(CNN) - Barack Obama and John McCain are statistically tied in New Hampshire, the state known for its perennial political role that is again expected to be a key battleground in the race for the White House.
According to a new poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire, Obama holds a narrow 3 point lead over McCain, 46 percent to 43 percent, with 8 percent remaining undecided. That marks a clear departure from a similar poll conducted there in April that showed McCain with a 6 point lead among Granite State voters.
New Hampshire is only worth 4 electoral votes, but its famously independent voting electorate has repeatedly rendered the state a tossup at the presidential level: it voted for John Kerry by 1 percentage point in 2004 and for George Bush by 3 points in 2000.
The state has already played a vital role in the 2008 presidential process - John McCain's come-from-behind victory there is largely credited with salvaging the Arizona senator's White House hopes while Hillary Clinton's surprising win set the stage for the prolonged Democratic primary. Clinton and Obama later held their first public show of support in Unity, New Hampshire - a town where the two candidates exactly tied.
Watch: A look back at New Hampshire
The poll, conducted on July 11-20, surveyed 519 voters and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.