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New Hampshire Poll Roundup

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Twenty-three polls of New Hampshire voters by 10 polling organizations have been released since the Iowa caucuses last Thursday evening (including eight this morning). What can we glean from these surveys?

While Barack Obama has noticed a significant bounce from his Iowa victory that appears to have him poised to win the Granite State for its first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday, Mike Huckabee has not been able to translate his success in the Hawkeye State to the northeast, and will be fighting for third place (with Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul).

Obama is on top in each of the last 11 polls released, whereas Hillary Clinton had led in 69 of the previous 76 New Hampshire polls dating back to late January 2007. Obama's lead ranges from a low of a statistically insignificant 1 point (Suffolk/WHDH) to double digits leads in surveys released by CNN, Rasmussen, USA Today/Gallup, Zogby, and American Research Group. Clinton last polled on top (by just a few points) in surveys conducted through Saturday. The importance of the polls released today is that the entire survey field dates occurred after Iowa's caucuses on January 3rd.

On the Republican side, Huckabee has seen an uptick in support of no more than a few points in New Hampshire—he was polling at around 9 to 12 percent before the Iowa caucuses and, in the eight polls released today, is still polling at just 9 to 14 percent (averaging 11.5 percent).

John McCain, as projected by most pundits, has turned Mitt Romney's 2nd place 'loss' in Iowa to his advantage in New Hampshire. McCain leads in 9 of the 10 polls released today, by between 1 and 9 points. Romney leads by 3 points in the Suffolk/WHDH survey.

But Obama's buzz seems to be much greater than McCain's, and the fear in the McCain camp is that more and more independents will decide at the last hour to vote in the Democratic primary (for Obama) than in the Republican primary (for McCain). McCain holds a significant advantage—more than 2:1 in several polls—over Romney among independents, or undeclared voters, while Romney is the clear winner among Republicans. There appears, at this point, to be more impetus in the Granite state among non-Democrats to see Clinton lose (and Obama win) than there is to see McCain beat Romney. Romney is still very popular in New Hampshire, as evidenced by his high favorability rating, and is not seeing the slippage that Clinton is experiencing these last few days.

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Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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