Pre-Caucus Polls In N.H. Show Clinton Ahead, Mixed GOP Results

Posted January 4, 2008 at 10:55am

Read the full Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll

In a poll of New Hampshire that ended just before the Iowa caucuses began, John McCain opened up a lead among Republicans while Hillary Clinton had a six point edge atop the Democratic field. However, a News7/Suffolk University tracking poll conducted Jan. 2-3 had Mitt Romney leading McCain.

The Republican contest in the first primary state is a two man race with McCain at 35 percent and Mitt Romney at 30 percent. McCain’s strength is among moderates and independents. He runs about even with Romney among mainstream conservatives, but Romney has a big lead with voters who describe themselves as “very conservative.” Iowa-winner Mike Huckabee, running without the same Evangelical base he enjoyed in the caucuses, is a distant 10 percent. Rudy Giuliani registered 9 percent. Asked about their strength of support for their candidate, 58 percent of McCain supporters and 52 percent of Romney supporters said they “will definitely vote for their candidate.” The margin of error is 3 percent.

On the Democratic side, Clinton leads with 32 percent to 26 percent for Barack Obama and 20 percent for Edwards.Among Independents, who said they were likely to vote in the Democratic primary, Obama enjoys 33 percent backing, compared to 27 percent support for Clinton and 21 percent for Edwards. The margin of error is 3.2 percent.

In the News7/Suffolk University poll, Romney leads McCain 29 percent to 25 percent with a 4.38 percent margin of error. Huckabee has 13 percent and Giuliani 9 percent. Among the Democrats, this poll is at variance with the Zogby survey on the size of Clinton’s lead, which it puts at 37 percent to 25 percent over Obama, with edwards at 15 percent. This represented a four point gain for Obama over the previous day’s tracking poll.