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Clinton Gains on McCain in New Hampshire, Obama Heads in Opposite Direction

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in New Hampshire shows Hillary Clinton gaining a bit of ground over the past month while Barack Obama is heading in the opposite direction. The survey also found lingering voter concerns about Obama and his former Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

The new Granite State numbers show McCain leading Clinton by three percentage points, 47% to 44%. A month ago, the former First Lady was trailing by six.

As for Obama, he now trails McCain by ten percentage points, 51% to 41%. A month ago, he was within three of the presumptive Republican nominee. Two months ago, at the height of Obamamania, Obama led McCain here by thirteen points.

Clinton now leads McCain by seven among women but trails by thirteen among men. McCain leads Obama among both men and women.

McCain is viewed favorably by 58% of New Hampshire voters, Obama by 51%, and Clinton by 46%. For all three candidates, those figures represent a decline of several points over the past month. For Obama, it’s the second straight monthly decline and he has lost eleven points since February.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of New Hampshire voters have followed news stories about Obama’s former Pastor Very Closely. Another 32% have followed the story Somewhat Closely. Most (53%) say that Obama was not surprised by Wright’s views expressed to the media on Monday. Only 32% believe the Democratic frontrunner was surprised. A plurality of Democrats (47%) were willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this point, but most unaffiliated voters and an overwhelming percentage of Republicans were not.

Fifty-four percent (54%) of New Hampshire voters say it’s at least Somewhat Likely that Obama shares some of Pastor Wright’s controversial views about the United States. That figure includes 73% of Republicans, 55% of unaffiliated voters, and 36% of Democrats.

Most voters (56%) say Obama denounced Wright because it was politically convenient. Only 33% believe he was truly outraged.

New Hampshire is one of the only states to cast its Electoral College votes for different parties in the past two elections. John Kerry won the state by a single percentage point (50% to 49%) in Election 2004 while George Bush won the state by an equally slim margin (48% to 47%) four years earlier. The state is home to an unusually large number of unaffiliated voters (46% in the current poll).

Rasmussen Markets data shows no clear favorite for New Hampshire’s Electoral Votes in 2008. Republicans are given a % chance of winning while expectations for a Democratic victory are at %. At the time this poll was released, New Hampshire was rated as a “Toss-Up” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

Thirty-one percent (31%) of New Hampshire voters say they’re more likely to vote for McCain if he selects Mitt Romney as his running mate. Thirty-nine percent (39%) are less likely to vote for McCain with Romney on the ticket.

The survey was conducted in partnership with Fox Television Stations, Inc.

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New Hampshire Leans Democratic

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

McCain (R)

44%

46%

44%

Obama (D)

51%

50%

49%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports in partnership with FOX Television Stations, Inc on April 30, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


New Hampshire Trends: McCain vs. Clinton

Date

McCain

Clinton

5/21/2008

41%

51%

4/30/2008

47%

44%

3/16/2008

47%

41%

2/11/2008

41%

43%

New Hampshire Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

10/30/2008

44%

51%

10/23/2008

46%

50%

10/01/2008

43%

53%

09/23/2008

49%

47%

08/19/2008

42%

43%

07/23/2008

41%

47%

06/18/2008

39%

50%

05/21/2008

43%

48%

04/30/2008

51%

41%

03/16/2008

46%

43%

02/11/2008

36%

49%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in New Hampshire

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

31%

42%

Somewhat Favorable

21%

16%

Somewhat Unfavorable

24%

8%

Very Unfavorable

20%

33%

Not Sure

3%

1%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.