December 21st, 2007
11:56 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama, Clinton in dead heat, N.H. poll says

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

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. concerned

    If I sigh in front of my computer does it translate into the writing? Anyway, just take a look at the things that Sen. Obama has accomplished in his short first term in senate. Much like he is promising to do in his campaign, he has stood by his guns and has his name on several bi-partisan bills which he helped get started, as well as casting key votes on several of the bills which were key to his constituents.
    Hillary merely has a record of casting her vote along party lines (97.1% to be exact) whether it is really what the people which elected her wanted/needed or not. It says alot to support your party in a blind and brainless fashion, but it says more to introduce new bills which directly effect the people whom elected you. We are too caught up in Democrat and Republican lines, and Obama is offering us a fresh new perspective. I am glad that he doesn't have 20 years of political experience. I think he won't be able to push through the old channels of politics like Bill is warning, but I believe he has the knowledge, strength and drive to create new and innovative ones.

    December 21, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Michelle, AL

    Wasn't there a story in the last couple days saying that Clinton had surged back in the lead in NH? Stop your mind games, CNN!

    December 21, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. american

    I wish people would get off the Obama experience bandwagon. Look, this guy is smart, curious, and courageous. He's everything Bush is not. I really think folks harp on this drugs and booze thing because Obama's a different shade and it's more politically correct to say he's a druggie than admit you ain't gonna vote for him 'cause he's black. If that isn't the case, why is it Bush's alcoholism and cocaine use wasn't front and center when he was campaigning? Bush had a DUI for kripes sake! As for the experience canard, history shows some of best presidents had so-called "little experience." Just what kind of experience are we talking about here anyway? Experience with crooked donors, special interests, lobbyists and political cronies? We don't need that kind of experience! We've had 8 years of it! Foreign experience? We've had that a plenty, too. Colin Powell, a man I respected until he got into bed with Bush, was our point man on foreign policy under Bush when we jumped into this horrible war. Don't use him as an example of a "Black man with foreign experience that people would vote for president instead of Obama." He stood by and did nothing. Forget experience–how about someone with cojones! I liked Bill when he was in office and he did a lot of good. He's smart but not smarter than Obama. He threw away his legacy on a stupid sex affair that played right into Republican hands. How smart is that? If it comes down to Hillary and a repub, I'll hold my nose and vote for her, but until then I'm fighting for Obama. Hillary's part of the same old machine and this country desperately needs a new direction.

    December 21, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. martin,ny

    As a centrist who growup before the technology age...I am amazed at what the country has become. As a get government off our back guy I like Ron Paul. As a person who longs for an honest answer I like Obama. Clintons are not the answer folks. The Clintons gave us NAFTA which is destroying the country. The republican revolution of the 90's could not have happened without the Clintons support. Though Ron Pauls delivering is off sometimes the message is clear America first and follow the constitution. It has worked for over 200 years.

    December 21, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. George,Md

    RC's current mantra is that she is "vetted" and "tested." Funny how she adopted that argument after claiming ignorance over her staffer's raising the question of Obama's electability because of drug use as a teenager. Could it be that HRC needed that staffer to drive the story home so that HRC would be set-up to come hot on the heels of the controversy with her new mantra? As far as HRC being "vetted" and "tested," I guess that means the Republicans will just throw up their hands and say "Well, we can't touch her. Let's just concede the presidency to her." That's not naive, it's delusional. I'm hopeful that the common sense voters in this country will recognize that whoever the Democrat candidate will be, they will be subject to "swiftboating" and the "politics of personal destruction" by the right-wing and after Kerry's debacle in 2004, all Democrat candidates should and better be prepared for it. All HRC's being "vetted" means is that they will come after her even harder now that she feels so invulnerable to their attacks.

    December 21, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Kevin FL

    I'm Sick of these polls everyday its a new poll from every News Outlet.. As we all know Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic Nomination in 2008 regardless of what the polls say.

    December 21, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. fred,nashua,NH

    thanks "progressive people"!!!!

    whites,blacks,asians & hispanics.....

    whether you are republican, independent or democratic!!!!!

    i . like you am supporting OBAMA, because i am tired of the "EXPERIENCED POLITICO'S in WASH.,D.C."!!!!

    "neo-con repukes & undemocratic demorats"!!!

    who are "BOUGHT & PAID FOR BY LOBBYIST"!!!



    December 21, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  8. Frazier

    If the Clintons have a marriage that gave her 35 yrs of experience Hillary knew the immoral seduction Bill Clinton did to an intern & declared that he "did not have sex with that woman". The deep pockets that qualified her spouse qualify her now. Republicans will whip her immoral conduct. Gov. Richardson was re-elected by Republicans & Democrats. But the media must pay its dues to the deep pockets that finance them. Richardson gets minimal acknowledge in every debate, the stage is set for Clinton, using the others as side kick. Money talks in America, not experience & quality like God

    December 21, 2007 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. richardson,va

    Poll: Obama Stronger Nominee Than Hillary

    The new Battleground poll — a joint project of George Washington University, Democratic polling firm Lake Research, and GOP polling firm the Tarrance Group — would indicate that Barack Obama is a much stronger general election candidate than Hillary Clinton. While a generic Democrat has an 11-point lead over a generic Republican, Hillary loses to Rudy Giuliani and only leads Fred Thompson by two points. Obama, meanwhile, beats Rudy by a nine-point margin, and Fred Thompson by an even wider edge:

    Democrat 49%, Republican 38%
    Giuliani (R) 50%, Clinton (D) 44%
    Clinton (D) 47%, F. Thompson (R) 45%
    Obama (D) 52%, Giuliani (R) 43%
    Obama (D) 56%, F. Thompson (R) 36%

    December 21, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Steven in Charleston, SC

    I would like to ask an opinion of some of the more thoughtful, serious-minded folks on here. And please, while the "haters" may feel a knee-jerk desire to respond, if you are of the belief that either: a) all Democrats are evil socialists who want to drink the blood of babies; or b) all the Democratic candidates but your own are evil and want to drink the blood of babies, then kindly refrain from commenting.

    Now, on to my question:

    What has John Edwards been unable to rise to the top as a true contender for the Democratic nomination?

    Here is a man who is smart, funny, good-looking, charismatic, has a beautiful, sympathetic family, and who has a message that should resonate with most people. He actually won the SC primary in 04. Yet he seems to be stuck in 3rd place when, in many ways, he is the "ideal picture" of a candidate. So why isn't he at the top of the pack?

    I mean no disresepect to the other candidates - I have a lot of respect for both Senators Clinton and Obama. However I worry that Sen. Clinton is a bit too "establishment" and Sen. Obama, for all his abilities, sometimes comes across as a bit naive, especially as it pertains to foreign affairs, and there is also the lingering question of whether Americans, in the privacy of the voting booth, will actually vote for a black man.

    Again, I mean no disrespect, and I would feel just fine supporting either one of them if they got the nomination. But I think we need to be honest about the fact that neither of them is the "ideal" candidate - so why aren't people giving Edwards more of a chance?


    December 21, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Ben smith,ca

    I hate to be the one to say so folks, but the Republicans are salivating over the chance to take on either Hillary or Obama. These polls reflect a response in a hypothetical atmosphere that doesn't take into account the unethical assaults the Republicans will use to tear down any Democrat they face. The Republicans can see daylight if they face one of these two for the most obvious of reasons. The attacks almost write themselves. With a deft exploitation and understanding of the electoral map, the Republican swine can take those attacks and put together a winning 270 electoral votes and this poll (or any others) doesn't measure that scenario.

    It doesn't mean the Republicans will win, but I'm sure they think they are at least still in the game in fall 08 if one of these two gets the nod. I think they are much more fearful of Edwards and they have reason to be afraid of having to face him. That's why they've spent so much time and energy working the media against him on the cheap smears. They hope to keep him down and out of the primary competition first and foremost. The attack points on Edwards wouldn't allow them to exploit the most visceral and base fears of the electorate as would the attacks on the others. It's despicable of course, but it's reality.

    December 21, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. Edward,kansas,mo

    I think Hillary's campaign is already paying the price for engaging in this kind of politics. Obama already had a slight lead: look for it to widen as Hillary has to back off aggressively engaging him so she doesn't look like she is continuing Bill Shaheen's attack. Obama seems to have learned Bill Clinton's trick of counter punching while looking like the victim and that appears to be giving Bill fits. Now he knows how the Republicans felt about him for all those years. 😉

    December 21, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. victor,NH

    Classic Hillary. Have one of your goons make a scurrilous comment trashing a foe and then publicly state you had no knowledge of it nor had you approved it and that you condemn it.

    Do people really fall for this?
    Anywone but Hillary!

    December 21, 2007 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. stan pitts pa

    I am wondering why people don't call Obama by his full name. I mean as in: Barack Hussein Obama. Hussein is a fine name.

    Posted By Danielle, Manassas, VA : December 21, 2007 12:33 pm

    its simply because most americans dont use their middle name much its simply an initial, obama cant change a name given to him at birth, all fault lies with his parents, he has only borne the name barack obama his entire life and thats what he can really identify with, he is a christian and america believes him, please keep your pettiness to yourself, its like critizing wolf blitzer for his name wolf! once again all fault lies with parents who name their kids , thx

    December 21, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. La'Kitgum, Concord, NH

    The key word is "Proven" ability.

    I trust I am confident Hillary will be our next President. Obama talks about changing the usual way of doing things in Washington BUT he has never identified one thing he is going to change and he has never mentioned what he wants to change it into.

    Obama is just a Cry Baby. He knows pretty well he does not have the experience required to lead a world power like the USA. Now he is gone into Scare Mongering. C'mon dude, talk issues. Is the sky falling over you yet? Run and hide under Oprah's skirt..!

    Hilaary .. 08

    December 21, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. gt,ohio

    This woman must exist in a completely air-tight, glass echo chamber if she thinks she can throw stones at Mr. Obama. Is she trying to accentuate her already daunting negatives?

    What are her sycophants keeping from queen bee sociopath, here? Not only does the empress not have any clothes, she's a veritable walking skeleton on the character issue (not that you can tell from her size 16 pantsuits).

    Do the American people really want another 4 years of these political games? Do they really want the hyper-partisanship that is the trademark of the Clintons?

    December 21, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. jackie,derry,newhempshire

    an the Republicans really be so lucky to get into a character debate with Hillary. Did Christmas come early?

    More importantly, can the Republicans capitalize? And, DO THE DEMOCRATS care about character? Pubs get rid of their character problems.... Dems give them chairmanships of committees.I personally think Obama scores high on this one!

    December 21, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. Michael, Johns Creek, Georgia

    You are all missing 2 important points: Iowa caucuses highly reward people's second choice – neither Clinton nor Obama have that going for them – where do you think the Richardson, Biden, etc. supporters are going to pick. Who is the strongest Democratic candidate (in ALL polls) against every single Republican candidate. Watch it unfold, folks!!!

    December 21, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. cathy,ca

    Hillary Clinton is beginning to realize that this race is no sheer matter of steely will, outstanding intelligence and great rhetorical skills — all of which she possesses.

    December 21, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Peter,sf,california

    Obama: Too many racist people in the USA to get enough votes.
    Clinton: Female white politician with experience.

    My vote would go to Obama, but I know the American people will make a wrong choice again.

    Mark my words.

    It'll be Jeb Bush that's your next president

    December 21, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. joe,boston,ma

    Hillary with her banker mentality will scream like dean. just wait.

    December 21, 2007 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. John New York, NY

    Richardson, Dodd and Biden will almost certainly drop out the day after Iowa.

    Edwards may drop out as well if he comes in third in Iowa.

    Most of those votes aren't going to go to Clinton.

    December 21, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. perrino,michigan

    Morning everyone!

    I will say this… polls are meaningless especially when they are this early. You should not depend on polls or be influenced by them, like I said they're meaningless. Polls are a waste of time and who knows how erroneous they are.

    Good day.

    December 21, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. kristy

    don't really care for either one of em'

    December 21, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Brian,WI

    As far as my political views go...I think Hilary has a much lower chance of winning the ticket than Obama or Edwards....or even Chris Dodd. To say that Obama would "only help the blacks" is an incredibly ignorant comment.

    One could say the same thing about many women only seeing Hilary for the support she can bring to women. I believe that Hilary Clinton will not provide the country with what it needs at this point in time; a strong progressive influence.

    December 21, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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