Sunday, October 14, 2007

Poll: Clinton Has Large Lead in N.H.

But the poll has a huge problem. And Senator Obama's more popular than Clinton with voters under 45.

By The Associated Press
Sun Oct 14, 7:40 AM ET

Hillary Rodham Clinton is holding a commanding lead over Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in New Hampshire, a poll released Sunday found.

Clinton had the support of 40 percent of those surveyed compared to 20 percent for Obama, Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said.

John Edwards was third (12 percent) and Bill Richardson fourth (7 percent).

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney held a slight edge over Rudy Giuliani (25 percent to 21 percent). John McCain was third (18 percent) and Fred Thompson fourth (10 percent).

Clinton was the overwhelming choice among those polled who want a strong leader or someone who will bring about change — 44 percent chose her compared with 20 percent for Obama and 11 percent for Edwards.

Clinton also drew the most support — 33 percent — from those questioned who ranked the Iraq war as their top issue. And the New York senator was seen as the most likely Democrat to win in November, getting the nod from 58 percent in the survey.

On the GOP side, when people were asked to pick a strong leader, Romney got 29 percent, compared with 23 percent for McCain and 22 percent for Giuliani.

Security against terrorism was the most important issue for GOP voters; on this issue, Romney was picked by 29 percent, and Giuliani and McCain by 21 percent each. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, was picked by more people in the survey as having the best chance of winning in November — 36 percent versus 30 percent for Romney.

The poll was conducted from Oct. 4-9 and involved telephone interviews with 1,512 registered voters and New Hampshire residents likely to register in time to vote in the presidential primary.

The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for Democratic primary voters and 4.5 percentage points for Republican primary voters.

Barack Obama Leads In NH With Voters Under 45 Years Old - Pollster Mentions That In Fine Point

The so-called latest New Hampshire Poll says that Senator Hillary Clinton has a 20-point lead in that state.

But a look at the actual poll data that Marist College Institute for Public Opinion has released so far shows this -- in fine print:

Barack Obama does better among independents than Democrats. He receives the support of 29% of independents but just 14% of Democrats. Senator Obama is also more popular with younger voters than voters forty-five years of age or older. 29% of likely Democratic presidential primary voters under age forty-five support him compared with 15% of voters who are forty-five or older.

This opens a major-league can of worms for the credibility of reporting that Senator Clinton has any kind of real lead in New Hampshire.

The last NH poll also reported a Clinton lead, but only 17 percent of the people contacted bothered to respond, which means that a whopping 83 percent were undecided. Plus, there was no age breakdown given in the poll data released.

Still, the Clinton people, especially their campaign leaders , are acting like they're ahead, setting the stage for what could be a major surprise.