Poll: Clinton and Obama Statistically Tied in N.H.

A telephone poll of likely New Hampshire voters, conducted by Suffolk University students from February 24-28, 2007, revealed top Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are statistically tied for the lead among Democratic voters in the Granite State.

Republican candidate Rudolph Giuliani had a 10-point lead over John McCain, his nearest rival.

The results of the poll were officially announced March 6.

The poll, a student initiated class project in the government course titled, “Political Survey Research,” offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to write, design, sample, execute, and analyze poll findings from a topic of their choice.

Head-to-head matchups

The poll revealed that Democrat Obama would defeat Republican Mitt Romney in a head-to-head matchup and tie McCain and Giuliani, while Clinton would defeat only Romney. Republican front-runner Giuliani defeated Democrats Clinton and John Edwards in a head-to-head matchup and tied Obama.

“While Giuliani continues to lead among Republicans, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are neck and neck among Democrats,” said Suffolk Government Professor David Paleologos, who oversaw the poll project. “However, Clinton’s unfavorability ratings are negatively affecting her competitiveness against the top Republican candidates.”

Clinton unfavorability high

The survey of 500 Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters likely to vote in the 2008 presidential election found that Hillary Clinton’s unfavorability rating of 48% was the highest unfavorability rating of any candidate.

Among those who said they would vote in the Democratic Primary, Clinton led with 28 percent support, with Obama close behind at 26 percent. John Edwards was third with 17 percent support, while 17 percent of voters were undecided. No other Democratic candidate had more than 3 percent support.

Among those who said they would vote in the Republican Primary, Giuliani led the ballot with 37 percent support, followed by McCain (27 percent), and Mitt Romney (17 percent). Twelve percent of voters were undecided. No other Republican candidate had more than 2 percent support.

Iraq war key issue

The survey showed that 36 percent of New Hampshire voters consider the Iraq war their most important political issue, with health care (25 percent) and the economy/jobs (23 percent) statistically tied for second. 

In addition, 56 percent of all respondents said they prefer gradually withdrawing American troops from Iraq over a defined period the best course of action for the war, with 18 percent calling for deployment of additional troops and 16 percent calling for an immediate withdrawal of all troops.

Forty-one percent of all respondents said the candidate’s policy on the Iraq war would be the most important factor when choosing whom to vote for, with 29 percent citing their views on the economy were most important and 10 percent saying the candidate’s values or religion were most important. The survey’s margin of error was +/- 4.38 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

The Suffolk University government class that initiated this poll is scheduled to release 224 pages of cross-tabulation data on Wednesday, March 7.