voters generally went against the grain of the overall results for both parties in the Feb. 9 first-in-the-nation 2016 presidential primary in New Hampshire.

The age split was especially dramatic in the Democratic primary. Sen. Bernie Sanders led the unofficial results, with 60 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Hillary Clinton. But among voters 65 and older, Clinton took 55 percent of the vote  and 45 percent among voters 45 to 64, according to news media exit polls. By contrast, Sanders won 85 percent among voters younger than 30. He took 53 percent of the vote among people 45 to 64.

Clinton also won among voters 65 and older in the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, taking a considerably higher 69 percent of the vote from that age group. Older voters cast an estimated 28 percent of the total Democratic votes in Iowa, and 17 percent in New Hampshire.

Among Republicans, front-runner Donald Trump drew 29 percent of voters 65 and older. But voters ages 45 to 64 gave him 35 percent of their votes, matching his unofficial share of the total vote.

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio got 19 percent of the 65-and-older vote and 18 percent of the 45-to-64 voters, while finishing second with 16 percent of the total vote.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida received 15 percent of the 65-and-older vote and 11 percent of the 45-to-64 vote. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida got an estimated 11 percent of the 65-and-older Republican vote in New Hampshire and 8 percent among voters 45 to 64. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas garnered 10 percent of the oldest voters and 11 percent of those 45 to 64. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got 8 percent of the oldest voters and 9 percent of those 45 to 64.

Older voters cast 19 percent of the total New Hampshire GOP vote, far less than their 27 percent share of the vote in Iowa, according to exit polls.

Photo: David Goldman/AP

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