CNN: WMUR Poll: Obama Ahead With NH Dems-Indep. Combo
A new CNN/WMUR poll taken Jan. 5 and 6 has been released. I got the actual poll results by e-mail.
Interviews with 341 New Hampshire residents who say they will vote in the Democratic primary and 268 New Hampshire residents who say they will vote in the Republican primary conducted by telephone.
The margin of error is 5 points for the total vote and 8 points for the Registered Democrat/Independent voters and men/women voters.
The results are below, and there are some interesting contradictions:
Totals: Obama 39%, Hillary 29%, Edwards 16%
Among registered Democratic voters:
Obama 37%, Hillary 34%, Edwards 19%
Among registered Independent Voters planning to vote in the Democratic primary:
Obama 43%, Hillary 22%, Edwards 16%
Women: Obama 35%, Hillary 34%, Edwards 16%
Men: Obama 44%, Hillary 22%, Edwards 17%
Interestingly, only 55% have firmly decided on their preferred candidate. 25% are leaning towards a candidate and 20% are undecided.
Among the Independent voters, 51% will vote in the Democratic primary and 49% in the Republican primary. Just two days before (Jan 4-5), 56% were going to vote in the Democratic primary and 44% in the Republican. This too has an error rate of 8 pts.
The change factor is selling. Among those planning to vote in the Democratic primary, voters who think change is more important than experience has increased in the past 2 days to 67% from 61%. Those favoring experience decreased from 29% to 24%.
Among the likely Democratic voters, 79% said the country is ready to elect an African American president. 14% said no. 76% said the country is willing to elect a woman president and 16% said no.
As to who best represents their values, the likely Democratic voters said: Obama 34%, Hillary 26%, Edwards 18%
On electability, 42% of likely Democratic voters thought Obama is the most electable. 31% said Hillary and 12% said Edwards.
Given the above, check out this result among likely Democratic voters. Who has the "right experience" to be President: Hillary 41%, Obama 16%, Richardson 13%, Edwards 11%.
My take: The independent voters are driving these results. Among registered Democrats, Obama leads 37% to 34%. If you combine that with Hillary's experience lead, in other parts of the country with fewer Independents, she'd be very much in the running.
New Hampshire voters, like Iowans, are not representative of the nation. Neither are South Carolinans. Super Duper Tuesday will count more. I don't think New York or California or Florida voters will give a whit what happened in those three states. What's left is momentum and media exposure. I think many of them will be determined to prevent those tiny states from diminishing the chance for their vote to be of equal impact and will ignore the hype.
Between the margin of error, the Independents and the non-representative nature of the early voting states, I'm not persuaded that this N.H. poll is indicative of who our nominee will be.
Update: Chris Bowers:
In a development that has flown under the radar, it now seems to me that, as long as Clinton wins Florida and California, she will be ahead in delegates after February 5th no matter what happens in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
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