November 21st, 2007
09:47 AM ET
15 years ago

Poll: Clinton's lead shrinks among New Hampshire Democrats

CNN released a poll Tuesday about the Democratic presidential race in the Granite State.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's lead among Democratic presidential contenders in New Hampshire has narrowed over the past two months, while New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson bounced back to the low double digits in a CNN/WMUR poll released Tuesday.

With about two months left before the New Hampshire primaries, Clinton topped the list of Democratic nominees with 36 percent support - down from 43 percent in a September survey. But nearly 70 percent of those polled believe the New York senator will eventually become the party's presidential nominee.

Sen. Barack Obama placed second at 22 percent, while former Sen. John Edwards drew 13 percent - little changed from September, when Obama rated 20 percent support and Edwards, 12.

But Richardson saw his support recover from a September dip, bouncing back to 12 percent from 6 percent. CNN/WMUR polls in June and July put the former U.N. ambassador and energy secretary at 11 percent.

Pollsters quizzed 389 likely Democratic voters for the survey, which was conducted Wednesday through Sunday by the University of New Hampshire. The poll has a sampling error of 5 percentage points.

Among the rest of the Democratic field, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich drew 3 percent support; Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drew 2 percent; and Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, 1 percent.

No respondents expressed a preference for former Sen. Mike Gravel, of Alaska.

The poll found 69 percent of Democrats believe Clinton, the wife of former president Bill Clinton, will end up being the party's nominee. And 50 percent called her the candidate best able to stand up to Republicans, who have already begun blasting her in their own debates.

They also rated her best-equipped to deal with what they see as the top issues in the 2008 presidential race - the war in Iraq, health care and the economy - often by wide margins over her leading rivals.

But she placed fourth, behind Obama, Edwards and Richardson, when Democrats ranked the candidates they considered most honest and trustworthy.

Obama topped that category with 27 percent, while Edwards followed with 18 percent; Richardson, 14; and Clinton, 13.

On health care, 53 percent of those polled said Clinton is the best candidate to manage the issue, compared to 13 percent for Obama and 15 percent for Edwards.

On the war in Iraq, the top issue for New Hampshire Democrats, 27 percent preferred Clinton, compared to 21 percent for Obama and 10 percent for Edwards.

And 38 percent rated Clinton the candidate best able to manage the economy, compared with 17 percent for Obama and 13 percent for Edwards.

On terrorism, 30 percent gave Clinton the top rating, compared with 13 percent for Obama and 9 percent for Edwards. But Obama topped the list of candidates Democrats believed best able to deal with the problem of poverty, leading Clinton by a 3-point margin, 30-27. Edwards rated 24 percent.

The Democratic race remains fluid, with only 24 percent of likely voters reporting having settled on a candidate in the primary. Another 29 percent said they were leaning toward one candidate, but 47 percent said they remained undecided.

And the poll found 68 percent of Democrats to be more enthusiastic about voting in 2008 than in previous years. By comparison, only 46 percent of Republicans considered themselves more enthusiastic.

soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Jim, HR Director, Tampa, FL

    Take heart, these frequent poll changes are the result of campaign rhetoric and newscasting, not based on any relevant facts.

    Every voter in the U.S. has the right to say Yes or No to any "job applicant" for the position of CEO of the most powerful nation on earth.

    Would you hire a new CEO for any company without so much as a formal application or resume' that details verifiable, applicable experiences?

    If you wouldn't do that, then why would you hire (vote for) any presidential candidate who says what he/she will do for you if there is no history that they've successfully done something similar before in a large organization?

    I'm not voting for any candidate who doesn't present us brief resume' of applicable accomplishments. This is NOT an OJT position.

    November 21, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. manuel from malaga- spain

    I am not an america but i am interested in seeing an america that stands for what we know of united states that stands for justice and human right. we have not seen them in bush. as i follow united states political debates i think obama makes sense and should be given a chance. he will make a good president of united states.

    November 21, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Ann, IL

    "Having a woman as president will only add fuel to the fire. Most Terrorists do not like woman leaders, and it's very likely they will test our county even more so than any other time before. These people hate us, and having Hillary will make it worse. We need a leader that can gain respect from foreign countries. Obama is the right choice.
    Posted By Seam, Philly PA : November 21, 2007 12:43 pm"

    This is such an idiot comment. Why is Obama better? because he has some Muslim roots?

    November 21, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Francis D'Silva, New Orleans, LA

    Having a woman as president will only add fuel to the fire. Most Terrorists do not like woman leaders, and it's very likely they will test our county even more so than any other time before. These people hate us, and having Hillary will make it worse. We need a leader that can gain respect from foreign countries. Obama is the right choice.

    Posted By Seam, Philly PA : November 21, 2007 12:43 pm


    I am not a staunch Hillary supporter. But, your argument that the terrorists don't like women leaders is very shallow and baseless. Remember Margaret Thatcher of UK, Golda Myers of Israel and Ms. Gandhi od India. These democratic countries chose their leaders not because they were women, but they were competant. And, if you don't know the history, these women faught wars and took decisions that men couldn't take. So, stop this nonsense that US can't have a woman president. Let people choose their nomination based on their experience and leadership qualities and not by gender.

    November 21, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    Karl Rove wants Hillary to win – she's the best candidate alright – the best Democratic candidate to insure another Republican president. The Republicans are locked and loaded for her. They have more than enough ammo to totally discredit and bury her for good. If Democrats want a Democratic president this time, they will vote for any other Democratic candidate except her. She might win the primary, but will get blow away in a general election, because of her history and all the skeletons she's trying to keep buried. As ye sow, so shall you reap, Hillary.

    November 21, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Jack, BA, Argentina


    Where is JOE BIDEN in these polls. Richardson is ahead of him????? Richardson. This is not right. Biden would be UNBEATABLE in the general election, especially with Barak Obama as his vice. The other way around is more likely and what every Democrat who wants to beat the Republicans should be fighting for.

    November 21, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Roger, Coral Springs, Fl

    I can see it now between these two egos. In the end people will get fed up with the bickering and vote republican. At least they aren't beating each other up like the dem's.

    November 21, 2007 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Jose Card
    Here, it shows that our federal job site treats living abroad and speaking foreign languages as two requirements for American diplomats and international relations experts.

    Now, all American universities promote or require Study Abroad of college students. If Obama's living abroad experience is not as valuable as Hillary's spotty visits to foreign countries on taxpayers' money, why do our government and universities ask potential employees and college students to invest in a semester or two of living abroad experience?

    Please do not discount Obama's four years of foreign experiences. Children see more than meets the eye. If Hillary discredits Obama's living abroad experience, why would both Bill and Chelsea go to Oxford? Hillary does not speak foreign languages and has not lived abroad. Her foreign experiences are as limited as most American voters.

    Governor Richardson has the most foreign experience of all Democratic candidates, but he doesn't brag about it. He was engaging in the works of foreign services, not just being there with Bill and Chelsea.

    Being a naturalized citizen, I can see our country in both directions. Hillary has no clues about what Obama is talking about. The best she can do is to release the documents to support her claims NOW.

    November 21, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. TRM

    Down with Clinton Inc!!!!!

    November 21, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Jan Ny Ny

    Hillary has all support upsate NH up north there is signs everywhere in the yards Hillary and quite a few in the south.. she'll take NH...they dont like bicerking either so i think shell hold back and let obbma keep on because they really wont take nonsense,and they believe hillary is no nonsense expierenced over a black candiate,nor would a Oprah replace these peoples minds for Obama,and that is when the emmys in 2005 when Oprah told Hillary that we need you in the white house oprah has some explaining to do..since her career was backed by women and now we have a women who is running Oprah the flip flopper..i sincerly think she will back out...she has never endorsed a candiate before.....its because hes black...i have lotts of family there already committed to HRC.

    November 21, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Dan, TX

    Posted By Jose Card : November 21, 2007 6:28 pm

    Bingo, right on Jose Card!

    Richardson, Biden, Edwards, Obama. I would choose any of them over Clinton. Obama is, for me, the most inspiring. I trust his judgement. He will have the best advisors and brains in the country to discuss the pros and cons of decisions. I absolutely trust his judgement on which option to choose.

    November 21, 2007 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  12. Lee, syracuse, NY

    Regardless of her poll standing in New Hampshire or Iowa, Hillary shall win the nomination.

    Hillary 08.

    November 22, 2007 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. Tom Dedham, Mass

    And yes Todd…if a Republican gets elected Hannity will be the Press Secretary. Get a grip! Read some history. Hey Todd…where did our current Press Secretary come from? Leap back into reality O.K…..

    Posted By Jack, Fort Myers, FL : November 21, 2007 9:40 am

    Little bit of reality Jack, Tony Snow no longer holds the job.

    November 22, 2007 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. susan wesley, Merr., IN

    I want to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is the best one of the Democrats at the debate. I am her friend and will pray that she will be the nominated one to run against the loser, Rudy Guiliani

    November 27, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Marie P.

    I , as many others, am surprised, at this morning's Today' Show "Queen" Hillary's lament. Should I as woman vote for her because she wants to be the first woman president? Frankly, after voting for Bush in 2000 , I want to redeem myself by voting for the best Democratic candidate to unseat any Republican contender. The American people are recognizing that our NY Senator 'carpetbagger" Hillary Ciinton and her dirty politics can't carpetbag herself into the White House.

    January 7, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
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