Clinton Up By Double-Digit Margin in New Hampshire

The latest University of New Hampshire Granite State Poll (.pdf) commissioned by CNN and WMUR is out, and it shows that Hillary Clinton's post-announcement bounce appears to be holding -- at least for now -- and that no candidate other than perhaps Al Gore has made any headway in breaking into the top tier in the state.

353 likely Democratic New Hampshire primary voters (MoE +/- 5.2 percent), 2/1-5/2007
Percent SupportFavorability Rating Among Dems
Hillary Clinton35 percent74 fav/15 unfav (+59)
Barack Obama21 percent67 fav/12 unfav (+55)
John Edwards16 percent74 fav/13 unfav (+61)
Al Gore8 percent63 fav/27 unfav (+37)
Joe Biden3 percent29 fav/25 unfav (+4)
Wes Clark1 percent36 fav/28 unfav (+8)
Bill Richardson1 percent26 fav/17 unfav (+9)
Tom Vilsack1 percent7 fav/18 unfav (-11)
Chris Dodd1 percent22 fav/20 unfav (+2)
Dennis Kucinich-24 fav/31 unfav (-7)
Mike Gravel-5 fav/15 unfav (-10)
Al Sharpton-14 fav/57 unfav (-43)
Undecided14 percentN/A

This is the first survey, to my knowledge, that has made publicly available both head-to-head numbers for the Democratic primary as well as favorable/unfavorable numbers for each of the candidates in the race (and I stress each, including potential candidates Gore, Wes Clark and Al Sharpton). As such, it offers some fairly good insights into the state of the race today.

But the numbers listed above do not tell the entire story of the race. UNH also asked the likely Democratic primary voters who their least favored Democrat in the race is, and interestingly Clinton leads that statistic among the top tier candidates with 9 percent, only trailing Sharpton at 28 percent and tied with Dennis Kucinich. Biden and Gore clock in at 5 percent apiece in this category, Obama at 4 percent, Clark at 3 percent, and Edwards at 2 percent. Not to be mistaken, this metric does not at all doom Clinton. Yet it should have her team at least mindful that there is a noticeable segment of the primary electorate wholly opposed to her candidacy.

There's a lot of other very interesting information contained in the poll that is free for perusal at the aforementioned link, for those who are interested, as well as numbers on the race among the Republicans, which, in short, finds John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in a statistical dead heat at 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively, Mitt Romney at 13 percent, Newt Gingrich at 9 percent and no other candidate reaching 4 percent.

Tags: Democratic primaries, New Hampshire (all tags)



Edwards still looking good in NH with

a +61

I still think Edwards is underestimated.

by dk2 2007-02-06 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Edwards still looking good in NH with
I don't support Edwards but, I know he has not been getting the media coverage he should until this past weekend.  do not despair.
I have this feeling that by spring it will be Edwards and Obama duking it out for the top spots and Hillary will be falling.
by vwcat 2007-02-06 06:53PM | 0 recs
from your keyboard to

god's ears

by TarHeel 2007-02-07 03:06AM | 0 recs
Second choice of the 30% "undecided"...

would be interesting to know who was everbody's 2nd  choice.

Counting the "undecided" as those for the 4th tier candidates 15% and the actual undecided 14%.

How many fact to face debates are there in Iowa and NH?

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Second choice of the 30%

Given the dynamics and length of this campaign there may be 10-20 face to face debates in each of the first 4 states, maybe more.

by howardpark 2007-02-06 06:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Second choice of the 30%

I was curious how many were actually planned for Iowa and NH.

I'm guessing as many as last time.

by BrionLutz 2007-02-06 08:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Second choice of the 30%

Good point -- not to mention accidental face to faces.   I was in Manchester last election, and it was amazing how many candidates we randomly ran into.  The most awkward might've been Hadassah Lieberman -- when we were handing out piles of Clark bars.  

Not surprising, I suppose, since it's not a big state, and though Manchester is the biggest city -- it ain't that big.  

This time around, there could be literally 3 or 4 times as many candidates (i.e., GOP primary too, and bigger fields on both sides), and a much longer time frame.  

It'd be a hoot to be up there again, although... I think I'd prefer the fall or spring this time.  Beautiful state, NH is, but 20 below WITHOUT the wind chill was a bit much for me.

by jhlinko 2007-02-07 03:22AM | 0 recs
and that ...

is why Granite Staters love themselves their first-in-the-nation primary. It's just damn fun to be walking around and bumping into a prominent politician shilling to you like some kind of well-dressed Krishna at an airport. I remember walking around a mall when I was a kid and literally (as in physically) bumping into John Glenn. Even I knew who he was (astronaut!). Then there was 1992, when I was actually working in the media ... met them all, Clinton many times ("who's that woman in the headband?"). Good times.

I was big-time in favor of that first-in-the-nation primary ... until I moved out of the state.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 05:23AM | 0 recs
2nd choice

hey I agree with you, amazing.

by TarHeel 2007-02-07 03:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

I am surprised her unfavorable number is so low at only 15%.  That really goes against the conventional wisdom that half of the country dislikes her, blah, blah...  Of course, its only one poll with a really low sample size.

by howardpark 2007-02-06 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

That's 15% among Democrats not the state of NH as a whole.

But another piece of convential wisdom is that a huge number of Dems are supposed to hate her as well.

by zt155 2007-02-06 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Open primary

NH has an open primary.  If independents split evenly, they will make up about 40% of Democratic primary voters in NH.  "Normally", independents are more likely to vote in the more contested primary.  If anything, that's the Democratic one.

by David Kowalski 2007-02-06 06:48PM | 0 recs

The GOP has a contested primary as well.  I'm not sure Independents will turn out in any distribution that will benefit a specific candidate.  It will be fun to look at the NH primaries to see how many Independents voted in the GOP vs. the Dem primary.

by joejoejoe 2007-02-06 08:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Independents

It's hard to know at this point, but Hillary, right now, would probably motivate some Independents to vote against her. So, while both parties have primaries, Hillary's preeminent position in the media cuts both ways for her.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 02:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Open primary

We'll see.  Early days yet, Republicans will be building from the ground up this time.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Yes, "conventional wisdom" is that more than 15% of Dems hate Hillary, not counting I's & R's.  Anyway, its a very small poll but this stood out.

by howardpark 2007-02-07 04:43AM | 0 recs
Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

A candidate's unfavorability ratings are important. In the case of Hillary Clinton, her unfavorability ratings are unusually high among Independents and Republicans. This particular NH poll only polled Democrats.  

You can get a sense of how high Hillary Clinton's unfavorability ratings are by looking at a more comprehensive poll of Ohio voters from last week.  

Here are the viewed favorably/unfavorably numbers for Republican voters in Ohio:

Hillary Clinton:   12% Favorable/77% Unfavorable
John Edwards:    21% Favorable/50% Unfavorable
Barack Obama:   21% Favorable/25% Unfavorable

And here are the numbers for just Independents in Ohio:

Hillary Clinton:   43% Favorable/40% Unfavorable
John Edwards:    46% Favorable/21% Unfavorable
Barack Obama:   31% Favorable/8% Unfavorable

And now, throw together Democrats, Republicans and Independents, in other words, ALL the voters in Ohio combined:

Hillary Clinton:   49% Favorable/38% Unfavorable
John Edwards:    46% Favorable/24% Unfavorable
Barack Obama:   35% Favorable/12% Unfavorable

In every election, the Republicans call and cajole all their voters to convince them to vote.  And of course, we Democrats call and cajole all our voters to convince them to vote. I have personally participated in and/or supervised dozens of Democratic Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts. I know how GOTV works. GOTV feeds off of your opponent's unfavorability numbers.  

So...If your opponent has unusually high negatives, you can REALLY turn out your voters!  When you call your voters to cajole them to vote, you don't talk about YOUR candidate.  No way, you talk about STOPPING your Bush!  Stop Pombo! Stop DeLay!  Boosting turnout is a dream job if your opponent has super high unfavorability ratings.  It's like fishing in a barrel.

In the case of Hillary Clinton, for better or worse, since Republicans and Independents love to hate her, far more than any of our other candidates (look at the Ohio numbers), she will really boost Republican turnout around the country. Stop Hillary!  She is a Republican GOTV dream candidate. They might be able to boost registered Republican turnout from the typical 50%, to upwards of 75%.  The risk is real.  (And the risk would be all races.)

Bottom line: IF you can find a better candidate than Hillary Clinton to nominate, one who does not have this distinctively polarizing effect, that would be the wiser course to take.  

by Demo37 2007-02-06 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

That's only half the story. What matters is the respective turnout on both sides, not just how our candidate impacts republican turnout.

HRC and Obama are high turnout candidates; that is high turnout for both sides. Of course the republicans will come out in force against a woman or a black man.

The likes of Mark Warner, Bayh, Edwards, Clark are low turnout candidates; again low turnout for both sides.

Did republicans really hate John Kerry more than democrats hate George Bush? It's more complicated than that, otherwise we would have won in 2004.

HRC and Obama win by expanding the electorate. By bringing in people who would otherwise not vote. They don't win by swinging independents or stealing a few republicans as Clark or Edwards might do.

by kundalini 2007-02-07 12:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

Is HRC a high-turnout name for Democrats? Subjectively speaking, she seems like a cautious "play for the center" type that wouldn't motivate Democrats to turn out.

Obama and Edwards seem like high-turnout Democrats, and Richardson and Clark could be.

This seems like Clinton's greatest disadvantage: she generates far more heat among her detractors than supporters.

But, I'm not sure if this is objectively true or not ... she certainly has high negatives, though.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 02:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

It'd certainly motivate women and minority voters to have Sen. Clinton as the nominee.  No question.

I love linking people to the Quinnipiac "thermometer" poll. Notice how for Clinton, her support is much more like a 'U' curve than the bell curve for other Dems.

by Adam B 2007-02-07 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

Thanks. That's really interesting. I'm not sure if it's good for comparison's sake, but it's damn interesting.

This is really strong evidence that the "polarizing" characterization has a lot of truth to it. She's got some of the highest scores on both extremes. And certainly seems to be evidence to support the idea that, as of a month ago, Hillary would be a high turnout candidate for both sides.

But that makes me think the "centrist" campaign she is running is an even bigger mistake than I thought. The folks that are against her really don't like her, and I'm not sure negative feelings that strong can be softened very much. Failing to rally the base behind her could be disastrous for her.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary Clinton's Unfavorability Numbers

That's always the concern, isn't it?  When she speaks as a centrist, liberals feel alienated and moderates don't believe it's authentic.

by Adam B 2007-02-07 09:14AM | 0 recs
African Americans vs. Asian Americans, Latino, et

I'm not sure how deep her support is in all minority communities.  I'm Asian American and most that I know (and they tend to be progressives) are either Edwards or Obama.  Similarly, I have not heard of deep support in the Latino or Native American community.

Plus, I agree she will drive more Republicans to the poll than Democrats.

by exLogCabin 2007-02-07 06:16AM | 0 recs
Large, but not overwhelming Clinton lead.

   I really wish they would stop polling Al Gore.  Edwards is behind Obama, somewhat to my surprise.  I hope that the Republican primary heads toward a McCain-Giuliani-Romney bloodbath.

by cilerder86 2007-02-06 06:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Large, but not overwhelming Clinton lead.

It doesn't really surprise me.  I think that what is interesting is that Obama has risen to second without really taking anything away from Edwards and Hillary.  He's taken away support from drop-outs like John Kerry, non-campaigning potential candidates like Wesley Clark, and lower-tier candidates like Bill Richardson.

You can interpret this as Obama being more attractive to people who haven't committed to one of the other two frontrunners, or you can interpret it as Obama's support being more superficial, with the potential that he will underperform his poll numbers when it actually gets down to people leaving their homes and voting.  Or both could be true.

by Anthony de Jesus 2007-02-06 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up By Double-Digit Margin in New Hamps
You got to look at the fact that Hillary has had alot of positive coverage for 2 weeks on top of 100% name recognition.  
I would look at the polls next week after Obama announces this Saturday.
I would also keep an eye on the fact that Hillary may be peaking already.  I just get this feeling she is hitting her peak and will rapidly fall as the campaigns by Edwards and Obama kick into gear.
Edwards has not had alot of air time until last weekend and that will blunt him.
Obama has kept a low profile while getting his candidacy geared up (he did not decide to run until about 2 months ago so, he is playing catch up)
I am betting by spring that Hillary willnot be enjoying such numbers.
by vwcat 2007-02-06 06:51PM | 0 recs
Two-bits Worth

I reckon one of the reasons the New Hampshire primary has endured all these election cycles is because it often seems to reflect, in fact predict, the North-Eastern liberal/progressive, traditionally New English, weltansicht.

I remember the license plates back then, 'Oklahoma is OK', 'The Buckeye State' and so forth but I'll bet in NH it is still 'Live Free or Die'.  You gotta respect that.  And the lowest sales tax as I remember too, I think it was 0%.  That was years ago.

Anyhow, I know it doesn't make alot of sense and you guys are all statisticians and poll wonks but I liked the Net Favourability Ratings suggested by this poll.  From the top, Edwards 61%, Hillary 59% and Obama a slightly distant third at 55%.  That feels right to me and if you factor in anti-DLC sentiment reasonably close fit to the partisan populations here.

I realise that there is nothing like second-place support for HRC here, and we love Clark in ways the electorate has not discovered, but the panzers of the Liebstandarte Hillary Clinton roll through here daily and that's got to count for something.  Edwards is definitely the favourite, as in the poll, except more so.  And Obama is keeping up with the leaders (think marathon) a few paces away.  Works for me.

And just on Obama, of the don't know enough about you to say's Edwards at 3% and HRC at a most commendable 1% are very unlike Senator Obama at 13%.  This has to be promising for him, common sense says he is gonna' get a piece of that.

I was interested to note:

Edward's has broad favorability across all demographic groups.   [snip]   Clinton has broad support but is viewed least favorably by voters who support the war in Iraq and the surge there.   [snip... and Obama]   ...has wide support and is viewed most favorably by voters with high levels of income and education. His lowest favorability ratings come from voters with lower levels of education.

Senator Obama had better watch that.  If he can mobilise the black, latino etc vote like RFK did in the '68 primary he is going to romp home, no kidding.  I watched it, it was a roller coaster.  

If he can't then it is not so good at all.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 07:39PM | 0 recs
Iowa and NH

are not rich in black and hispanic voters

by TarHeel 2007-02-07 03:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Two-bits Worth

I doubt he'll be able to do much with the Hispanic community. I think Richardson has way too big of an advantage there.

As for the African-American community ... I don't see why not. But it won't be handed to him, based on the early numbers.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 05:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up By Double-Digit Margin

Many potential observations to make, but the most important thing I read in this is that the race is still fluid.  No one has broken away from the field.  The second and third ranking candidates combined out total the top ranking candidate. If you studied Kerry's numbers in NH from a year out from the 2004 Primary until his victory there, they bounced around like a basketball.

As soon as you drop below the top four Democrats with very high name recognition (the same Democrats who have received the most free publicity) suddenly no Democrat gets close to a 50% favorability level, even though for all of them except Sharpton their negatives are also far below 50%.

It seems as if the second and third tiers can be defined as those below 50% approval with an overall positive balence vs. those below 50% approval with an overall negative balence. That puts Clark, Biden, Richardson, and Dodd in the current second tier.  That sounds about right to me.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-02-06 07:56PM | 0 recs
Clinton Leading in New Hampshire

I have said it before: as a Northeasterner, Clinton is the favored candidate to win New Hampshire.  If she doesn't win New Hampshire, that will be a very significant blow to her candidacy.

In fact, I am surprised that she does not have a bigger lead at this point.  It does not bode well for her at all.  

I think Obama will only get stronger in New Hampshire as he tours the state giving speeches.  I see Obama doing very well in New Hampshire.  

And of course, New Hampshire is Dodd's one and only chance to launch his candidacy.  He really must put all his money and organization in New Hampshire...and hope for something magical to happen. Stranger things have happened. Well...maybe not.

by Demo37 2007-02-06 07:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Leading in New Hampshire

She has a strong lead in all 3 recent polls and she has yet to visit New Hampshire.  

This one just echoes the recent Survey USA and ARG polls on NH.  

by georgep 2007-02-07 07:14AM | 0 recs
New Hampshire

Whichever way Independent voters tend to go in the primary indicates the way New Hampshire goes in the general.  In 2000, more Indys vote in the Republican primary and Gore lost.  In 2004, independents went Dem in the primary and Kerry won in the general.  In 2008, Iraq will still be on the table and NH voters are going to turn out for the Dems.

Clinton is polarizing.  Obama is unknown, according to the numbers.  Only 50% have an opinion.  Edwards has high favorability without Clinton's polarizing nature.  Look at the Ohio poll mentioned.  Among Independent voters, Hillary's disaproval numbers are twice those of Edwards, and even with all her money will she be able to change that?

by Vox Populi 2007-02-06 08:28PM | 0 recs
Re: New Hampshire

Why would independents have voted in the Republican primary in 2004? Was there even a credible Republican running against Bush? Same goes for the NH primaries of 2000.

by clarkent 2007-02-07 02:30AM | 0 recs
Re: New Hampshire

Bill Bradley was a real threat to Gore in the early days of 2000.

by Vox Populi 2007-02-07 04:05AM | 0 recs
Re: New Hampshire

Good point - I looked back at the polls and it was pretty close.

by clarkent 2007-02-07 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: New Hampshire

Yes, but there was no real challenge to Gore that the Indies in NH would care too much about. McCain, otoh, was explicitly gunning for the Indie vote in NH.

On the overall point, though, I disagree. I think NH going GOP in 2000 was expected; the surprise was that it was so close without Gore gunning for it (if he had spent the money he spent in TN in NH instead, he'd still be President). And 2004, Kerry was the clear favorite being from MA and considering Bush's approvals in NH at the time (putrid). NH has been trending blue for quite some time now, and the Democrat will be the solid favorite in NH this time around no matter what happens with the Indies in the primary.

I'd say the Indie thing has a slight relationship to the results in the general (as the Indies trend Democrat, they'll be more interested in the Democratic primary), but it's not the direct relationship you imply.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up
As President Bill Clinton said in a Larry King interview last year:  "Saying that Hillary is polarizing is just baloney."
He was right. The old mantras and talking points don't work anymore, as Hillary continues to prove everyone wrong.
Personally, I will appreciate not hearing the words "polarizing" "triangulating" "Republican-lite" anymore.  
These words were designed to keep Hillary from progressing and they have not worked. She's doing great.
by marycontrary 2007-02-06 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

(DLC + hawk) - civil liberties = Republican.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-06 10:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Ever met a republican recently? Your equation is miles out.

by kundalini 2007-02-07 12:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Just setting a marker.  I know that was snarky and I 'm sorry.  I understand that Hillary is concerned with progressive issues, though I must admit the McAuliffe remarks on immigration were disturbing.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-07 01:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Evidence that Hillary has high approval ratings among Democrats is not evidence that she isn't polarizing.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Her unpopularity amongst Democrats in NH is only at 15, MUCH lower than Wes Clark, Kucinich and other favorites of progressives.  Her favorability to unfavorability rate is also better than any other candidate.   That speaks volumes.  

by georgep 2007-02-07 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up

Not arguing that. It's a good poll for Hillary's primary ambitions.

But by definition, someone who's "polarizing" would be very popular with one side of the electorate (Democrats, in this case) and extremely unpopular with the other side. This poll isn't evidence that she isn't polarizing; in fact, it's evidence of half of the equation for being polarizing.

by BriVT 2007-02-07 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up By Double-Digit Margin in New Hamps

If Obama plays to the base it is his race to lose. But will he do that? The ultra-safe offend noone campaign that we have seen so far is doomed to fail.

by Populism2008 2007-02-06 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton Up By Double-Digit Margin in New Hamps

He hasn't even formally announced his campaign yet, though.

by Shaun Appleby 2007-02-07 02:36AM | 0 recs
And don't tell Momma

But Obama is ducking the debate in Nevada.  That is not going to play well in Nevada or other early primary states where people are looking to size up the candidates and gain as much insight as they can early.

by dpANDREWS 2007-02-07 04:09AM | 0 recs


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