A new poll shows the New Hampshire primary race is extremely volatile.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are locked in a dead heat in New Hampshire, according to a new poll released Friday, setting up what’s likely to be an all-out sprint in the final 18 days before the Granite State’s primary.
Clinton and Obama each draw support from 32 percent of the state’s likely Democratic voters in the new USA Today/Gallup poll. John Edwards is a distant third with 18 percent, while Bill Richardson comes in fourth with 8 percent.
Meanwhile, the poll shows a tightening race on the Republican side as well, with Mitt Romney's once double-digit lead narrowing to 7 points over a resurgent John McCain, 34 percent to 27 percent.
Rudy Giuliani - who last week decided to pull advertising from the expensive Boston-area media market that reaches the southern portion of New Hampshire - comes in a distant third at 11 percent, a statistically tie with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, who each stand at 9 percent in the survey.
But the poll shows over 40 percent of voters in each party say they may change their minds over the next three weeks, an indication the standings in New Hampshire remain extremely volatile and may be affected by the results in the Iowa caucuses five days earlier.
In further evidence the New Hampshire race is still thoroughly unpredictable less than three weeks out, other polls out of the state this week have shown significantly different margins separating the top candidates in both parties.
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday, Clinton held a 12- point lead over Obama, and Romney was 12 points ahead of McCain. And in an American Research Group poll out Thursday, Clinton is 14 points ahead of Obama, while Romney and McCain are tied.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney